Every year my husband and I go away on a business trip for his employer. It seems that often times the Lord opens my eyes on these trips to see things I may have not seen before. One year, as I mixed and mingled and listened to the couples talking and interacting with one another, it struck me how much men loved their wives. And it surprised me that I hadn’t seen it before. Frumpy, overweight – they love them. Well, more about that in another post.
But – this year I saw something that hit a little closer to home.
The parents of adult children had a common theme of “hurt”.
I listenened to a woman with cancer talk about her treatments and her husband’s work schedule and the difficulty of getting to treatments – except for her circle of friends she had – because her children moved so far away – just far enough to make it inconvenient. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “That’s what they wanted.” With a sadness painted on her face.
As another friend/co-worker shared, he too shrugged his shoulders at the situation he was in with his adult son. He lives relatively close and rarely calls or visits. From our years of relationship with this friend we have seen him nurture and care and reach out to his son continually.
Last night as I looked around the room at our small group at church, I saw the same theme. Hurt. Sadness. And I can’t help but wonder…
…What’s up with that?!
As Christian parents we are intentional. We have invested all we have and don’t have into raising good Godly children. I remember a time when I was overcome by sadness and cried bitterly in front of my son – when he was 19… I had the funniest feeling as I wept, one I never recall having before…. I realized it was the first time I could ever remember doing anything in front of him that I didn’t care about how it would affect him.
I look back at the incident and think.. maybe I tried too hard. Not in a “martyr” type attitude – but in reality. Maybe just too much focus was on “them”.
Maybe – I gave up too much of me for my children. And in doing that became a mother that was not as easy to respect. I buried my talents and interests – or put them on hold – to be focused. How is that a good thing?
Are we as parents co-dependant? Are we expecting too much?
As I walk through this part of our journey – I have to remember back to when I was my children’s age. I was full of myself and wanting to prove that I could do “it“. Whatever that “it” was.
It’s all so silly from our perspective – because they have nothing to “prove” to their biggest fans – their parents- who know they can accomplish far greater things than they can imagine.
Maybe this is for them … to break away and show themselves what they can do…
Maybe this is their journey – victories and mistakes..
It’s not about us – never has been.
When you invest sooooooooo much – it’s hard to let go…