Praying for adult children

Lord, this is a strange new season where I find myself.  I know you told me not to dwell on the former things, because you are doing something new, and I’m trying, Lord, but I have such fond memories of the old, and I miss it.  I miss those baby days, the smell of just bathed baby skin, the delighted squeals of happy baby laughter, and the warm evening snuggles with a lullaby before bed.  I miss the homeschooling days, where I learned as I taught, and took so much pleasure in watching them grasp those new concepts as the light went on inside their head when the connecters in their little brains clicked.  I loved loving them, and teaching them, and nurturing them.  I loved watching them grow, and learn, and mature.

And frankly, Lord…I’m out of my comfort zone in this new place you have me.  Three of my four children are grown and have left the nest.  Two have started families of their own, the third is exercising her new-found wings, determined to learn things on her own, without me, same as her older siblings did.  The fourth is only a short stretch away from being an adult, and I worry that I haven’t adequately prepared her.  There is so little time left, and so much she still needs, and I have a strong sense of my failures, limitations and inadequacy in preparing her.

And, here I am, still learning as I go.  No longer teaching from a standpoint of lecture and instruction, but from one of example.  I’m learning as I go, how to place them in your hands, as you remind me of the lesson you taught me years ago; that You know them, better than I ever will, and You love them deeper than I ever could.  I humbly offer up to you all of my expectations, attempts, successes and failures in my endeavors to love, instruct and guide them.  Forgive me, Lord, for trying to do so in my own strength, and fill me with the knowledge of your forgiveness for the judgment and anger that propelled my desire to help them but only served to push them farther from me and potentially, from you.

Draw us all to yourself, and bind us together in your love, Lord.  Remind my children of your presence and help in the busy-ness of their lives.  Help me, in my responses to them, to understand, support, and affirm them in their faith, and direct them to your throne in their time of need.

In the Precious Name of Jesus, I ask these things.

Amen

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Mary’s Heart

As a Mother myself, my heart goes out to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  I can’t imagine watching my child suffer the torture that Jesus endured, yet the Bible tells us that Mary followed; she watched His suffering, all of it, even though there was nothing she could do to stop it or even alleviate it.  I know how much I hurt when my children are hurting, I see Mary, as any Momma, concerned for her child, agonizing with and for him, and wanting to eliminate anything bad that touches her child.

What must she have been thinking and feeling as she followed Jesus down His road of suffering?  Did she find clarity as her mind replayed all those events that the Bible says she treasured in her heart?  Did all the prophetic words she heard, but did not understand—all the words of blessing spoken over her and her son—the words spoken by Jesus to her, his Mother, did it all come rushing back to her heart and mind as she watched Him suffer and die?

As she followed Jesus down the streets of Jerusalem, did she compare her journey to the one she and Joseph traveled in order to protect Him from a wicked king who sought to destroy his life?

When He fell under the weight of His own cross, I wonder if Simeon’s words came to her mind? “...destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel…”    

As the voices of the crowd rose in mockery while her beloved son hung in shame; “… a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed”

and when the soldier pierced Jesus’ side, and blood and water poured out, did Simeon’s prophetic words “—and a sword will pierce your own soul” echo in her mind?

The great loss she felt at that moment must have reminded her of another time she thought she had lost him, and later found him in the synagogue teaching the teachers. Surely His words reverberated through her mind,  “didn’t you know I had to be about my Father’s business?”  When He cried out “It is Finished” and breathed His last breath, did she remember and long for the answer He gave her in Cana before He performed His first miracle; “My time has not yet come“.

Can’t you just see the flood of memories that replayed as she watched Joseph of Arimethea wrap and bury her son?  Did her memory take her back to Bethlehem where she first saw her son wrapped in cloths and laid in the manger?

Then, on the third day, at daybreak, when she, Mary Magdalene and Salome went to the tomb to anoint His body, and found the stone rolled away, did her mind flash back to just a few days prior, when Jesus had ordered that the stone be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, and that He be unwrapped?  I imagine the memory of His words that day “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” became less a memory, and more relevant now than ever, at the sight of his neatly folded grave clothes in an otherwise empty tomb.