The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He saves them. Psalm 34:8
I recently found out that Zack got some kids to walk the Prayer Path at the Youth Group camp-out this summer. He just shrugged it off when I commended him for inspiring some teens to get closer to God. Despite him being a kid of few words, I needed more details. I had to dig deeper.
I asked him how he presented the Prayer Path to the kids. I made it clear I wasn’t going to judge his explanation; I was just curious to hear what words he used. He nonchalantly responded, “I told them you think about the stuff that’s bothering you on the way in. You give it all to God at the center, and then you feel better on the way out.” I told him I though he nailed it!
Being the greedy mom I am, I then asked if we could walk the Prayer Path together, just the two of us. He agreed.
As we moved through the labyrinth, circling toward each other and away, I realized it was a complete metaphor for Zack’s adolescence. As much as he’s distancing himself from me to define the line where I end and he begins, he also keeps coming back. As much as we clash, and almost bumped into each other on the path, we were finding our rhythm of how to navigate the teen years and be in the path’s space together.
The metaphor continued when I compared how we were each approaching the walk. Zack was sprinting through it like it were a race, wanting to reach the end, just like he wants to be grown up already. I was savoring the experience and moving slowly, just like I wanted to slow down his growing away from me.
Thinking about our path ahead, I started to worry. I began questioning my ability to parent him through the maze of adolescence. I was feeling very ill equipped with my lack of experience and patience.
That’s when I heard God say, “I’ve got him. He’s in the circle of My love.” It was so clear and profound, my breath caught in my throat. But as I leaned into God’s words, I found myself exhaling deeper than I have in a long time.
We moms analyze and dissect every interaction we have with our kids. We fixate on what we do right, what we do wrong, and the damage we might be causing our children in the process. We strive to fix our kids’ problems, and pave their way to a safe and smooth journey through life.
But the real truth is: Beyond loving them and doing our best, the rest is in God’s hands. No matter the ins and outs, and ups and downs of raising them, our kids are in the circle of His love. They will be fine.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I over-analyze what I do in my motherhood and its effect on my kids?
* Do I find relief when I realize my kids are in the circle of God’s love?