As I was praying this morning, I was praying that God would give us a new vision for life that included our children. It dawned on me that the visions we were very generously given by God in the past, had room for our kids, but I had taken them out of it. Maybe it was because I didn't know how to incorporate them...or maybe...and quite possibly with more truth to it, but uglier to admit....it was because deep down, I wanted to do it all on my own. I wanted to manage and manipulate those visions to look like something that probably looked very different than what God had intended. I took those visions, got excited about them, and then tried to force them into a me-sized-box. In the end, when none of my forcing, squeezing, and manipulating worked, I felt like a failure. And then I looked at my kids and this fear began to grow inside of me. I feared that I had, through my selfishness and manipulativeness, damaged them for life.
As I dwell on this fear, I realize how many other parents have felt the same way about what they have done or how they have treated their children. How many of us have allowed that fear to permeate our lives, allowing it to take control of who we are as human beings...creating this vicious cycle of guilt, regret, and remorse? We walk through life in a continuous fog thinking back on all the ways we could have done it better or changed what we did...not realizing that we are doing the same thing we did earlier...it just looks different. It seems to be a vicious cycle.
While I'm thinking about this fear that has slowly creeped into my inner-self, I'm looking at pictures of my four kids, and I see their beautiful smiles smiling back at me. It dawns on me that each one of them knows that they are deeply and truly loved. Even though I may feel at times that I have screwed them up, what matters most in the end is that they know they are loved and accepted at the deepest level of their being...and I cannot fill that, only the love of Jesus can.
I will fail again and these fears will continue on...that is a guarantee, BUT through it all, I am so grateful! God is gracious and loving and forgiving. He knows me and loves me where I'm at! There is no damage I can do to any of my children that God cannot mend and for this I am so thankful! Thank you Jesus! I can point my children to You, but You call them and draw them to You. May my failures point them to You.