April 6, 2009


So, I've been doing some reading. Unusual? No.

I love the written word and what it offers. I love that when writing, as opposed to speaking, we often have a sense of freedom and openness that is sometimes hindered by fear when speaking one on one. I love that the written word lasts and that because it lasts, more effort is (often, but not always) made when composing the words that will not fade and fly away as words spoken on the wind.


Some things have been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit through my reading these past couple of weeks. Some things on fear and leaving and cleaving, in particular. On love and life and the struggles we go through here on earth being but a blip on the eternal screen of our lives.

Fear. Oh, it can be consuming. Letting go can be overwhelmingly frightening. Completing the cycle--making it so hard to break free.

All those 'ifs' in life can be more than any one person is able to bear. In our language, 'if' is often followed by 'then'. If ____, then _____. Beth in all her wisdom broke this horribly complex cycle of fear down into a rather simple statement: If _____, then GOD. It's that simple. If anything, then GOD! God is King, he is all-powerful, he never leaves the throne! He is intimately involved in your life--he cares for every concern and fear.

I've started making a list of my 'ifs'. Those little fears that nag me throughout the day. I've also ended each of those 'ifs' with, 'then God . . .' Maybe it's that if _____ happens, then God will reveal Himself in a new way; or, then God will lift me up; or, then God will use me in a way I didn't think possible; or, then God will simply hold my hand as I walk through the valley. If _____, then God.


On leaving and cleaving. This sweet blogger has (in her archives) some wonderful posts and links regarding leaving and cleaving. Now, this is something I thought I really understood, and in one sense I do.

I understand God's plan for children to leave their parents and cleave to their spouse second only to God himself. I get that. I do that. I love my husband so much more than I know how to express.

What the Holy Spirit has seen fit to reveal to me on this topic is the flip-side, the parent's side of God's plan for children to leave & cleave. That, as a parent, I need to be cautious not to fall into the trap of setting myself up as the ultimate authority. I need to prayerfully seek each day, not only to teach grace and love, but to teach our girl to always seek the Lord first.

Not me.

Not J.

We are ultimately not the ones in charge, in control. That control belongs to God alone.

After Him, J and I were chosen by God to be earthly leaders and teachers for Pickle--to teach her how to submit to the authority of God through Godly discipline.

To teach her that when God reveals to her the man he's chosen for her, that her responsibility will be to him, second only to God himself. As her parents, it will be our responsibility to step back and allow her to create her own family, her own life.

Does this mean I believe that parents don't have a role in their adult children's lives? No. Not at all. It does mean that I believe when our children are grown, our responsibilities change. We are no longer meant to be the authority figure, the one who makes the decisions for our children's lives. Should we offer counsel? When counsel is sought, yes. What about the honor and respect we are commanded to give our parents? There is a line that must be drawn between respect for our parents and cleaving to our spouse. In my research/reading, I came across this Biblical explanation.

Whew. I certainly don't have all the answers on this and am still wallowing around in this one--it seems so far away, yet I know it will be here in the blink of an eye.

I want to do this parenting thing right. I want to honor that God trusted us with this precious life. I want to be an example of faith and submission--to my God and my husband. I want to grow with our girl in faith. I want this to be a journey, with Heaven as our final destination.

I firmly believe our girl is simply on loan to us from our Heavenly Father. She's not ours to keep, just ours for a season. To lead and to guide.