I was sitting at my kitchen table eating dinner with my youngest daughter who is now eight years old. She is the youngest of my four kids and on this particular night we were on our own since the other three were off with extra curricular activities. As I sat there watching her eat I began to wonder if I was doing what I needed to with her. Was I teaching her the most important thing? I have been so busy in her little life with her siblings that I really haven’t had the time I wish I had. I have ten years left with her and then she is off to college.
What is the one thing I want to her to know when she leaves? What is the one thing I would want her to know if I died tomorrow? What is the one thing I would like her to achieve? I know these are deep questions to ask yourself over dinner with a little girl but they are questions I think every parent should ask themselves at some point before it’s too late.
I sat there pondering my own questions. The one thing that I would like her to know before she goes off to college is that God loves her, faults included and will never leave her because he gives her more grace than she could possibly need to cover any mistakes she may make.
The one thing I would want her to know if I were to die tomorrow…..
That I loved God more than anything in this world and to know that I had an intimate relationship with my Savior.
The one thing I would like to see her achieve…..
I long to see her develop a personal relationship with God that will carry her through life’s worst trials.
Nothing else really matters.
If she goes to college or goes to work. Does she get married or have kids? Or how about the harder things like does she drink, smoke or do drugs? What if she screws up and gets arrested or even pregnant. It doesn’t really matter because I know that God will use the negative to draw her closer to him and the positive to bless her.
I hear of how some parents have a very difficult time “letting go” of their children. Letting go was something I had to do when I had my first child nearly 17 yrs ago. I remember that night clearly as if it were yesterday. It was my first night home from the hospital and I was up feeding her in the middle of the night. As I sat there looking down upon her tiny little hands, listening to the sweet sound of her breathing I began to wonder what on earth was I thinking? I had wanted her so badly and now that she was here, I wanted her to die. The thought mortified me at the time but it made perfect sense…..Here was this baby that I waited in anticipation for nine months and now I had fallen in love with her more than I could have ever imagined. I wanted her to be safe and I knew that the world was not safe. In fact I knew that it was a guarantee that she would suffer. I would not be able to protect her and I loved her so much that I couldn’t stand the thought of watching her in pain. I prayed that night and asked God to please take her home before anything could happen to her. I didn’t want her to suffer and I was willing to lose her if that meant she would go to heaven.
God answered my prayer that night. It was not the answer I wanted but it was an answer.
He said “Monica think about how much you love this child…How much more do you think that I love her? Do you not think that the one thing I want for her is to come home? Do you really think that I want to see her suffer? It is not your right to decide when she comes home. She is not yours she is mine and I have claimed her from conception just as I have claimed you. I have entrusted you with her for this moment in time and I will protect her because I know you can’t. I am trusting you with her now so I need you to trust that I know what I’m doing”
That night I let go of all my rights to her and handed them over to God. I did it with my other three children before they were ever born. I don’t look at them as my children but as little souls that God has entrusted me with. I gave all control to God and promised God that I would do my best to do that one thing……To teach them to love God.
So as I sat there at the dinner table with my youngest I was questioning whether I was really doing my best to teach her to love God. Watching her eat I asked her “Christy who is your best friend?”
She looked at me and nonchalantly said “Elise is Mommy” she paused and said “no! no! she is my second bestest friend”
Curious I was looking at her expecting her to name one of her friends from school. But she surprised me and said “God is my first best friend!”
I smiled at her and said “your right honey he is the best friend you could possibly have”
I said nothing more.
I may not have had a ton of time to spend with her reading bible stories but what I have done is lived it out for her. How I have chosen to live my life has had a bigger impact on my children than anything else. She went to VBS this last week and one of the things the teacher there had her do was write a note telling your Mom what one of her talents are.
I have posted pictures of the little notes I have received from her because they are so much sweeter when you view them in her handwriting.
Simple words that told me what her heart sees
Simple words are all it takes!