At the end of my last post, I wrote briefly about my relationship with my daughter. I have at times brought great pain to my daughter's heart. Even though it may not have been my intention at the time, or if I did intend to impress I didn't intend to crush, or even if I was completely oblivious to how my behavior was affecting her at the time, I hurt her. I did.
Now, as a mother, when I see my daughter hurting, I want to fix it. I want to rush in and be the hero and make everything better. But this time that can't happen.
It was my prideful belief that *I* was the one responsible for shaping my daughter's life that got us in this mess in the first place. It was my harsh over-correction, my anxious continual instruction, my insistence on grace and forgiveness from her for my short-comings while trying to "help" her grow up perfect, without all those pesky character flaws of mine- my, oh my- *I* created this mess in the first place.
My flesh wants to rush in and insist that everything be fixed RIGHT NOW. I should be forgiven and she should be healed and thriving instantly because I want it to be that way. As Queen sang, "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now."
I have read the words of other daughters where they spoke of having experienced similar desperation from their mothers when the moms were confronted with painful realities. Instead of just repenting, the moms wanted an instant and glorious fix. When that didn't happen, the temptation to go overboard and guilt daughter into making mom feel better about it all is just too much for some to resist.
Ouch. I see where those mothers are coming from, and why the guilt sends them from confession and repentance (a good place) over to self-pity and shame(a bad place). Mom is still walking in the flesh, still trying to make things perfect by what she says or does. When (good) repentance didn't produce the instant miracle mom wanted, she slipped over into trying to manipulate such an outcome. At least that is my temptation.
Only by the grace of God have I managed to escape that trap this time! For today, at least, I am safe. I am not going to meddle in God's work in my adult daughter's life. I am just going to keep loving her as she is right now- whether she makes wise choices, merely okay choices or truly rotten choices. I am not the Good Shepherd.
I have more to say, but I am out of time. Enjoy this link, which says so much of what I am trying to say here anyway. I think all parents should read this, even though it is not really written about parentins. If the shoe fits...
Parable of the Fig Tree post by Jonathan Stepp