Dying From the Inside Out


Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Death of a Dream

Poor choices made by our children are not about THEIR relationship with God as much as it is about OUR relationship with God. Raising our children to serve God is everything. It’s our whole life. It’s the most important thing to us as moms. What do we do when we see our children making poor choices? How do we handle watching them reject what we have worked so hard to teach them their whole lives?

What does it mean when your dream dies? The Bible tells of the Shunammite Woman in 2 Kings Chapter 4: Elijah tells her she is going to have a son, which God fulfills her dream and gives her a son. One day that son/dream curls up in his mother’s lap and dies and there she is holding her dead dream in her arms. Elijah lies on top of him, and prays, and the son comes back to life. What is the point of that? Why put the woman through that exercise? Why did God choose to put the woman through the death of her son? It may be that if God gives us a dream and the dream dies, God may want to see what is more important to us – the dream or God, our children or Him?

God wants us to let go of our dream of godly kids. Why would God want us to let go of our dreams? Anything that we are not willing to let go of is an idol. Our children can become idols in our lives, which is a sin. Our role of motherhood can become an idol that defines us, rather than finding our identity in our relationship with Christ Jesus. We work so hard to make sure our children never have the opportunity to miss the high mark of living for Christ. We run all across town to avoid them going to public school. We drive junk cars so we can afford Christian education. We put aside our own desires for years so we can home school them. We make sure our children are at church every time the doors are open. We pay for youth camp, mission trips, and worship camps.

I am just now learning how to wait on God. What does that look like for me? Well, busyness ends as my role of mother, nurturer, taxi driver, chef, and all the many roles that come with the title “Mom”, that require so much of my time and energy cease to exist.

As I watched my child hurt, sometimes due to this fallen, sin-filled world we live in, I saw that other pain is caused by their own poor choices.  I spent some time hurting, just hurting. I lacked motivation to do much. I would spend time sitting in the living room, looking out the window praying, and thinking. Sleeping at night became more and more difficult.

After a season of just hurting, I started reading the Bible. No kid needed a ride. No kid needed a meal fixed. No kid needed my “awesome words of wisdom” (said sarcastically). No kid needed to be picked up from school or dropped off at school. I did not even bother to make a “To Do List”. It took a while, but the only way to describe it was that I was giving up. I was giving up on trying to make things different. I was dying. I was dying to the belief that I had the ability to change my child’s heart. I was dying to the lie that I was God in their life. I was dying to MY AMBITION, MY WILL, MY HOPES, and MY DREAM.

God could have spared me the pain of watching them make poor choices, but he didn’t. It was not about God and my child, it was about God and Me: my ambitions, my dreams, my misplaced sense of identity and value.

Anything that I am not willing to let go of is an IDOL and I am in sin. They went kicking and screaming up on the altar and now they were dead. I did not want to parent any more. I did not want to give anyone any advice ever again. I wanted to let everything go and rest in God alone.

I often would fall asleep listening to the Bible playing. It would help me get to sleep. My husband and I read the Bible together at night when he gets home from work and we pray together before we fall asleep at night. We pray every night for our children.

I am still in the stage of giving up, and dying, and reading God’s word and praying. However, as I laid my dreams at the feet of Jesus, He has picked them up. I have seen a change in the heart of my children. They are all serving God and living for him today, not because of anything I have done, all because of everything God has done. This story is to be continued. God has not yet shown me how the new me is going to live. As I die to the idol of my children, I live with less anxiety in my life. I am just now discovering what I have been missing all along.

The impact doesn’t happen when we are pursuing impact, the impact happens when we are pursuing God.

The most important thing is not my work; the most important thing is pursuing God. Hold everything loosely except God. When I was finally ready to put everything on the altar and become completely broken, admitting that I cannot fix things, it was then that He was able to rebuild me and my children stronger and better for his glory. I am here humbly declaring God’s sovereignty!

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About Professional Parenting

Wife, mother, motivational speaker, author, counselor and teacher. I have 3 adult children and a husband of 27 years. For the past 13 years I have served the youth and their parents at Liberty Church in Marietta Georgia. I loved everything about being a mom: I loved the terrible twos, and the terrifying teens, and the cake in my hair, and the spilled punch. I loved the chaos, the noise, the craziness of tons of kids. It was everything I wanted in my life. I loved that constant overwhelming feeling of someone being completely dependent on me as well as that joyful, aweful feeling of watching that same someone just 18 years later leave me and go off in the world on their own. Interests: * Christian * wife * mom * child training * pre-teens * teenagers * youth group * young girls * young women * seasoned sisters Favorite Books: * "Praying for Your Adult Children" By: Stormie Omartian * "Life on the Edge" By Dr. Dobson (Note: This was required reading for my kids when they turned 13.)
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