It is very evident to Jonathon and I that we are not in charge of our boys’ journeys. That is mostly because we have not had the privilege of watching them grow from infancy to the young men they are today. I have written numerous times about the fact that we got our boys in the middle of their childhood, but there is still a piece of me that still wants to think that we can control their life story from here on out. And that’s a lie.
I recently went to a conference for adoptive/foster moms, and it was there that God stuck one phrase in my head that has not left: I don’t write my kids’ stories.
In so many ways I am constantly reminded of that fact since I did not birth my children. But in numerous others, it’s hard not to think that Jonathon and I write the stories of our boys. It was us who found them. It was us who ‘saved’ them. It is us who correct their behaviors and help them move forward. It is us who pay for their education. It is us who feed, clothe, and direct them. We know their waking and sleeping. We create their habits with our home life. We give them information through our own filter.
So then we have this random 2 weeks of behaviors I can only refer to as “hell week”. And I panic.
God, I did not write these behaviors into my boys’ lives. I didn’t plan for them to struggle with this. I don’t have a way out of that habit. We are doing everything we can for them. Why aren’t they moving in the direction Jonathon and I have projected for them? We know what You want for them. We’re their parents now. I have a better life for them than this.
It makes me chuckle to reread that desperate prayer. What am I thinking?! These aren’t my kids! God gave them to us. God saves them. God found them. God has and always will protect them.
I DON’T WRITE MY KIDS’ STORY.
As I have been thinking through this, it came to mind that this is not just an adoptive parent concept. This is ALL parents. No matter how your children have come to you, you don’t write their story. While my personal story makes it just a tiny bit easier to see that God has orchestrated our family, I still fall prey to the lie that I am in charge of my kids’ lives. It does make me panic a bit to think that I’m not in control, but it also lets me off the hook too! While I can’t be the one to brag about their accomplishments, I don’t have to fault myself for their struggles. I’m only here to encourage, prod, and guide on the path God has set before them.
Obviously, there is an element of control I have over what and where my kids are. Jonathon and I are definitely apart of their story. But that is it. We are apart of it. We do not author their journey. God does.
God has given me a song to cling to in times when my precious, victimized children are caught deep in the waves of their past. I have been crying and singing it ever since I first heard it.
“Write me with Your Glory, Jesus, every line Your story, Jesus, Author of my faith.”
MY story. Not my kids’, but my own. Just as Jesus is writing my personal story, He is writing my children’s as well. He knows the ending of their story. What a relief that is! (when I choose to remember it) I get so wrapped up in how much I cannot help my kids that I forget that the Creator of the Universe is writing not just mine, but their stories as well.
The chorus of that song goes like this:
“I close my eyes ’cause faith is seeing for me. I’m out of breath, but You are breathing for me. . .my fight is gone, but You are fighting for me. The battle won, I’m standing in Your victory . . .To Jesus be the Glory.”
Even just in typing these words I am weeping. Our boys are treading in some very deep, dark issues right now. It doesn’t only seem like there’s not a way out, it feels like we have worked and prayed in vain for them. I know in every fiber of my being that God desires good for them, that He saw them in the middle of their abuse and neglect. But why is my mighty-to-save, only-wise King not saving them from the consequences of choices made by uncaring adults?
I’m not the Author. I can’t see. I can’t breathe. I can’t fight.
Faith is seeing for me. God is breathing and fighting for me, and He alone is writing my story. I have prayed many times for God to use me for His glory. So all there is left to do is to lift my hands and continue proclaiming “To Jesus be the Glory.”