Wednesday, June 20, 2018

His Plans > My Plans

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

    I was talking to a Mom the other day about our kids, and it really opened my heart to a way of thinking.  Today, in my devotion I read something that really reflected in my heart upon that conversation.  Author Carol Kuykendall says that letting go of our kids is a heart attitude that begins at birth.  It begins with recognizing that children are a gift from God- and that they are merely loaned to parents for upbringing and nurturing in the Lord.  The process continues with a daily choice to relinquish a child to God's care, Gods instruction, and Gods control. 
   What does this mean to you?
   To me, it rings true with the bible verse I mentioned above.  For I (God) know the plans I have for you.  God knows.  That's really hard for us, as parents, to accept that someone besides us knows what is best for our children. 
   We live in a world that likes to tell us exactly what is best for our children.  It tells us that they should get a certain education.  That they should be as socialized as the world dictates.  That they should be involved in every sport that we can get them into.  That they should look, act and dress a certain way that means they are successful.

   Can you imagine that kind of pressure as a child?
   I'm certain that for a lot of you, that kind of pressure could have been placed on you as a child as well.  The expectation to be the best at everything.  I believe however that in this world of social media, the pressure is even higher.  When every single Mom is posting pictures of their kid dressed in their soccer attire one day, their cheerleading uniform another day, their ballet recital and their "Terrific Kid" award, we feel the pressure to live up to that.  What happens when our children don't meet those marks?  We feel like there is something 'wrong' with them.  That somehow they just don't measure up. 
    That could not be further from the truth.
    Here's my personal example.
    Probably from birth, my youngest son has had profound hearing loss in his left ear.  This doesn't mean that he's completely deaf, but basically so.  It has never affected him growing up.  He's always responded just as well as the other children.  His speech and language developed so quickly he was never recommended for speech therapy.  For the most part, he has lived a very normal life despite the fact that he had unilateral hearing loss.
   Then came soccer season.
   We have always been a soccer family.  My husband has always coach.  My kids have always played.  Even though they haven't always won, they seem to have always enjoyed it.  Soccer was our thing, and we were SO excited the first time Sawyer stepped out with his jersey on.  My heart swelled with pride as my youngest, complete with the great, long soccer star hair style, ran out onto the field.  It didn't take long to realize that something just wasn't right.  After confusion, running after the wrong group of people, and a meltdown occurred, Stephen and I realized that his hearing was affecting his ability to play soccer.  He couldn't tell where the sounds were coming from.  The combination of the noise on the field and the parents on the sidelines were just too much for him.  My youngest son wouldn't be a soccer star. 
    But- God knew when he created him that he was going to have that hearing loss.  He knew about that day on the soccer field that would break our hearts...  he knew way before I would know- that Sawyer wouldn't play soccer, like I had always imagined he would.  He knew- because he had other plans for him.
   I remember one day a Mom wrote about video games...  what if someone like Mozart had not learned how to play piano because he was too busy playing a video game?  I say as well, what if Sawyer missed his calling because I was too busy pushing him to play soccer?  Do you ever ask yourself that question?  What if my child is supposed to be artistic, but doesn't get time to cultivate that passion because they are too busy playing sports that they do not enjoy?  What if your child is supposed to become a chef, but we don't want to let them in the kitchen because we want to keep it in pristine condition?  What if because our child is so busy, so overworked and so pressured to be the best at everything, that they miss the one thing that God created them to excell in?
   Your kids are no different than you.  They are not going to be good at everything.  They are not going to be able to keep up with the worlds expectations, and asking them to do so is just going to hurt them in the long run.  God never expected us to know, he simply expected us to trust Him.  To bring them up in the way that he leads, guides and directs, and leave it to Him to do the rest. 
    Just remember, wanting the best for your kids doesn't mean wanting everything for them..  it means wanting them to be who He created them to be.  And sometimes that means pushing back all the other voices the world wants to toss your way, and just leaning on His understanding.