As I drove home from church today there was one question just ringing in my mind: How did we get here?
Where's here? Well, there are several "heres":
My daughter will be in middle school this fall! And the youth group. And she wears my clothes. And my shoes. And she's almost as tall as me. What in the world!?!?! Wasn't it just yesterday I was finding out we were very unexpectedly pregnant? We were in TX with friends while on a break during the Bibleman tour back in late summer 2005. We were visiting friends (Kevin and Lauren Allen) and the guys had gone to Schlitterbahn for the day, so Lauren and I were at home. And I thought I just better take a pregnancy test before taking the next round of birth control pills. And lo and behold it was positive! Then I realized that my Kevin would kill me if he found out I took the test without him (I honestly didn't think it would be positive or I would have waited) so Lauren and I went out and got another test for me to take and pretend to be surprised with Kevin (see, all those theatre hours in college really did pay off!) I never told him that wasn't the first test I took or that Lauren knew I was pregnant before he did.
And now she's starting the youth group and looks older than most of the high school girls (thank you, grief!) I am so not ready for this. Not ready for the talks about boys and sex and broken hearts she'll have along the way. I am not ready for the times when she just needs a daddy to tell her she's beautiful and he's proud of her, but he's not here to do those things. I am not ready for the new friendships and hard times and all that growing up brings. I feel so inadequate for the task. Speechless. Helpless.
But, I must remember that I can trust her life to the God who created it. He is faithful. He is loving. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He will see every tear, make a way when there seems to be no way, see to every need. No matter her age. Or height. Or shoe size. Or broken heart.
My son is quickly becoming a little man. I have no idea what to do with a little man! I come from a family of all girls! Thankfully, Trail Life is a huge help here, but, despite my desperate pleas, I cannot convince them that they also should just go ahead and teach about the body and its changes and all that jazz (and I am only kidding, they totally should NOT teach that!) Of course, I was planning on Kevin being here to teach all that boy stuff to him, and he did do the initial teaching shortly before he died, but the bulk of it is left to me. And I already feel anxious about it. Yikes! How did I end up here?!?! I need a how-to, step-by-step book for this one. I have had some awesome books to talk through all this with Sophie, but where are all the same kinds of books for boys? They don't exist, I tell you! Shame! (I picked that one up in South Africa. You'll probably hear it a lot!) Could someone write something quickly so I can have some help?
But again, I can trust his life to the God who created it. He is still faithful. He is still loving. He is still all-knowing and all-powerful. He will see every tear, make a way when there seems to be no way, see to every need. No matter his age. Or height. Or mounting body odor. Or broken heart.
My children wear me out. Whether it's school or just life, they are tiring to me. This hasn't always been the case, but is yet another casualty of grief. I begged God this year to let me send them to school outside of our house. The teachers would be better. The education would be better. We'd all probably be happier. He said no. I cried. Then He led me to some new curriculum and is holding my hand the whole way. My heart races when I think of starting lessons. My head pounds and starts to hurt. I can hardly breathe. But I know that obedience is the only option.
I feel like such a parent fail that even having a conversation with my kids makes me need a nap. They have so.many.words. All.day.long. It raises my blood pressure and makes me want to crawl under the covers thinking about it. What a horrible parent! I love my kids. They are sweet and smart and silly. They make me laugh and cry. I HATE GRIEF for doing this to me. It's slowly getting better, but it's also getting really, really old.
But, I know that I can trust all of our lives to the God who created each one of us. He is faithful. He is loving. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He will see every tear, make a way when there seems to be no way, see to every need. No matter the blood pressure. Or the lack of energy level. Or the fear of screwing up my kids.
God is bigger than any mistake I might make. He's bigger than any wrong words I can say. He's bigger than the lack of an earthly father. These things I have to repeat constantly or the fear and anxiety win. The craziness gets the upper hand. The enemy gets the victory in that battle.
Oh, Father, keep me calm. Focus my heart and mind and eyes on You. When the fear and anxiety creep in, speak Your words of truth loudly to my heart. Drown out the enemy's noise. Remind me that You alone are the anchor in the storm.