Have you ever lain in bed at night and found yourself praying for your children or another loved one in your life?
After a day filled with teen ‘tude from one boy and some extreme emotion that morphed into choices that left the other boy regretting how he’d handled himself, I felt unsettled. Part of me questioned when we would move beyond this stage of angst and grappling to our sons being at peace with who they are.
I suspect many of us wrestle with being at peace with who we are. Even in my fifties, I have days . . . But God.
There are times when I feel like I’m waiting for the happily ever after to show up in my boys’ lives.
. . . When they will be functioning, happy adults who walk closely with Jesus.
. . . When we’ll see the fruit of our labor, love, agony, and prayers rewarded with them being well-adjusted in life and in relationships.
But the truth is? None of us is guaranteed a happily ever after.
When our children grow into adulthood, they’re still going to have struggles. They’ll still grapple with lies from their childhood, with wounds that came through their infancy and growing up years.
They’ll still deal with some of the conditions they’ve ignored or given into. Some of these they can control. Other conditions they must learn to navigate and understand that it’s a part of their make up.
Until they can accept how they were designed, they’ll struggle with who they are.
I’ve heard that when males’ frontal lobes fuse, somewhere between 25-28 years old, things make more sense. They think more logically, maturely. They make more wise choices.
But as the mom in this family, I can’t just bide my time, counting my hours, and hoping there will be a magical day when our sons figure it all out.
It’s possible some things will never be completely understood by our boy-men.
Why things happened that formed them into the men they become.
Why they were born with certain conditions and tendencies.
For me to wait passively for that “happily ever after day” is to neglect the journey of now.
If I keep the mindset that “some day” it’s all going to work out, I miss out on the gifts God’s given me in living each day—through the struggles and through the joys—with our sons.
No, they will not turn out the way I envisioned when they were younger. They will be stronger men in some ways, and possibly weaker men in other ways. I can’t live in fear of the reality that they will disappoint me at times.
I need to embrace the truth that, for now, I have the gift of time with them. I get to feed into their lives, speak truth to their hearts in those moments when they’re open.
I get to be intentional in how we interact together. I get to be one who teaches them about loving well.
I get to be one who points them to Jesus. And prays for them. And speaks words of life when their hearts hurt.
Will they accept the idea of walking closely with the Lord? Man, I hope so. But that’s not my choice. The decision to surrender to His love and His guiding in their lives is one they alone can make.
As they mature, I’m beginning to understand that they’ll still struggle in their adult years. They’ll probably need Hubs and me in different ways than they do now.
Their “happily ever after” won’t look the way I pictured. And that’s okay. God knows the plans He has for each of our sons, and my role is not to wish away today, but to encourage our sons in each moment.
My role is to point them to their Creator and pray like crazy as they step closer to adulthood.
Instead of wishing and waiting for my version of “happily ever after” I must be intentional in my relationships with our boys and watch what God does.
What about you? What lessons have you been learning from those closest to you? How are you intentional in relationships?