Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lonely choices, and the "better thing"

As a parent, you want good things for your kids.  The best.  You want them to have lots of friends and to see them playing happily with people that love them and help them grow and encourage the best in them.  Well...don't we all want that?  To be loved, to enjoy relationships, to feel like you are surrounded by those you can trust and depend on.  
But sometimes-not all the time-but sometimes, life requires lonely choices.  These are really hard.  The choices where everyone in that moment is going one direction, but you know, you "feel it in your heart", that you must go another direction.  I have had to make a few of these, and I confess that there are probably many more times that I should have made them but didn't.  What has been unexpected for me, has been watching my children have to make lonely choices sometimes.  These should probably be the moments that evoke the most pride and joy as a parent-when you see your child make a choice that is good, despite it being very costly.  But it is painful to watch.  
It is even harder when it isn't that they are saying "no" to a wrong thing, but saying "yes" to a right thing.  Emma and I recently had a situation where we needed to make a lonely choice.  Not because anything bad was going on...but simply to honor and submit to the right thing.  It was hard.  We both cried.  But at home, in the comfort of her room, Emma and I had the sweetest conversation about faith.  Even as an adult, I find myself at times wanting to be part of what is going on around me...but whether it is because my life circumstances don't allow for it, I'm just not asked or invited, or I just know that it isn't the right choice for me given my current life season...sometimes, it is still hard.  But part of faith is trusting that God always has my good and His glory in mind.  He is so faithful to bring along friends, companions, kindred spirits at just the right time.  And the even sweeter times have been when He doesn't bring companions, but instead satisfies me and makes Himself known to me in a new way.  And sometimes, He does both!!!!  

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  Hebrews 11:6

For 3 or 4 years (??), we were part of a co-op called Group Solutions.  It was so fun!!  The kids loved going to their classes.  But for me, it was a lot of work.  Packing lunches, preparing for classes, making sure the kids had their homework done...not to mention loading everyone up, the long day, and going without naps.  This past year, when it was time to renew, we really felt the Lord saying, "No, I have something better for you."  
I can remember the last day of groups, last May, when we were driving home.  Caleb said, "Mom, remember when you said that God has something better for us?  Well, sometimes, I just wonder what that something better is."  
The only response I had for him was, "Me too."  It was hard for me to let go of the co-op.  So hard, {true confessions}, that I had to have my husband call and tell them we weren't returning.  I couldn't disobey the Lord, and Ben, who had both said "No.", by paying money and signing up for classes. I also didn't quite have the heart to say no.  But, I knew that I couldn't take hold of the something better without letting go...
So.  This past month, holding and cuddling, and enjoying Lady Evelyn, it was fun to declare and rejoice over her: "This is the something better!!!!"  And sometimes the "better thing" doesn't look like a better thing.  A pregnancy with scary complications and difficulties perhaps didn't seem so much "better" in the moment.  But the fruit of that....not just Evelyn, but the hard work and patience that was required by the kids...the humbling and breaking that was necessary in me...these are all better things!!

Oh Lord... I pray for my kids, and for my own heart...that by Your Spirit, we would have faith to believe that You exist, and that you reward those who seek You diligently.  May we together, have faith to believe that You are enough when we need to make lonely choices.  And may we rejoice in the friendship and relationships You have given us.  May we be an encouragement and a blessing to those around us.  May we trust You enough in the moment to let go of one thing in order to take hold of a "better thing."  May we seek to be satisfied in You, O Lord.  =-)

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