I won't go listing things. For any if you who have been faithful readers, you're aware of the messes in my personal life. Kids wandering, extended family upheavals, and tears, lots of tears.
It's seemed as soon as one situation has sort of settled, another one takes its place. Exhausting. My shoulders stay constantly tensed up, and I feel like a hunted animal, always aware of impending threats. On alert.
An acquaintance at church had asked for prayer recently for a grown son. I don't know details, but he had had to be hospitalized. I asked her yesterday how he was, and she looked down and said it was an on-going problem. Her daily pain is the fact that several years ago she lost her youngest son to a fatal asthma attack. Now, that's some stuff. I told her that I thought parenting our older children was harder than when they were younger, and left it at that.
Call me naive, but I figured raising our kids in a Christian home with having prayer as a family, witnessing most of them surrendering their lives to Christ, trying to set a good example, eating together and going to church would safeguard us to some extent, but I've been proved wrong. We prayed over our kids, tried to keep open dialogues, but still, the world and all its tantalizing delights snuck in.
Pardon me, but our track record, up to this point, sort of stinks.
Eight kids. Three trusting the Lord, 3 wandering and two who have good intentions, but unable to stand firm. I can relate to them. It's hard, sometimes to be consistent. Not good odds on the whole, but thankfully He's not done with us yet.
I need to focus my praise on my God-loving, fearing children, and not allow the wanderers to overwhelm me. Steal my joy.
I will say this, though. With the latest situation, God has, of course, proved faithful. And if I'm honest, the relationship He and I are having now, directly related to me standing full in His shadow, is maybe the sweetest ever. But it took a child wandering far away.
To be thankful for wayward children? Yes. For God being able to use ANYTHING to draw us into closer fellowship? Yes again.
I'm learning to Pray and Wait. Repeat. Pray and Wait.
The story isn't done, and as our priest told my husband recently, it seems some children have to experience tough times before realizing their need for God.
Reminder to self: I'm not a failure. My children have free will, and while we did, what we considered our best, we are definitely fallible. Thankfully He isn't.
Hang in there.