Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Torn apart

Parental love is largely unrequited, I was informed (by my dad, of course) when I was twenty-something, questioning the love of some parents toward their wayward son (wait, isn't that a song?). Kids never love their parents as much as parents love them. I laughed that day--didn't get it. But knew the truth the moment I held my first daughter. Then my son, then my youngest daughter. Again and again and again. It's impossible to love this much and not be torn apart by it. I'm a mom.

Well, sometimes I am torn apart by that love. You know, when they're sick, in the hospital, and there's nothing to be done but sit by their bed and pray. I've been torn apart by that. And when they stand on a stage and sing their hearts out, so adorably good (at least in my unbiased eyes), I've been torn apart by that as well. When they play sports (or don't get to), when they're chosen for teams, or aren't--my heart is broken by them, broken for them. When they pack up their cars and drive off into their own lives, leaving the house full of silence. That can tear me apart, too. And when they drive back in the driveway, fling open the door--and the refrigerator--and it's like they never left, that tears me apart in a different way. I'm a mom. I love them.

This morning, the oldest is flying to an event for her internship. The son is holed up in his apartment, sick with the flu. The youngest called last night after 11pm--discouraged. I was sleepless through the night for them. I have the desire to fix their lives for them. To make him well, to not breathe until I hear the plane has landed (ok, so I'm an anxious flyer, what can I say?). And for the discouraged youngest, I wanted to tell God how to make it right for her--exactly what to do to make everything go the way I think it should so she feels better today. The oldest needs a job by the fall, and she's anxious about that. I wanted to tell God to give her the perfect job, preferably within driving distance of us. But-but-but, really what I want for her, what I want for each of them, is that God do not do my will but His for them, and that He keep them in the position that most makes them seek Him--no matter what that is.

The thing is, the one who's more torn apart by their lives than I am is Him. Was literally torn apart that day on the hill outside of Jerusalem, to tell the truth. And that's why I can trust Him with them today. Today when the youngest is crying, the son is sick and the oldest is flying into an unknown future. I trust Him with them today, because, as someone else once said, "Sunday's coming," and that means hope.

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