My two younger girls recently auditioned for a popular musical. They received call backs and could not have made me prouder by their performances. I was beaming with pride for the courage and strength they showed standing there on their own, singing their hearts out in front of strangers, and baring vulnerable parts of themselves to people who could so easily crush their spirits. It was definitely a Mama Bear moment.
Unfortunately, my girls did not make the cast.
I have not told them yet. I am in such fear because I will deliver news that I know is going to deliver tears and I am not prepared to watch them hurt over something I cannot control. Is a parent ever fully prepared to witness such pain of a child? I don't think there is anything in life that would make this part of parenting any easier. However, here we are, at the front of this lifelong battle.
When I was recently divorced, I took it hard. My long battle to become whole again took me places that were less than my parent's ideal. I went through a very dark time and hurt quite a bit. I watched my parents panic because they didn't know what to do for me. My dad broke down to me one day saying, "I don't know how to fix this." And in complete honesty, I didn't want him to, nor felt I was even broken in the first place. But what he did next surprised me. He said "Go". Go and do what you need to do, whatever it is, go do it. And with those words of wisdom he handed my life over to me. He didn't abandon me, but he let the pain of my life take it's course and heal the way God wanted it to heal.
I think of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and their relationship to us on this topic. Heavenly Father weeped and hid at the edge of the universe when his Only Begotten Son suffered pain and heartache on the earth. When Christ died on the cross, God could have so easily taken that suffering from him. But he didn't. He stood by and let it happen. God stood by knowing that it would make all of us stronger because of the experiences it would create.
Like the experience with my dad, Heavenly Father has told us to "Go and do". He has handed our lives over to us and stands with us as we face the battle front of our own mortality, knowing full well that each experience will create a stronger, more prepared spirit for the next phase in life.
There are many tragic things in this life that some of us must face. There are many trials that are seemingly not right. That they are not how things in life should play out. But, unfortunately they do. It would be wonderful if we were saved from the pain of this life. Saved from the places that are less than ideal. But if God did that for us, if our parents did that for us, would we be prepared for anything in this life?
Standing by is not something this Mama Bear wants to do. I want to growl and fight to protect my girls from all that would pain them. But what a disservice I would be giving in return. So instead I chose to give them love. I chose to be like my Father in Heaven and love my children no matter what road they travel on in hopes that they will focus on that more than the pains that strike deep. That they will seek that love continually in their lives and grow strong enough to not let the trials in life keep them down.
Life is so hard. Giving love is not. So I ask you this, have you loved your kids today??