I was going to follow up my previous post with talking about perfect parent syndrome. It is one of the chapters in the book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. Actually they talk about Stock Family syndrome and how it starts with wanting to appear perfect, especially as the perfect parent. I was going to talk about how I struggle with wanting to be the perfect parent.
But my life the last week has been more about my kids. One in particular. My son. My funny, athletic, tender-hearted, hugging, turning into a teenager son. About how I want him to be more normal and how my faith shakes.
At least for a little bit.
We had his latest IEP meeting (Individualized Education Plan) and when we got the results from his reading assessments for the year, it hurt. Practically no improvement this year. At the start of the school year, I was so hopeful and excited to see what God was going to do this year. I was believing Him for big things. For big improvements. And apparently, for something that isn't in His timing and plan. At least, not now.
Every time I have to go to an IEP meeting, or meet with a teacher regarding his reading, I come out heart-sick, angry and let down.
The truth is, I feel all those things toward God.
As a parent, to watch your kid struggle with something just breaks your heart, but to put on top of it something that feels like misplaced faith in a God who you believe in and love so much, sometimes it just feels too much to bear.
I think, "Wouldn't it be better to give up believing God is in this than to believe that He is choosing to allow this for my son?"
I struggle mightily with the fact that my son has something that I can't help him past. That my role in all this is to support and encourage and pray, but not to fix.
In the way that He always does, God listened. He acknowledged everything I was feeling. How do I know? I just do. I feel it inside. I feel like I have been heard. I feel like God wants me to let it out, to share everything with him, even the ugly stuff that I am scared to say, but can't hold in. Even in the midst of being angry and hurt, I still feel like he wants me to bring it all, everything I have, blasting with both barrels or crying out a broken heart.
And I do.
Blast away with both barrels and cry. Accuse him of disinterest. Of being unfair.
After I had had a day to work around my anger and remind myself that God loves my son, and is working out something in his character that will glorify the Lord, that will show my son the sovereignty of His plan and His love for my boy, I picked up my current Bible study for our ladies group.
Now, I am not going to tell you I was feeling particularly excited to get into my study. We are studying David and I felt about as far from the man after God's own heart as I could get. I still wasn't particularly interested in spending time with God yet, but I have made a commitment to do the study and so I opened the pages and grudgingly began to fill in the blanks and read the Scriptures noted inside.
And wouldn't you know it, there God was. I had no idea what the study had in store for us this week, where the author would take us, or what Scripture would be applied. But guess what? God did.
We are doing Beth Moore's study "David: Seeking a Heart Like His". This is what I read:
"When we wait on God, He gives supernatural strength and accomplishes the inconceivable. did you notice how God gave David the vision for the temple but his offspring was to build it? God can entrust a vision or an idea to us that may be ours to pray about and prepare for, but not participate in directly....."
A couple of paragraphs later I read this:
"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32
In His sovereignty, He knew exactly what I would be struggling with, and He knew exactly what I would be reading. I tend to think that he was sitting there, waiting for me to catch up with Him. After I read what I read, I had the distinct feeling that God was saying,
"You, my daughter, forget who I AM. I couldn't wait for you to get here. I knew that we needed to meet right here and I wanted you to see me show up right on time... like you just said I never do. I love you, and am ALWAYS involved in everything that hurts you, that makes you cry, that tries to pull your heart from ME. You are never alone in your hurt. And what you seem to forget so easily is that I love your son more than you will ever be able to understand; I am with him through all of this, every second of it. Every step of struggle, my hand is on his shoulder."
In that little section of study, God showed me that I was not waiting on him, that I was wanting to see things done my way, in my timeline.
He was reminding me that He will only move in His way and His time because they are good and perfect, and my plans are... well.... not.
He sees so many things that I never will, has planned things I know nothing about. And I tend to forget that He loves my boy so much more than I do and that I will never comprehend the depth of it.
He reminded me that I need to keep praying for and preparing for what God is going to do in my son's life, but what God is doing with and in Him is between the two of them alone.
And he reminded me that He had given up His own Son just so He could do these things for my son.
So, no post about perfect parenting today, just an honest glimpse into how God shows up to comfort a heart that is doubtful, angry and hurting.
He is so good. All the time.
Even when I tell Him he isn't, he patiently waits for me to figure it out.
And then we start again on this Walk of Faith between a Sovereign God and a fickle, doubting faith-girl.