Anxiety and parenting seem to go hand in hand. They’re like peanut butter and jelly only messier. And stickier. But when your kids have a knack for going AWOL in two seconds flat in the grocery store, anxiety becomes far too familiar. Reading about when Jesus’ parents lost him in Jerusalem when he was twelve was, I have to admit, kind of reassuring. They understood my experience on at least one occasion.
But as my children grow and become potentially lost in other ways–in the issues they grapple with, the friends they choose, the grades they may or may not be willing to work for, the morals they may or may not be willing to grasp–it becomes clear that just being anxious doesn’t cut it. Only in surrendering them to God and His plans for them can I find any shred of hope or peace.
And so I plead with Him each day to only let them experience what they can handle and to protect them from themselves as they experience whatever it is that life is going to throw their way.
There are times during all of this that God seems so hard to find. Prayers seem to hit the ceiling while troubling emails from school or from the doctor’s office just keep coming.
But then a glimmer of hope shines through.
My son finds a $20 bill in the school hall and turns it in because it’s the right thing to do. My daughter prays for her annoying brother to have a safe flight. Or the no-good, terrible, very-bad grade on the report card doesn’t usher in the end of the world.
God is still in control. He doesn’t give up on us. He is always at work. Just as He was when Jesus’ parents were looking for him in all the wrong places several thousand years ago. The fact is, He is right where He’s supposed to be and doing exactly what He knows is best, whether we know it or not.
So I’ll keep offering up my children and my flawed parenting to Him each morning. I’ll keep seeking Him and trying to follow one step at a time. God knows my heart and my children’s. There are no guarantees in this life. I know that. No promise of smooth sailing. In fact, He tells us just the opposite: “In this life you will have trouble…” (John 33:16).
We think it’s so personal. That God is doing something to us when all along He is doing something with us. For us. And for others. As Mary and Joseph learned, Jesus was never MIA. Today, He is still about his father’s business. And most definitely ours.
–(Excerpt from Divine Duct Tape: A devotional journey in Luke)
Kelli Ra Anderson–author, blogger and freelance writer. Feel free to visit me for weekly devotionals on Facebook at Divine Duct Tape, or at my website, www.kellira.com
Latest posts by Kelli Ra Anderson (see all)
- Calming our Anxiety in Special Needs Parenting - August 24, 2015
- Victory in the Seeming Loss of Special Needs Advocacy - June 22, 2015
- Retreating in God’s Hands: respite for the special needs parent - May 25, 2015
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