Stop the striving …

My sweet Glory is getting ready to pack up her vehicle and move her boyfriend to Texas to live with her.
Five years ago, I would have been sorely disappointed.
Ten years ago, I would have been devastated.

But, I am a different person today than I was five or ten years ago.
Divorce has been so good for me.

In a conversation with a friend last night, I was asked how I felt about this move.
Without hesitation, I replied, “I’m okay with it.”

At the end of every Super Soul Sunday interview, Oprah ends her conversation with this marvelous question

“What do you know for sure?”

I am still blown away by the question.
If there IS one thing that I KNOW for sure,
it’s that I really don’t know much of anything for sure.

Through divorce, I lost all those crazy dreams of things that may never happen
… those dreams that you hold on to because you want them to come true.
I used to be so hopeful. But, my hopes hung on ideals and expectations.

Oh, what joy and freedom
to just live …
in the here and now
not waiting for
hoping for
or praying for something
bigger, better, faster, stronger, safer, richer ….
just be.
today.
here.
now. 

Life is a journey ... not a destination. - Emmerson

What DO I know for sure?
I know that life is full of lessons.
And it is a gift that we go through struggles.

I’ve noticed a recurring theme in the answers given to Brandon on the Humans of New York webpage. When asked about regrets, we often make decisions on how to live our lives according to the things we have seen others do. We decide we won’t spank our children, because our parents were too aggressive with spankings. Or we choose to indulge in grand vacations, because our parents never took us away from home. Or we decide to let our kids eat whatever they desire, because we were forced to eat green things and we still hate them.

Click here for a perfect example.  This woman said, “”My mom died the week she was supposed to retire. I think she died of sheer exhaustion. So I decided I was going to live my life in the present, and not focus on money. I just wanted to know myself and live life accordingly. I never thought about the future. So I find myself, at my age, having to focus on money.”

Here’s another.   ““My dad was a Latin musician, so I rebelled against that and chose rock and roll. So I wanted to be careful not to try to force my interests on my son, because then he’d go the other direction.”

This man  is living his life in a way that makes sure that his son has a better life than he did.

Here’s the thing; there are no guarantees. Going left may keep you from the trouble you see on the right, but you don’t know what struggle is around the bend, over the hill or just out of sight …. down the path leading from the left fork.

My daughter is moving her boyfriend into her apartment half way across this nation to live with her. Am I okay with it? Absolutely. You know why? Because, she’s a grown woman. There are lots of roads to be taken. Hers is not mine to travel. And hers is not even mine to direct. I could plan out her life making my decisions according to what I did right or wrong, what I should have done or what my parents did or didn’t do … and in the end, her life could still be a total wreck. Her life may or may not be what I expected for her when I was planning or directing. Most importantly, it certainly wouldn’t be a fulfillment of her vision for her life.

I have had the firsthand experience of watching a parent turn their back on a child because a child said something that hurt their feelings. The words spoken were foolish, but the fact is ….. a child spoke them. I’ve seen parents turn away from children for their actions. We all do things that don’t please others. If I please you today with my words, surely they will offend someone else. It’s all part of life.

My dream today for my children like my dream for myself ; just be. Drop the expectations. Leave behind the struggles of what should or shouldn’t happen. Forget about that hokey movie-script life. Even the people who LOOK like they have it all together …. simply have a well-constructed facade. There is no perfect life.

Of course, I pray, hope and dream that my children love God and obey Him …
but just like He does for each one of us,
He’ll deal with them on own His time
in the areas that He chooses
in the way, timing and order that He chooses.
It’s not my job to step in and snatch His job from His hands.
What a joy! It’s not my job anymore.
Because if I look back over my life …. I’ve made some really big messes.
Here is one thing I can say I know for sure; it’s a good thing
that I’m not perpetually in charge of anyone
except myself.

In a few days, I’ll watch Glory drive out of the driveway to begin a new chapter in her adventure book. She has a wonderful boyfriend who adores her. He even embraces her feisty spirit!  I see how comfortable she is with him. I see them thoroughly enjoy each other. They appear to be a good fit.

Yet, they will have bumps in the road. They will hit struggles. But, the life is theirs to live. I’m not willing to let my ideals and expectations get in the way of loving her and remaining in sweet fellowship with her.

What I know for sure is
people and relationships are more important than ideals and expectations.

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2 thoughts on “Stop the striving …

  1. Thanks for this reminder. I struggle with one of my children not attending church as regularly as I think he should. The truth is, he’s a great young man (yes, grown and married and supporting himself,) and he does a lot of things that make me extremely proud. I have to remember that “his life is not mine to live.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The other thought that this brings to mind is that you can not force truth. You can inform and love but that person has to decide for themselves.

    Like

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