A different breed
A long Christmas college break approaches. YAY… kids will be home. Yikes… kids will be home. I’ve decided that young adults are a different breed. They’re a tease. You think you know them and then, BAM, you’re blind sided by a new shocking opinion or curious decision. And I’m not just talking about hair. You no longer have the advantage of the slow boil of gradual change when they live under your roof and they allow you to think you still have some influence. I suspect I’m not the only mother who has questioned her role in the life of her young adult kid.
Laughter or sparks
Then of course there is the combustible energy created when these species hang out together in confined quarters. And in our case, different genders, different personalities, maturing at different paces and at different places… Ian at UNM and Becca at Baylor. Laughter and sparks all wrapped together tightly like a Christmas cracker, waiting for an unpredictable explosion.
By virtue of the fact that both kids have gone and are coming back for a visit, all the rules that were in place no longer apply… or so they think. But we don’t touch the subject because of the very real threat of that pent-up energy. In my view this ‘new normal’ is true for any healthy twenty something kid who returns home for a visit. Throw in a brain injury and watch the sparks fly.
As my excitement / anxiety mounts, I question everything. God, I’m feeling ill-equipped and unprepared and completely unsure how to proceed. A million questions flood my mind. What should I plan or say or do? What do I ask about; or NOT ask about? How should I prepare for the heightened emotions given that the younger kid graduates this spring, ahead of the brain injured older kid? Or the ominous memories of last Christmas when things imploded for Ian, likely overwhelmed with the harsh reality of his reality.
In general, being a mother becomes especially scary when we see our children make choices we prefer they wouldn’t make. Or when they choose a path that looks uncertain or risky or dangerous. These young adult years are when they test their undeveloped wings and distance themselves not only physically but also emotionally. They’re influenced by unfamiliar and sometimes questionable sources and rarely seek our opinion. If they do entertain our input, we’ve been conditioned to expect the eye roll.
Longingly I recall the day when I could just kiss a boo boo and make it all better. Then, I was heroic.
Motherhood is humbling. And for me, in spite of my constant prayers and concerted effort, it’s mastery has always been just beyond my reach.
“Lord… things are different A-G-A-I-N, I’m over my head, and they’ll be home soon…“
No sooner had I uttered my frantic plea when I read again about Mary, the teenage mother of Jesus. Talk about someone who had good reason to feel over her head.
I consider the story from both angles — what God asked of Mary and also Mary’s response. I am in awe, but grateful, because Mary has helped me to find my way.
Mary was chosen
God chose Mary, just as she was, to be Jesus’ mother.
Mary had her share of justifiable reasons for feeling unqualified. She was too young and too poor, unmarried and inexperienced. She had no standing, but was a simple girl from an insignificant place. Oh… and she was a virgin, that alone was a deal breaker.
And yet, in Luke 1 the angel Gabriel proclaims that she has been chosen. That she, Mary, is the blessed and highly favored vessel God wants to use to bring forth His one and only Son, Jesus. The Messiah. (Luke 1:30-33)
I, too, have been chosen. Instead of feeling unqualified and questioning my value as mom at this stage in my kids lives, I should follow Mary’s lead.
After the angel Gabriel tells Mary the outrageous news, I find it even more outrageous that Mary doesn’t flip out. Instead, in her bewilderment, Mary had only one simple question.
Luke 1:34 “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’”
Her question blows my mind. I mean, Mary wasn’t just asked to serve jury duty! She would be the mother of the Messiah. Had it been me… I can only imagine… “I’m sure you have the wrong girl. Do you know how unqualified I am? I’m kind of busy right now. Check back later, Gabe, after Joseph and I are married so things will look a little better to the neighbors.”
Humility and trust
Don’t miss this. Mary offered all she had, humility and trust. And that, was all God wanted from her.
And that, I realize, is all He wants from me too. He has already given me the exact qualities He knew my kids would need in a mother, even for my complicated young adults.
Turning from defense to offense
That’s it. That is where I took a wrong turn. I’ve been playing defense. I’ve taken the posture to brace for impact, prepared to react. Instead I need to play offense. But because I don’t have the perfect skills or insight to do so, I call in God. He is my offense.
Completely unsure of me, I am sure of Him. As I offer both Ian and Becca to Him, He reminds me that he loves them more than I ever could. And then I trust Him to guide me to be the very best version of mother to each of my beloved gifts. Gifts that bring both joy and anguish but always with divine purpose. Humility and Trust. That’s all I have, and all He needs to do something amazing. I’m counting on it.
The God who chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, chose you to be the mother of your child. And He stands ready to be your offense, your Right Hand.
Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
GodsGotThis, Debbie Hucke