One of the most important lessons being a mom has taught me is how to let go and trust in God. It started with our oldest daughter, born severely disabled, destined to be total care for her entire life. There was nothing I could do to “fix” her. I could and did take her to therapy and follow up at home, I could and did take her to all the specialists that we could find to have her looked at, poked, prodded, studied and evaluated, all to learn next to nothing about what the cause was of her disability. For years our lives were a series of doctor visits, medical tests, evaluations and new therapies to try, some of them helped a bit, some had no effect, and some were frustrating beyond words.
All of this taught me to let go, to trust that God had a plan for my daughter, and that if I were trusting I would see His will play out in her life. So, I trusted, I believed that God can and does use everything for good, even this. I was rarely sad about it, but when I was, I took that to God and told Him. I was rarely frightened, but when I was I took that to God and told Him. I did pray for Him to heal her, to fix her, to take away this struggle, to ease the burden she carried, to ease her pain, and mine. I did pray to Him, I told Him how I did not like this disability, that I wanted to have my daughter but to be able to do with her the things that had filled my dreams before her birth.
I wanted to be able to walk beside her, holding hands and talking about her day, her dreams. I wanted to watch her dance and sing and take the world by storm. I wanted to tuck her in at night, and say prayers and share that quiet moment before sleep. I wanted to see her walk, and hear her talk on the phone with friends, and I even wanted her to roll her eyes when I was too much like a mom. I wanted to ask about the boy she liked, and to meet him at the door, and to one day watch her fall in love and get married. I wanted to one day hold her first child in my arms and share in that joy and knowledge. I wanted to have what I had dreamed about, what I had thought was the plan, because it had been my plan, my will. I learned to see the world through a different lens.
I learned to pray for God’s will, I learned to ask the Lord to strengthen me for the road ahead, and to stay beside me as I faced new challenges and trials. I learned to let go of my will and to embrace the will of God. I learned to accept the life I was given and to work hard to make the most of it. I learned to be her mother, and not the mother I thought I would be. Then came our sons and with each I learned again, how to be a mother. With my sons I was able to teach them to pray for God’s will, because I knew how. I was able to teach them that life isn’t always what you thought it would be, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good life. I taught them to seek God and to see God in the events and people that fill up every day life. I became a better mother, because I became a better child of God.
I learned that in faith, as in parenting, you are never done learning. This journey does not end here, on this world, in this life. I will never stop being amazed by the glory of God. I will never stop being amazed by the gifts that God bestows on me. I will never stop being grateful for the chance to be who he is making me. I am still learning, I am still working on letting go, there are still days when I want to take control, when I want to steer the boat, take up the oar and determine my path. There are still times when I am at a loss as to what I should be doing next, or where I am supposed to be going, because I am human I must constantly be reminded of who I am and how to better follow the will of God. I am better now, though, at letting go, at trusting in the goodness and blessings of God.