Perfect Parenting

I am often reminded, in my stupor of personal wallowing, that the fact that I have plans for my future is of no consequence to God.  It’s not that He doesn’t let us choose our future, it’s that He is, after all, a Father.

When my college-age daughter comes to me with a plan that I believe will ultimately not be good for her I have two choices; I can support her decision-making process (even while telling her how I feel) or I can tell her I know better than she does and that she will do it my way or not at all.  I’m sure you can imagine that I would like to do the latter most of the time!

And yet our relationship has been steadily built on the premise that she is an individual and, as such, may want to do things differently than I would do it.  Truth be told she has made some very good decisions and I’ve been proud of her.  However, for the most part, I know her potential, her weaknesses and her strengths and I know what she should probably be doing so I could save her a lot of time and effort by just insisting on my course.

Here’s the glitch though.  She may end up in the same place I would’ve sent her but if she doesn’t make it there on her own she will have missed the opportunity to grow in that area.  What could be the most important thing she does can quickly turn into the thing she resents because it wasn’t her idea in the first place.

I think God is that parent when we try to make our own plans.  He listens, He nods, He celebrates our willingness to think for ourselves and try new things, He laughs with us and cries with us when it doesn’t go as planned and He could say, “I told you so” but He never does.  He actually knows us better than we can ever imagine, what we’re here for and what is best for us and yet He allows us to come to that conclusion all by ourselves.

Dee Shihady © 05/09/16

Father / Heavenly Father

http://crystaladoptions.comA little girl visited my daughter a few nights ago.  They’re best friends. She claims to be an atheist but I’m confused about how anyone younger than sixteen knows if there is a God or not for sure.  I remember when I was that age and thought I knew though.  It must be possible to have that strong of a feeling to the contrary.

We spent the evening together having a rare teen-adult connection during conversation where she blurted out that her parents were not very kind to her.  She recounted some stories that made me hurt for her and, even if only remembered wrongly, I still recognized as life-shaping.  This is a girl, I kept thinking, that will turn into a woman who questions everything about the relationships she is in.  She will wonder if, when he says he loves her, if he really does.  She will second-guess her best friends (as she already does) and she will wonder if there is anyone who finds worth in her, even as she painstakingly dresses for another date or business meeting.

And this is a girl who can’t believe in God.  She could never believe in a Father in Heaven who loves her because she doesn’t even believe that her parents do.

I have thought about this for days.  I mull it over as one of the strangest but truest thoughts I’ve had in a while.  The question seems so obvious to me and yet so vague: Does our relationship and belief in a Heavenly Father have anything to do with our dysfunctional or trusting relationships with our own earthly parents?  And, regardless of whether or not those perceptions of our relationships are actually true or not, did it shape the way we formed our bond with God?

Does the man who spends his childhood with a father who is never home believe there is a God but that He doesn’t really participate in the daily lives of his children?  Does the woman who spent her childhood lost in the sea of children of a large family grow up to think that God loves her but never notices the things she does?  Does the child who is criticized often believe that they will never be good enough to go to heaven?

I’m starting to think a lot about my own parents these days and my perception of them.

To Trust Again

(c)2012 Waltzingon Photography
(c)2012 Waltzingon Photography

A dream fulfilled.

An unspoken reminder that we are not the masters

that make all possible,

but only the pupil.

 

Anticipation.

How we dread the feelings that it “sounds to good to be true”.

Oh, please – let it be true!

 

And somewhere

inside my always-questioning soul I reach for you

and ask that you will forgive me…

my ever-doubting heart.

 

You are who you are.

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