“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish Scientist and Inventor and Helen Keller
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States from 1933-1945
Yes, I needed two quotes this week to remind me that I can do this. Last week I wrote about being strong and facing those moments in parenting when you have to let go by multiplying love. Right?
Well, this week I am totally failing in that letting go thing. Laura, spoiler alert, your mom is still a control freak and I fail quite frequently!
Control, yes, those of us who think we are good at it have to have constant 2 x 4’s slapped across our foreheads reminding us we are NOT in control. As much as we would like to think we can be, should be, that it is our God-given right to be, our good and gracious God keeps giving us lessons, I mean opportunities to let go and let Him do everything.
For all my bravado last week in talking about Multiplying Love, I am failing miserably in the mom department through three time zones this week. I am embarrassed to say that I have spent the last three nights unable to sleep because I’m worried about one daughter spending the week on one coast, taking a college course, and the other daughter on the other coast driving through rain storms. Now after 26 years of being a mom, I KNOW God is in charge, I KNOW my children are adults, and I KNOW I simply cannot tri-locate to be everywhere. However, in my heart, late at night, there is a part of me that still thinks I can. And when I can’t, I worry. And when I worry, I don’t sleep.
So now it’s Wednesday and sleep deprived me is trying to work at my full time job in the church office, help teach at our family martial arts business because we are short handed this week, and still pretend that I am a fully functioning adult who won’t burst into tears at any given moment because she wants all her children closer to home.
It’s enough to send me over the edge wishing for life when my children were little and I worried about the fever one of them had.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor says, yet letting your children grow up, watching your parents get old and be lonely when one of them passes, is harder than I would have ever imagined. It’s during those nights, lying wide awake that I fear I will not be able to do this. Has any mother died from worrying too much? Or is it just a cumulative thing, hence the gray hair, wrinkles, heart conditions, stomach ailments that wear our bodies down? Why is it we can be so very good at letting God take care of things one moment and the next be right back worrying again in the next?
The human condition is constantly battling over this. We KNOW God loves us, and is in charge, yet we despair and worry, and think we can change things. That Mom power is so very powerful we can move mountains – literally!
Peace only comes when you become so worn out by crying, worn out from shaking your head at God saying “Come on, why can’t it be MY way this time?” Worn out from sheer exhaustion of willpower that still does not change anything because, guess what, that’s life. It is NOT perfect, or just the way you want it. No matter HOW HARD YOU THINK YOU CAN CHANGE THINGS.
I come from warrior women stock. My people descended from the nomadic Germanic tribes that came from the frozen north, invaded the Romans, and built a country or two. We sailed ships to coming to America looking for a better life for our children. We did those things. But in the end, we still cannot control everything.
Peace comes only when resignation, not in the sense of defeat, but in the acquiescence of our will to God’s will finally settles lightly upon our souls. It isn’t like a hammer, it doesn’t come suddenly. It floats down upon us like a feather, and like a balm, spreads the ointment of “just let it be.”
I keep thinking, okay, I get it. But as time goes on, I realize you never “get it” all the time. It’s a constant learning thing. Uggg…grow tired of lessons. I grow tired of growing… I read the Psalms in the Bible and I begin to understand that it’s not just me…it’s all of mankind…having to be molded and shaped…because it will never be MY will to be done…molded and shaped, fired and beaten, into tensile steel of love…multiplying love that will always win out in the end because God made me this way. He made me strong, and controlling. He made me a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend and in becoming great at all those things takes time, tears, patience and love. And the greatest of these is love.