“Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it….”
My mom used to say this to me…especially during the teenage years when I just couldn’t understand why things didn’t always go my way. I never could quite connect that though my wishes were one thing, it was my actions that led to blessings or consequences. When what I wished for didn’t quite meet my wants, I would lament at the “why”…
Why is this happening to me, why would she say that to me, why are you doing this to…me…
What word do you read most above in that sentence….is it “ME”? Oh dear, the centeredness of the teenage mind is second only to the rising and setting of the sun each day. As we are certain that will happen, the teen is also certain that they are the center of their universe too…At least I can confess with embarrassment and clarity that was true in this first person.
Now as an adult, I clearly can see the folly of that thinking, and I am pretty sure once one becomes a mother – instinctually all “me” disappears to the needs of our younglings… That said, as parents we can be even more centered on our children as we orchestrate life for them according to our wishes. I believe it was late in the ’90s that the term “helicopter mom” was coined. Admittedly, I am a recovering from this condition and have attempted to “land it,” as my younglings are now young men and I have recognized it is time to let them go.
Recently, I have been privy to several friends who are also dealing with the let go process of their offspring. One confessed to me… “It is hard. It is scary….and it is depressing”. Yup. I remember years ago I was speaking with a gal who was telling me she was letting her 8-year old go off to summer camp. I was flabbergasted. “Are you kidding me?” I demanded. “Isn’t he a bit young?” The child was going to be gone for 2 weeks! A mother of 5 children, she calmly responded to me, “We are raising them to leave the house, that is the job God gave us as parents.”
Woh. Lightbulb moment. ‘Tis true. Our children are not and should not be the center of OUR universe, because when that happens, it pushes God aside and makes those precious little bits of joy IDOLS. This should not be. I did a word search for this on the web and came up with a great cross-reference from Acts 17:11 Bible Study. Scripture says:
Exodus 20:3-4 (NIV) “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”
Meaning: God is the great iconoclast. Even good things can become idols, and while reveling and boasting seem good at the time, it is a grave disservice to idolize anything or anybody. The result is God’s wrath, on you and the idol. God will not be eclipsed.
Our children ARE good things. But they are a result of God’s wishes and will – not ours. Keeping them on the throne, pushes God off. Transversely, I have also learned that by building big fences around my kids with an “It’s okay God, I got this” attitude I am teaching my children to be trust in me alone to solve their problems, and that totally leaves GOD out of the picture and teaches them a lack of faith. NOT a good idea. My job is to train them up in the way they should go – for God – and then let them go.
This letting God and letting God has been a work in progress – whether it be my children, my personal issues, my marriage, my friendships and on and on. But seriously, God’s will is sovereign, His plans are better than our own and for the love of Pete, think of all the intermissions that occur in our/their lives because we can’t get out-of-the-way! How many times have I prayed for God to “fix it”, whatever the situation. Then when the timing or the result isn’t right, I go back to my “I got this” attitude and try to fix it my way – resulting in an unholy mess.
A wise woman told me once God answers prayers in three ways: No, Slow or Go.
If His answer is NO, then there is good reason. If it is true (which it is) that He knows the plans He has for me and mine – what is the point in forcing my will over His? He knows what is good for me/mine. I need to just leave it there. Invariably I end up thanking God for “unanswered” prayers.
If it the answer is SLOW – it is a blessing in progress so that I/we can learn patience while trusting in Him. What a wonder in watching as His answers unfold, no matter how slowly.
If God answers GO, then He will open the RIGHT doors, so there is no need for me to wish and wonder – afterall, “He’s got this.”
So back to my mom’s admonition… “Be careful what you wish for…” Rather than wish, I shall be careful what I pray for as I learn that in God’s will and timing…He will decide if/how I get it. “Father God, I pray for you to show me how to get out of the way – and bring my heart, my desires and my trust in line with your way ….and yes Father, even for my younglings, I pray, ‘Thy Will Be Done’.”
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23
Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112