Tuesday, June 16, 2015

When Loving is a Struggle

Where to begin this post? I could begin with the fact that it came to mind a year ago last Spring to consider signing Emily up for Eagle Lake Camp while we were in Colorado. I could begin with the history that Eagle Lake and my favorite Glen Eyrie are separated only by elevation and canyon and all part of The Navigators ministries. I could begin with the fact that I've struggled with my relationship with this soul. Or, I could do what I just did and mention all of the above.

I forget exactly why I decided to wait a year on camp, but God's timing was obviously at work for this year. Earlier this Spring, the idea of camp came to mind again and after talking to David - we decided that while we were in Colorado this summer, we'd love for Emily to go to camp.

My goals for her were spiritual growth based. I was familiar enough with The Navigators to know that she would be encouraged and taught in having Time Alone With God {TAWG}, studying the Bible, Scripture memory and more. Plus, for our little social butterfly it seemed that camp could be a good fit. I was hopeful that seeing a genuine Christ-like walk lived out in someone new could be an encouragement to our Emily and knew it would be relevantly presented.

I should add that we really haven't been apart from our kids much and I wondered at how this would go - but it felt like God was leading and we were following. For once, I did not overthink the situation - I had little twinges of what would she be exposed to in other girls, what would she hear them talking about, would they be nice to her - but I did not dwell on those things. And, I decided to believe the truth which was that she would be exposed to things she may not know or have seen before but that the bottom line was that she would also be exposed to God big time. And that is really all that matters.

Emily is so very good at making friends, she hardly knows a stranger and is great at remembering names and details about people. And, it is hard for me to confess that I've struggled to relate to her sometimes. Being so social, dramatic, different from me has made it a challenge to have a natural sweet connection with her. Even though I want that to be different, it has continued to be a very hard thing.

I wrote her notes for each day of camp and tucked them in her bag and God provided the words and encouragement to say. And of course I thought of and prayed for her often throughout the week. But mostly I prayed for her heart.

Friends, perhaps you know the feeling - and I guess it shows that I really do love her until my heart is about to burst. I want her to have good godly character, to know God in a very real way and make that relationship with Him her own. To make that relationship a sweet priority and to look to God's Word for advice instead of watching others. I want it so much that sometimes I get frustrated or discouraged when I don't see the results I expect or hope for.

That Sunday when we left her at camp, my heart was at peace and she was eager to begin her adventure. Rachel was the one whose heart was sad - she softly cried while bravely leaving her sister at camp. The rest of us had our own fun adventure while Emily was at camp, but I'm not really done sharing - more to come on this!

I've hesitated to post on this topic because of sensitivity to my Emily and knowing she will read this some day. But God has laid it on my heart that I can still handle it in an appropriate way and that there are likely other mamas struggling too who may need a bit of encouragement.


Shelby said...

I too have the same problem with one of my girls. I sometimes don't feel connected or something is missing in our relationship. It's hard sometimes and I fail daily. Praying for her heart and mine daily. Tx for sharing your heart friend.

Leanne said...

looking forward to the rest of the story....

Unknown said...

Good for you mama! I have a daughter who willing be 17 this month. She is very shy but has had to perform for judges in all state and regions choir. She is not like the other girls and it's hard for her to make friends. She is strong in her Christian walk. I do know where you are coming from. I think one of the hardest tjings is letting go and remembering to intrust them to God who knows them and loves them even more than we ever can. If that's possible!:) He knows the situations that will be good for their character to make them into the people they'll be. But what better place to put them than in His hands? I know how hard this must of been for you but I'm proud of you. You're a good mom.

noricoleman.typepad.com said...

As a mother who wants the best for our children especially for them to have a personal relationship with our Lord, it can be difficult at times to watch them go through their own struggles and life experiences pertaining to their own wills. I have two older sons one is into himself to much, he thinks there are "many" paths. We didn't have faith when he was younger and he was not homeschooled until he was older. Our next oldest was brought up with the faith and homeschooled from beginning to end. He just graduated from college. he has gotten a bit of influence from college buddies fro the most part he is faithful but temptation is always knocking. It takes a lot of prayer and giving it all to God and knowing that they are his first. I have 6 others still at home and each one is so different.

Android said...

Thank you for sharing this, Monica. It can be a challenge when we parent children very different from ourselves.
My 9 year old is much more confident than I ever was. He had academic struggles (math) where school came easily to me. He also has difficulty accepting positive criticism and has a challenging time saying "I'm sorry"- all points of frustration. So I try hard to realize he is his own person, and I need to grow by accepting that we have different strengths.

Ah, to be a good, devoted patent is not an easy thing. I think you are doing a great job!

- Kim from Philadelphia

Elise said...

I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but I love when you share your struggles. Sometimes, it feels like I am the only one that struggles with a certain child, or three! It's hard to love and accept certain ones sometimes, but I hope and pray it doesn't come across in my parenting.

Mrs. U said...

I look forward to reading more. The first time you alluded to this struggle, I wholeheartedly related. My oldest daughter is my struggle. I sooooo pray the Lord will save my girl!!


Sharon said...

Thank you for writing this. Sometimes we have a hard time admitting we connect with some of our kids but struggle with others. It's scary and you think something is wrong with you but it is normal. I have 4 kiddos, and I definitely know the feeling, it's one that I have to pray about often. Many blessings to you :)

becka said...

I had difficulty relating to one of my children for many years. Our personalities were quite different and we were not pleased with some of the choices she was making. Fortunately she has married a wonderful husband, is faithfully attending a sound church, and making much wiser decisions. We are now very close--much closer than I could every imagine. I would suggest that you do not despair but keep praying and let God work in her life to change her into His image. It's hard to do, but it helps to remember that He loves our children even more than we do.