This title keeps bouncing around in my mind. Time to write…
It came to me when I was driving my oldest daughter to school a couple weeks ago. It was cold and she was leaving on a class trip that morning. Coldest weekend so far this year and she was leaving for a class trip a few hours away.
All she wanted to take to fend off the cold was a sweatshirt. She told me over and over again that’s all she’d wear. Still, I insisted she bring a coat, my ski coat, because it was the warmest one in the house. I told her she’d be thankful for it, that she’d want it.
She didn’t agree.
So much so, I was pretty sure it would get left behind somewhere. In a car, at the hotel, at the school. She didn’t want it. It was cold, wet, and getting colder.
I could send the coat, but I couldn’t make her wear it. I couldn’t make her remember it. I couldn’t make her want it. As hard as it would be to force her to wear it even if I were physically with her, I wouldn’t be. So, I had no control over whether she would wear it or not. Just make it available and hope that she’d not only wear it, but actually bring it home.
Makes me think of how we, as moms, love our kids like no other. We have a lot of “power” when it comes to where we let our kids physically go when they are young. But, we can’t control everything and we can’t make all their choices for them. So much is out of our hands. We may “control” some of their activities, but we can’t control their hearts or minds. We only have so much. The love is infinite, but the control is minute.
As much as I hope she learns from my mistakes, forgives me for them, and chooses Jesus for herself, I can’t make her. Only pray and hope that she does and brings Him to her home one day.
All this from how little control I had over whether she wore the coat I sent or not.
Her life’s path is different from mine. God has a specific purpose in mind for her. My prayer is she follows IT. Him. And, that takes a lot of trust in her and Him from me.
We can take our kids to school and put friends in front of them, but we can’t make them choose them for themselves. We can allow phones or not, but we can’t control their friends devices. We can take them to church or not, but we can’t control their desire for God. We can make them food, but we can’t pick their food when they are away from us or make them like certain things. So much is theirs to control. So much more than I ever knew prior.
We can make them say they are sorry, but we can’t make them mean it or truly forgive. We can’t make them stay faithful or pick their spouse. We can’t control their spouses hearts or actions either.
I can send a coat, but I can’t make you wear it.
I can’t make you value yourself. Just hope and pray you do. I can’t put Jesus in your heart. Only pray you do.
I hope, as scary as this may sound to us moms, that it also helps us relieve the coat of all the pressure. There’s a lot we can do for our kids, but so much that we can’t. So much will be between them and God alone. Their own choices and journey, just like we have ours.
All I can do is the best I can at all of the above, pray some of it rubs off, and that they have grace for me in the bad stuff too.
I heard after the trip that she not only wore the coat but was so thankful she had it. Made me smile and strengthened my resolve that I sent it regardless of her resistance. I high fived myself in my mind. Go, Mom!
I gave birth to you and carried you, but He formed you and gives you life to this day.
I can wear my coat and hope you do too. But, I can’t control your heart. Only keep turning it over.
After all, He’s your Savior. I’m just your mom.