Navigating through this season of having adult children can be quite challenging and sometimes disheartening as well. It takes courage and wisdom because this uncharted territory of raising teens has more questions than answers. This stage of having teenage and adult children who are independent and self-sufficient, which is a good thing, is less demanding in some ways because these adult children are very independent living out their lives as they should. We rejoice in their abilities and yet grieve because the simpler days of happy kids playing at home is gone forever. Frankly, the sad truth is that our kiddos don’t need us that much anymore. I guess this is the test of good parenting…the fact that one day you are out of a job. In light of this, the companionship that was an everyday thing is not always present, and the nagging question that haunts me at 3a.m. is one that has become a persistent prayer of mine. Lord, how can these relationships with my sons be preserved? How can my husband and I keep our family close and connected? Is it possible to keep the hearts of our precious children during this transitional time? Is the closeness that we once shared gone forever?
In the still of the night, my mind wanders and I ponder…surely my children must have fond memories of all of the happy ordinary homeschooling days as I do? The days of learning to read and write…the days of picture books and then chapter books. The days of learning to swim and ride bikes without training wheels. The days of singing and dancing in the kitchen in the evenings while we waited for dad to come home. Cooking together, the laughter, the tears, the learning and discovering accomplished around the kitchen table. These precious memories are ones that I want to continue making and yet I feel stymied these days. I have not figured out how to relate to these young men in a beneficial and authentic way. Is there a guide book for these unsettling years? Is there a book for dummies that I may reference? I’ve discovered on my own and from discussions with other parents that our older children often times do not even desire to walk down memory lane. Although preserving relationships is important to us parent types, our young men and women may not value this as much during their launching years.
Why is it that we often don’t want to spend time with those people who cherish us the most in the world aside from God? Don’t they want to share and talk about things with the folks who delight in them…who enjoy just hearing their voice…who are on their side….who are their advocates….their cheerleaders….their benefactors…their parents!!!
I have no answers these days. I used to have answers but life has made me insecure and I am not as confident as I was in my younger years. This I know. I have a friend who loves me. One who knows me completely. A friend who watches over me and even knows what I am about to say before I say it! As I was reading Psalm 139, I thought about one who knows and cares about me more than I would ever care about my children. As I delight in my children, my God delights in me. As I guide and direct my children, He guides me. As I wait patiently for my children to talk with me, my almighty God and friend waits for me to talk with Him. Sadly, I often do not want to talk to Him. I neglect Him. He knows me completely and knows all of my ways…my habits, my thoughts, my strengths and weaknesses. He knows when I lie down to rest, and when I awake, He is beside me . He knows the number of hairs on my head. He formed me in my Mother’s womb and chose my bones, my body type, my personality. He walks with me everywhere. I cannot escape from his love or concern. He is interested in all I do. This is too great for me to understand…it is too high! Oh Lord forgive me for not talking to you as much as I should. Oh Lord even more important than my relationship with my sons is our relationship. May that relationship be preserved forever! How precious are your thoughts unto me O God!
Psalm 139King James Version (KJV)
1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.