T-minus 48 hours till we relocate to another state for my husband’s job. I have been pretty peaceful till today. The house was a wreck and I hadn’t gotten a lot of packing done yet. The thoughts of the people we were leaving behind choked me up. Especially the tender thoughts of my 17 year old who just found out that she was pregnant. I feel so torn. I want to just hold her and have her be 5 years old again. Other times I want to cry for her, because she is losing out on precious teenage years. Years where you grow and find out who you are. Now, she has to figure it out quickly. There is a life coming into this world soon.
And is it wrong that at 37 I am not ready to be a grandma. Oh, how that word makes me questions so many things. I still have a son that is 7 years old at home. I am still raising my own children. And the what ifs …. keep on a rolling. The guilt and wondering if I did enough as a mom?? Sleep aludes me the last few nights as we get to ready to leave, as if the what ifs are going to swallow me whole.
“The Hardest Peace” by Kara Tippetts
As all of these thoughts mull around inside of me, I have been reading this amazing book about a mom my age that has developed cancer again for the second time. How she talks about loving the small moments. Even the ones that are hard. Those words rings in my ear with sweet redemption of remembering God’s forgiveness.
I don’t have to feel guilty or like I let my kids down. I am definetely not a perfect mom, but I give it all I have everyday. The rest is up to God. And as He reminds me, every soul has a free will in life to choose what they would like. To love a child even when its hard. To look past the choices and see their hearts. To know them on all levels. Then to just pray. Let go and pray.
“My child the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome
and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father”
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
So I hold on even tighter when the what ifs roll in, like a tide that wants to pull you under and toss you around. I pray knowing that the ultimate control is in your hands. The only prayer is to know that God is truly there for you, then to stop, and live for right now. We may not have tomorrow.
“Dear heart, the purpose of life is not longevity.”
The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts
But I beg to differ. I think about growing old with my husband. Seeing my kids get married. Holding my grand babies. Loving till I am really old. So in a sense these words make me really angry and yet they tug at my heart to wake up and see what is really important.
“What is the chief end of man?”
To know God and make Him known. To glorify Him in all that we do. Don’t we see that to do this we must love in a way that shouts, this may be our last day. Not in a hurried, scarred sort of way. No, in a way that says I am going to love all the moments in my life, good or bad, till I go home to heaven. Home where the streets are golden. Home, where the chains are broken. Home, to where we all belong.
As I read Kara’s story of losing her hair to chemo. Being so sick she couldn’t get out of bed. A mom with 4 kids at home. Yet, she finds grace in all the hard moments. The time to listen to her kids and love them, even when she is so tired that she lies in bed. She holds to each moment as if it were the most precious gift ever given her, even the moments that hurt.
“With that, I can also take note that sometimes when the dread enters, I’m not doing the hard work
of quieting my heart to listen. … He would walk with us and lift the dread. …. They steal joy, create
chaos and fear, and leave me utterly wrung out. Dread exposes my fear and weak faith and
failure to trust where my eternal security rests.”
The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts
The peace comes if I quiet my heart and listen. The fear subsides to a drop so small that I don’t even hear it anymore. The whatifs dissapate to a mere glimpse and then vanish. All I feel is peace. Jesus’s peace. A wonderful gift that He left us. A gift that we already have, if Jesus is in us.
Peace, is not a feeling due to a situation; but to a have peace in any situation.
“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all
that he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything that we can understand. His
peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.”
~ Philippians 4:6-7
So here is to welcoming day 10 this year on learning how to live in peace, with open arms. Knowing that I get to go with my daughter to her first ultrasound. And that I do not have to do this alone. God is right there with me loving me, so that I can love on her, even when it is hard.
What is holding you back from experiencing God’s peace?