I’m on the road right now. Traveling with my oldest two boys while my younger 6 are at home. They’re well-cared for and in excellent hands and yet I’ve felt all kinds of guilty.
Like I should be here but I should be there, too.
My husband was traveling in the van today to get the girlies to their piano lesson. He dropped them off and then headed to the eye doctor to pick up my new glasses for me. I’ve really been struggling with my vision and having near-constant headaches. I’m super hopeful these new glasses will fix all my problems but I won’t even get to try them until we get home sometime late tomorrow afternoon. Anyway, while he was waiting in the van he let the boys say hi to me and their little voices just about killed me.
Mama, we miss you?
Mama, we love you?
Mama, are you coming home?
Oh, the guilt. And the missing them! It’s real, guys.
But I took myself in check and gave me a good talking to. Because I’m here to help my boy. I’m here on assignment, not on vacation. I’m being the support for my child who has sprouted wings because support is what he needs right now. He needs to know I’ve got his back. He needs to hear I trust him. He needs to be reminded he can’t go wrong if he keeps looking for the fingerprints of God. He needed all that, but mostly he needed me to be his friend. And he needed his brother to be here with him, too. They got a chance to be in the same place for a few days which was needed by both of them. They’re polar opposites…as different as two brothers can be..and yet they’re bound by a bond that is as unspoken as it is real. There have been no warm fuzzies exchanged but something about their interactions just gets me anyway.
I remember their little years and how hard they were. I remember the stubbornness and the fighting and all the training that went into fostering strong sibling relations between my children. I remember the days I felt like it was pointless because they hated each other anyway. I made a heaping load of mistakes. And yet, here we are.
With three children at, or on the cusp of, adulthood. Two others who aren’t far behind. And those three little voices that tugged at my heart on the phone today, need everything I’ve got. I feel insufficient and incapable.
But when I stop looking at my shortcomings as a mother, I can see God’s incredible grace and faithfulness as a Father. I see where He’s gathered in the slack, picked up the dropped stitches and restored the years the locusts had eaten. Because He’s good like that. And abundantly kind. He wants every chapter of our intricately woven lives to culminate in the ultimate success stories.
Stories that continue to be written though all eternity.
It was never about us, anyway. It was only ever about us allowing Him to do what we could never do on our own. And that, my friends, is as freeing as it gets.
With love from the cold north,