“Mom, guess what I had on my desk during my [Algebra End of Course] exam?” Then my oldest daughter pulled out a rock painted green with the words ‘Jesus my rock’ painted in orange. She went further to tell us that many of her middle school classmates asked her if they could use her rock. When one of her younger sisters asked whether she shared the rock, my oldest daughter replied, “Of course I shared my rock. I can’t deprive anybody of Jesus.” Moments like that make the pushing, pulling, tugging, and fighting well worth it.
In Proverbs 22:6, we are urged to “Train up a child in the way he should go” with the promise that “when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Sometimes, this feels easier said than done. When the storms of life hit us from every direction, it is often hard to see the rainbow. I’ve often had moments when I wondered whether I was pushing too hard. Were my expectations too high for her? I wondered whether I was pulling my daughter in too many directions. Am I putting too much on her plate with school, church, sports, girl scouts, etc.? I felt like my words were constantly tugging at her ears but will little to no reaction. Those were the days when I’d say something but just get a blank stare in response. There were also the internal battles I fought about my ability to parent. I would have a little talk with God and tell Him, “I don’t think I’m cut out for this.”
As you would imagine, God did not entertain my doubts. Instead, I was always reminded of God’s promises that I am more than a conqueror, that He is with me always, that nothing is impossible for God, and several others. The experiences we have with our children are growing opportunities for us and them. They are opportunities for us to strengthen our character and faith. When we face those days that feel unbearable, we must remember that those days are a part of God’s plan. It’s our duty to be obedient to God’s plan. It may not always be easy, but we must simply train our children up in the right way. The rest is up to God.
What a team! We plant the seeds and He prepares the harvest. Think of it this way…we are blessed with a packet of seeds ready to be planted. In order for the seeds to grow into something beautiful that could potentially bless someone else, we immediately get to work. We pull up the weeds and create the right atmosphere for the seeds. We push the dirt around just hard enough to cover the seeds. We tug at anything that might block the flower from growing upright. When the time is right, the seed transitions. Eventually, the seed blossoms into a beautiful white rose, which is exactly what God intended it to become. There was no departure. If we’re obedient, we’ll see the fruits of our labor in due season.