Just As Flawed and Human As Us

In the dark hours of night, sometimes I lay awake thinking about the many things I want to impart to my kids. They're in middle and high school, which aren't the easiest times. The simpler struggles of childhood, which demand a parent's physical energy, have been replaced with complex adolescent struggles. The adage is true: little kids, littler problems. Bigger kids, bigger problems. The stakes are higher, the hurts are deeper, and as a parent, it's painfully apparent that while you can do a great deal to help, you can't perfectly protect your kids.

You can't always protect them from getting hurt or having their hearts broken. You can't always protect them from battling their own struggles, grappling with their own insecurities, or fighting their own battles. You can't protect them from the consequences of their actions. And while you can instill values, model behaviors, and teach important principles, you can't always prevent them from making bad choices or hurting others.

Because these kids of ours? They're just as flawed and human as we are. And these lives of theirs? They have to learn lessons that emerge directly from pain and personal experience, not just advice. I'd love for my kids to learn from past mistakes — preferably someone else's. The reality, though, is we're all thick-headed enough that learning often comes most powerfully from our own lived mistakes.

This is ridiculously hard to watch.

I spend a lot of time on my knees for my children, talking to God with all my messy impatience and brokenness. And I spend time on my knees in silence punctuated by tears when the rawness is too much for words. God can handle this honesty. Daresay, He wants this honesty.

Even when my heart is heavy, I'm confident in this: God loves my children more than I do. And if you have kids, God loves your children more than you do. Our flaws aren't too much for God to handle, and neither are our children's. Just like our hurts aren't too deep for God to heal, neither are theirs. Just like our problems aren't too convoluted for God to untangle, neither are theirs.

It's hard to watch and wait in the wilderness phases, especially if its our kids who are out there wandering, but God is with them. God is there.

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