Friday, January 24, 2014

Regret in Parenting

Regret is a terrible nasty thing!  Tomorrow my oldest turns 15. I don't know why this number is affecting me this way, but it is. Maybe it's because I once heard that by the time they reach 15 you've pretty much poured into them all you can. At this age they begin to pull away and be even more vocal about how THEY want to live THEIR life. The opportunities to influence their decisions and choices becomes increasingly diminished. Maybe it is the thing I have feared the most is becoming a reality. The fear that I wouldn't be a good mom to her and she would hate me. That she would end up on a counselor's couch one day because of me. That her relationship with God would not be strong because I didn't represent his heart to her. That she won't have healthy relationships because of me.

These are the thoughts racing through my mind as I sit here on the eve of her birthday. Her birth day. The day I had waited for. For 9 months, I had hoped and prayed she would be healthy. I was excited to hold her, rock her, feed her, dress her up and even change her diaper. I was 21 and full of expectation. Then her birth day. She was finally here. Perfect, healthy little girl. A clean slate. Innocent.

This is where regret begins to wreck havoc on me. This morning I was looking through old photos of her as a child and I was overwhelmed with regret. Oh how I WISH I could go back to my 21 year old self and knock some sense into that girl! I was not prepared for the emotional whirlwind my daughter brought into my life. I did not possess the tools that would be needed to navigate the delicate matters of her heart......or mine. What has ensued since her birth has personally sent me (and her) to the darkest places I have ever known.

I am thankful that Papa God's GRACE does not depend on me. There is nothing about my parenting that could be deemed worthy of His grace. I have shown very little grace in how I parented my daughter, yet He in His grace pursued me and I believe He is pursuing my daughter even today. I want to love her THAT way.....I want show her grace even when she has done nothing worthy of it. I want to love her even when she doesn't love me back.  I want her to know it doesn't depend on her. I want her to know that my love for her is more powerful than her worst mistake.

Regret is a terrible nasty thing. I know I shouldn't regret. God redeems all things.

.....I guess today I realize we are STILL on that redeeming journey.

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