I heard the tears the minute I picked up the phone, “Mom?”
I empathized. I encouraged. I listened. I cried. I rallied. I prayed. I was there.
But do you know what I couldn’t do?
I couldn’t take away the pain.
Do you know who I couldn’t be?
The person my kid needed the most.
I have walked with each of my children on different days, in different seasons, as they have faced the frustration and sadness that often comes with growing up–the lonely days, the misunderstandings, the longing to be heard and seen.
As moms, we plan, prep, pursue and pray. We navigate, negotiate and never give up. We work and watch, we wait and we worry. We maneuver, manage and sometimes manipulate.
We would do anything for our kids.
But we know deep down that just because we can try to fix all their problems, doesn’t mean we always should.
Because here’s the thing–no matter how much we do for our kids-from housework to homework, from the crib to college, life will offer our children disappointment.
And do you know what will knock the wind right out of a mom? Disappointed kids.
But if we don’t allow the ups and downs of preschool, adolescent and teen discouragement to mold and make our kids, we hurt them more than we help them.
Because when our children are moving into adulthood–trust me, it happens much faster than we ever plan–they will face difficulties and challenges we cannot fix. They will endure hardships, maybe despair, sorrow and grief that will shape them into the people God is making them.
And as much as we want to be everything for our kids, we can’t be. We shouldn’t be. We can do what we can and invite Jesus in to do the rest.
Because more than they need us to listen, to mend, encourage, to make the way easier, they need Jesus. He is the friend who is there when we can’t be. He is the comforter when we don’t have the words to say. He brings peace when there is a storm inside. Jesus is the friend who is closer than a mother.
He is everything our kids need.
So we shouldn’t try to be.