Friday, July 18, 2008

Confessions of a Semi-Reformed Control Freak!

This is by way of a confession and a hope that someone else out there could benefit from my mishaps! I started to title this "Do You Find Yourself Depending On Someone Else's Happiness For Your Own?". Never in my wildest dreams did I consider that I would ever be or stand for becoming such a person. Yet, there it is. I have succumbed to a great temptation of motherhood.

During recent weeks, we have careened around on the carousel of our youngest's life, where he struggles to find his way, his faith, and his place in this world. Facing temptation, peer pressure, a truly unfair harrassment by two families at our church (which we are trying to get a handle on), and numerous challenges that are unique to the youth of this particular culture, which includes so many things that we of our generation, and those before us really didn't have so much issue with. And don't get me started on the whole impact of the romances that have scarred him and made him a cynic. It's hard some days to remember what a day was like at home just 2 or 3 years ago. Sometimes when I read my dear friends blogs I can't even make myself comment, because I don't know what to say to their successes and joys. I'm happy, truly I am, for them. I'm just not walking that out right now, and it can be painful to relate to their ability to live out the scriptures in a way that I have seemed to fall terribly short. You may remember a post where I spoke of following a recipe to make one thing, and instead opening the oven to find a completely different food product.


You mothers and even aunts, and grandmothers (God bless you) will relate when I say that when your child, niece, nephew or grandchild is cut, you bleed with them. When they struggle, you feel pain, with them. When they fall, you long to pick them up, and help set them aright. Wish they were like weeble-wobbles. That is my biggest problem. Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down. I seem to fear the falling down the most. I would spare him the horror of a life lived other than what he knows to be true. To whom much has been given, much is required. That weighs on me. You want them to understand the stability and confidence, the completetion and contentment that will ONLY be found in relationship with the 1 Friend and Family member WHO WON'T Let You Down. He won't stab you in the back, egg you on to a path of destruction, he won't do drugs, lie, cheat or steal, He won't mock you, degrade you, lead you astray or try to reinvent you to suit His urbane tastes of dress, music and attitude and or sexuality. Like many of this young generation, my son has been brought up to KNOW The Truth. He believes in The Truth, and stands up for it. But, he is somewhat distracted with life and unsure how to translate that belief system into what he sees adults he respects living out. So he feels frustrated, sometimes frantic, and sometimes hopeless at his ability to live an authentic life that reflects the ideals he believes in, and unwilling to hear ideas for solutions to the problem.

He is on a leg of the journey that mostly we can only love him and pray him through. But we want to do so much more. Though trust me, I am finding that those two jobs are so much more difficult, weighty and challenging than we realize, most of the time. I assure you that he will find his footing and faith, and it will be more resilient and shining than it would have been, had he led the sterile, happily ever after I couldn't help but want him to have. He was a gift from The Lord to us, like every child is. And we have raised him, as best as we knew how, to love and serve The Lord. The Lord will make up the difference. He and the Lord will get along just fine, just as his Father and I have found our way in the Lord.

So that is the background. The issue at hand today is, during the past few weeks I have noted that my happiness is becoming overly dependent on his happiness. That's not healthy for him, me, my husband and I, or anyone at all. Not. Acceptable! :) It is essential that now as always, my joy comes from my hope in the Lord. And that transcends circumstances. What sort of witness is it to him, if I am encouraging him to find stability in the sureness of God, yet I have none to display for my fears for him? Is God sure? Or is He not? see my dilemma.

So, I am learning, yet again, to release our young man to the wild and wide open life of knowing, loving and being loved by the Lord. I am telling the Lord "He is Yours, of course, have your way in his life! Help him to hear Your voice above ALL others! Help him Lord to be strong, yet obedient to You, Help him know when to bend and when to stand, when to submit and when to fight. Give him a desire and a hunger for You, Your presence, and Your righteousness! Help him to be a Godly mate, and grant him a Godly mate! Heal him, draw out the hurt and disillusionment. Help him to have the joy and satisfaction that comes from being a vessel used by You! And Oh sweet, sweet Lord, don't let one tear, or any pain be wasted or get the best of Him, but only let it bring YOUR best into him!"

You may be saying, well, this is just a Mom thing, I don't see it as a control issue. Oh, but it is! As an oldest child, and a person who lives to make sure everyone is happy and communicating and feeling validated, let me just say that I recognize the trademarks. It is just a "pretty way" of trying to have OUR way! We can not make ALL the choices, we can not control the outcomes, we can't even pray the "PERFECT" life into being. As I have written before, beauty is born out of ashes. Remember Jesus had to DIE before He could rise! Why would it be any different for us? Or our children?

I hope that you will forgive me my eccentricities as a wife and mother. Hopefully you can relate at least a little. I certainly hope you great success at instilling Godly values in your young charges, and then RELEASING them to their adventures in life. Let them be able to see you loving and living life. Save your angst for your prayer closet (or shower as the case may be!), let your joy be evident always! And YES, we ALWAYS have a reason for our hope and our joy! Right? Wish me well at relinquishing control, Ya'll!

Much love!
Maria, a semi-reformed control freak! :)



Tiffany said...

I'm sorry you're struggling right now. I'm clear on all the details, but I know how hard it is when it comes to sheltering, protecting, and the happines of our children. There is such a fine line (for us as mothers,) in where our role ends and the Lord's begins. It is very hard for us to not hold on too tight. My lovies are not as old as yours, but I still struggle with that as well. ~May God bless you in this endevor. Oh, BTW- my e-mail is

Tiffany said...

Sorry- that should be- I'm not clear on all the details.

MelanieJoy said...

Hey Friend,
First off again thank you for your prayers for me this week. Know that I'm holding your son and your family up in prayers! The roles with me and my mom were reversed. I was the caregiver and she was the "child". So I'm grateful you recognize your role and the fact that how you react effects all. I don't have children but I was a youth director for many years and my heart ached to see their eyes opened and truth and lies both revealed to them.
Holding you in love,

luvmy4sons said...

I can see why you said you needed the Giver post again. It is a lesson I learn and learn and relearn...I let go...and then I have moments where I am doing much of what you decribe. God Himself doesn't need our help to finish the good work He started in them. He will finish it. And that road will likely include much sufering and mistakes from which they wil llearn best...but you are so right we will bleed along with them. That is the essence of being a mother. Big hugs to you and many prayers dear sweet sister.

StaceyStace said...

My husband said to me last week that he never imagined how easy it could be to go from beaming elation at the kids' successes to deep stabbing pain at all the enemy has planned. I'm not as far along in my journey as you are, but I wear myself out trying to steer them through the turbulence. I keep having to go back to this, that you are talking about...I finally say, "God, forgive me for my failures, help me to be faithful and leave it in Your hands."

I will pray for you and your son, that the prodigal will come home.

Denise said...

Please know that I love you my sweet friend, and I will be lifting your son and you up in my prayers.

grey like snuffie said...

Well spoken. I can relate in some ways. Our youngest went through a two year health nightmare that so affected her emotions, as if teen years aren't enough. I'm not a control freak but I still found myself on the roller coaster with her emotionally. One day God opened my eyes to the spiritual journey He had her on in the midst of the physical crap. Somehow He made it easier for me to go with the flow and know that He loved her more and that I didn't have to allow my emotions to go crazy. It was within me to stop. Oh the peace I found. I know with each of us our story is different but our God is the same, so I pray He reveals Himself to you in a new way to walk through this season. It sucks while we're in the midst of it. But sharing our reality helps others carry some of it. So I will take a moment to re-read your post and pray as He leads.

Anonymous said...

Just a gentle reminder that the same Holy Spirit that is enabling and strengthening you is the same Holy Spirit that is enabling and strengthening your son. A reminder that it's okay to be real and you don't need to wear the "I have it all together in the Lord" mask we all tend to wear from time to time. The reality is we don't have it altogether even in the Lord for it is He who keeps us together. Apart from Him, it's true, we can do nothing, nada, zippo. He will not fail you nor forsake you though. You have His Word on that. Growing pains are exactly that pains but He is the Potter after all and we are the clay. This is the first blog of yours I've had the priviledge of reading so I'm adding you to my Friends list. I look forward to reading more. I'm glad you're keeping it real!

Mel's World said...

Maria...I felt SO MUCH freedom building up for you throughout the entire liberating and FREEing is that?

My heart aches for you and the pain that you guys are going through (without even knowing much or any details) but I also know that if our HOPE is in Him, then HE is more than enough to carry us through. (I just wrote about HOPE today in Mel's World).

I am so glad I came over to visit this morning...

Take Care Friend,

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!