“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life…” Matthew 6:25
On the long list of what I want for each of my kids is a small and close circle of good friends. I don’t need them to be the most popular kids in school. I just want them to have a few friends that they can have fun with, can lean on, and who share our same values.
Consequently, I try to foster and nurture friendships with the good kids we cross paths with. I work hard at constantly scheduling and driving my kids to playdates. But over the years, I’ve learned that no matter how hard I try, I can’t always control my kids’ friendships. Whether their interests shift, their class rosters change, or it’s just the natural order of things, some friendships wane, and kids grow apart.
I don’t typically sit back and worry about a problem. I prefer to take action to fix things. Part of it is a control thing. Another part of it is a need to show my kids that when life throws us a curve, we don’t curl up in a ball, defeated. Instead, we figure out a solution and work towards it. I’m trying to teach my kids that there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved.
So when I bump up against issues like Zack’s social circle dwindling, and I can’t fix it, I do default to worry. And worry can wreak havoc. It puts my stomach in knots, keeps me awake at night, and blinds me to what is good in my life. It amazes me how much time and energy worry can consume.
And then the gift comes. Something – a song, a friend, or my Bible reminds me why worry exists. If I’m open to it, worry teaches me that I am not in control, God is. He is the One who can solve the problems that I can’t.
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life” not only refers to my life, but to my kids’ lives as well. All that time and energy I waste on worrying about them needs to be converted into prayer. I also have to stop being lazy at night; I need to resume my nighttime ritual of blessing my sleeping kids with holy water, asking God to “bring them good and true friends.” He loves my kids even more than I do. He WILL provide.
There’s a transient element to my town. Just like families move away, new families move in. There will be new friends in Zack’s future. Yes, my job is to still seek out the good kids and invite them over. But above all, my most important job is to pray, and then trust God to have Zack’s back.
Questions For Reflection:
* What worries do I have for my kids?
* Have I tried turning those worries into prayer, trusting God to solve them?
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Worrying about our kids, no matter how old, is such a heavy weight on our hearts. It’s hard to accept that we cannot fix all things for them. I do tend to tell God how I want Him to fix things and it is very difficult to hand over the reins to Him. Thanks for the reminder that prayer is always our best and sometimes our only tool. I pray God will bless Zack with a good and true and long lasting friendship. Lots of love!!
Watching you pray for all of us, Mom, is what has taught me to turn to God when I can’t solve things myself. Thanks so much for living out that example over and over again until I finally got the message!
Wow, Claire, you really hit the nail on the head. We found out yesterday that our day care provider had emergency surgery and is closing for 6 months effective immediately. I am in full on panic mode! I, too, am a worrier and a problem solver. But as you say, it is so important to trust God to put the pieces into place. I am trying to pray instead of worrying, but any help with the prayer part is greatly appreciated!
So sorry to hear this Kristin! It is SO hard not to worry, especially when it comes to our kids. But rest assured that I will be praying for God to bring you a daycare provider that you love, and trust.
My children are older now, but I clearly remember being in your place. I would try to steer my kids toward friendships with their classmates whose parents I liked or who I thought were “good” kids. It took me a while to realize that my children had pretty good judgement about who they chose for friends by themselves. As a parent, I only knew what the other parents informed me about their children. My kids knew those children, and sometimes the teachers and other adults didn’t know a few really mean things the “good” kids did or said that deeply hurt others. I learned to really respect my children’s own choices in their friendships.
I think it’s very natural that when they get older and approach middle school age, they keep fewer friendships, but those fewer bonds are stronger. My daughter’s best friend moved away in 7th grade, and she was devastated. But God brought other young ladies into her circle, and now she has an even better BFF.
Your faith is inspiring, and I wish back then I could have read your reminder about trusting God to sort it all out for our kids instead of worrying ourselves!
I’m sure He will bring Zack wonderful future friendships as well.
Love and blessings to you, Claire!
It’s so great to have your wisdom and experience Deborah. I do trust that God will bring new friends for Zack, but hearing He did so for your daughter only bolsters my faith and trust. Thank you SO much for sharing that!
It was exactly one year ago today that we said goodbye to close friends who moved to California. Today we are saying goodbye to another good friend of Dominik’s who is moving to the Bahamas. I feel Dominik’s circle getting smaller as well and have some of the same fears you do. But you are right, you cannot fix Zack’s situation and I cannot fix Dominik’s. I’ll be praying along with you for God to bless them with loyal and lasting friends.
So sorry that you and Dominik are in the same boat. But I’m sure that if you and I double up and pray for both of our boys, their circles will expand with great new additions. Here’s to the excitement of great friends in their futures!
Decided to catch up on your blog today and this was just what I needed. Funny how that works right?? Received news this morning I’ve been sick over and now realizing I’m wasting time worrying and need to turn to God instead. Thanks!!!
So sorry you got upsetting news today Sara, but I’ll add my prayers to yours that God will take care of it all, and erase your worry in the process. Thanks so much for commenting!
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