I Served You Well
It's an empty nest on Kathy's Faith Walk
Back in the early 90s Rod Stewart recorded a song entitled “Forever Young.” It is a blessing and I am reminded of it as my youngest daughter, and youngest child, embarks on a new phase in her life. Not only is she moving out, she is leaving home. This event has been a long time coming. My daughter was ready to fly the coop the day she turned 13. This was problematic and we have been dealing with it for 10 years. All that changed this spring. Her paralyzing cocoon of indecision, insecurity, and inability to trust developed a weak spot. For the first time she was able to look without the constraints of her self imposed prison and see what could be. She never looked within again.
I have heard it said that when you have kids they don’t come with an instruction manual. This is not true. God has provided a wonderful body of work which provides not only instructions but the ability to see deep within the soul of any child. However, it cannot be accessed without one thing: the heart of a servant.
Children come to us not as an empty slate but with the trappings of the human condition. The Bible says we start out broken and in fact we do. I chose to approach my children from this perspective which has lead to becoming their servant. It has been an amazing ride and I would trade none of it. Over the years my husband and I have sought the guidance of God through His living Word, the Bible, in all areas of our life. Why? Simple. We don’t like to fail. When it came to raising the kids we constantly referred to the Bible.
God has said many things about children - that they are a gift; they need correction from time to time; they bring us joy when they are obedient and sadness when they are rebellious. He also says it is the parent’s job, not the community’s, to raise up a child and that if we will raise them up in the way they are to go they will not depart from it when they are old. God says to love them, be patient, not provoke them to anger, not to break their heart or their will and to care for them the way He cares for us – unconditionally. There comes a time to let them fly alone and they have to be ready. My last time watching my offspring leave the nest will be tomorrow. I am beginning to feel it.
We spent many hours over the years talking and problem solving. We told our kids to call if they needed a ride and we would come get them. They did and we did. We promised them that if they got themselves put in jail we would leave them there and receive them with love when they got out. It happened and we followed through. We promised to help them understand how to build relations ships and more importantly how to let relationships end. We taught them to work hard, love God, honor authority, respect others, laugh at themselves, cry with their friends, never judge based on different, and finish what they start. We taught them to live their lives fully and embrace God’s plans for them because there is no better path. This spring my daughter was finally able to believe this for the first time – to believe that God loves her even more than we do.
It has been our privilege to serve these three kids and to see them move into their callings in the Lord as He uses their gifts and talents to lay out their path. Tomorrow I will stand back and watch as the last one sets out to become everything she was meant to be and as the song says “When you finally fly away I’ll be hoping that I served you well.”