This morning I woke at 6am to my obnoxious, but certain to wake me, alarm clock in mid-thought: “I need to bring a bucket and a roll of paper towels in the car tomorrow morning in case Emma gets sick on our way home from surgery…”
Apparently I am trying to prepare for every potential outcome, while sleeping! I feel less than rested, and I blame this “sleep prep”, although I think daylight savings has “cost” me some energy as well. Still, it got me thinking about how difficult it is to hold my children loosely. Last night one of our pastor’s spoke about joy coming through sorrow, and gave this example about how they trap monkey’s in Taiwan. (Stick with me, this is going somewhere) So, what they do to trap a monkey is build a box with slats in the top, big enough for a monkey to just slide his hands down into. Inside the box, they put a banana. I’m guessing the monkey can see the banana- that part was unclear, but I digress. Okay, once the monkey slides his hands down in the box and finds the banana, he grabs onto it, excited to have some “easy food”. And now he is trapped, because he can’t get his hands back out AND keep the banana. Amazing. Trapped, yet all he has to do is let go. Now, I’d like to believe I’m more clever than a monkey, but…..
So back to Emma. She will have surgery tomorrow morning. My “mom hat” will be firmly on all day. I’ve taken off work, bought soft foods, planned an easy dinner for tomorrow so I can give her most of my attention, made sure we’re stocked on Ibuprofen and as of 6 am this morning, have my mental list of what I need to bring in the car with us. Now after all that, my job is to let go? Really?
I have decided for me, trusting God with my kids comes down to believing that He loves them more than I do. AND He will allow suffering in their lives only to the extent that it is necessary to accomplish His good purpose in and through them. I hate that reality, if I’m honest. I don’t mind the suffering in my own life, nearly as much as I mind it for my kids. But, just as God allowed His own son to suffer on our behalf, I have to let go and trust Him with the pain and hurt my kids go through. A long time ago, when I was a very young mom, a wise lady in my life told me this: “It’s not our job to protect our children from all pain. It is our job to teach them where to go with that pain.”
So what about you? Where have you learned to let go with your kids? Where have you found yourself trapped, unable to let go?