I’m that mom.
When my kids were little (4 and 1) we were driving in the mall parking lot. Three teenage boys and one girl– all dressed in black, with dark eyeliner and chains were driving recklessly in the parking lot and almost hit my car. When they finally reached their parking spot I stopped and blocked them in.
I tried to calmly walk over to them. With each step my blood pressure increased and I fought the urge to go all “Oh no you didn’t…” on them.
As I reached the door to the driver side, me, a little 5’4 blonde suburban mom, tapped on the window. This tough looking dude cracked his window enough just to hear me. I began to lecture them about the idiocy of driving fast and so carelessly in a parking lot with small children. I let them know that my car had my two little ones in it and they reminded them of what happened moments just before– they almost hit us and could have injured my precious cargo.
They politely listened, gave me a “yes Ma’am” and I walked away feeling like I’d just taught them huge lesson in life. Don’t mess with a psycho suburban Mama and her babies. Oh and don’t drive like a maniac in a mall parking lot.
Shocker— I fight being a helicopter mom (one who hovers over everything).
I want my kids to have their independence and their lives.. yet I still want to hold their hands because I’m mom and I know what’s best– and I know what could potentially happen.
In life, they could get hit by the preverbal car, snagged by the cray cray stranger and if I let them play out, there are many other dangerous scenarios in my worrisome mom mind… and I dare not say them out loud for fear of being locked up in the mental ward.
I remember letting one of the boys walk to the neighbors house at the age of five. We lived in a cul-de-sac and it was two houses down. I stood in the front yard with tears in my eyes because he was walking to the neighbors alone. Can anyone say nut job? Seriously— one friggin’ house in between us and I was standing out in the front watching him walk away like he was off to a foreign land, forever gone.
I remember our older boys at seven and nine riding their bikes to the swimming pool alone… I stared out the window watching cycle of the pedals go round and round as they joyfully rode off– I was praying over them trying to calm the panic in my heart. I remember fighting the urge to secretly follow them to the pool in my car. I also called my husband to have him talk me off the ledge as I watched them ride away.
In spite of all the potential dangers, every worst case scenario in my negative, fear filled mind, the boys made it to the pool. They swam all day without drowning. They rode their bikes home all safe and sound. And had a blast doing it. WITHOUT ME! 100% totally independent.
There’s a balance between giving them total freedom and controlling hover. I want that healthy balance.
Reminder: The Holy Spirit that leads, guides, directs, protects and comforts me… does the same thing for my kids!
We’ve raised two adult sons and still have two boys at home. I still fight the urge to hover. I want what is best for them and in my mind, I think I know.
But I continue to remind myself that because they have their own relationships with Christ, the Holy Spirit is with and in them. I have to continue to let go.
I have to trust the Lord knowing He knows best. I have to hand them over to HIM. When I hand them over to God, I know He is holding the those I love… As much as I, their mom, love them… how much more does He, their Heavenly Father, their creator, love them?
My boys deserve to LIVE the life God has called them to.
Me keeping them in my bubble might keep them safe. But it will keep also keep them sheltered and will keep them from the FULLEST life. God has plans for them. Not some little, stay in-my-world plans. But step out, take risks and do great things type plans.
In order to fulfill His plans, they need to learn to step out on their own. They will learn from mistakes. They will get hurt and face heartache. And I will be there to love on them, to encourage them but also to push them to keep going. Because I want them to know what it’s like to overcome fear. I want them to feel that joyful exhilarating rush of stepping out into something new and adventurous.
In order to win, risks must be taken. There are also lessons learned when you take risks and fail. Heartache and pain, from mistakes made with these risks. And that hurts. But these moments bring growth. It sucks, but growth occurs through setbacks.
Yes, there’s pain in letting go. There’s a sense of grief in letting go.
But there’s also so much to be gained in letting go.
Your faith grows.
There are new victories when you let go of the old.
There are dreams being lived out when we let go.
You conquer fear when you let go.
It’s FINALLY letting God be God in our lives– especially in those areas that we think we know best.
What is it that you’re hanging on to?
Is there an area of life that you are trying to play the role of God?
Why won’t you let go?
It’s because you want what’s best isn’t it? You think you know what’s best.
But what if what you think is best really isn’t?
Are you limiting God’s best with your best?
And is it possible that God’s best will come through the worst? Yep. Very possible. We know that God doesn’t always work within our comfort zones and that little box we keep Him in.
Let the mistakes happen.
Embrace the lessons that come through hurt.
BECAUSE– He will work it all out for your/their good and His glory.
Let the Holy Spirit Hover.
The Holy Spirit is gentle. He will whisper when I might overreact and yell. It’s best to let Him do His job and not me. I don’t want to drown out His whisper with my yell.
When you finally let go, it takes the pressure off you.
When you let go, it frees you from the weight of the responsibility and it allows God to be God.
So today Lord,
Whatever it is that we’re hanging on to for dear life. God we release it to you. For Your Will. Your plan. Your purpose. Your Glory!
Do what you will. We trust you.
And God, while we trust you, we will still be talking to you a lot about this and processing it with you. We may have to give it to you over and over again. But we’re going to keep on giving it to you. Because you know best. We might have to remind ourselves daily, hourly, minute by minute, and sometimes second by second but we’ll keep trusting you.
When I let go (and continue to let go), I give God permission to do His thing.. not mine….I think He knows better than me. 😉