Tonight is the last night I prayed with and tucked in my eldest daughter as a mere twelve-year-old.
In the morning, as you’re reading this, our household will possess its first teenager.
My terror is not of the adolescent myth, but of all I the damage I have wrought. I pray that it can be redeemed in the few short years I have left of her youth, before she leaves home for her own way.
We all have mother guilt, but most of that is unfounded. For me, much of it is truth.
Children don’t raise themselves to be leaders.
I was certainly not a servant leader…until recently. It’s always a process.
As a mother, I have been irresponsible, neglectful, abusive. It saddens me to admit it. Leaving her father was as much an act of pride as fear.
Fear of who she would grow up to be with that sort of a father.
For thirteen years, I have lived in fear…of her becoming like me.
What holds us back more than anything is fear.
We fear and call it love.
We fear and call it protection.
We fear and call it education.
But it’s still fear.
Fear is most often just projected hurt and anger.
To raise servant leaders, we must trust in Jesus to help us overcome those fears. To enable us to be who He means us to be. To allow our children to be who He intends them to be.
Fear keeps me from loving completely, unabashedly, unapologetically.
Fear is a learned helplessness, of never knowing when or where the pain will appear, so it’s easier to remain in stasis, shielded by a translucent wall rather than unprepared, pink and raw.
Happiest is when that wall comes crashing down in blinks and sighs, during awe-struck, out-of-body glimpses of these blundering souls God has lent me, when responsibility forgets to tear my heart and the dishes and laundry are forgotten.
I grasp desperately for those magical moments to last, but the world always comes crashing back, jarring me into reality, and in my confusion and fear, the wall comes back up.
But real truth lies hidden in the magic.
What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? Luke 9:25 The Message
By losing ourselves, we gain Christ, and by gaining Christ, we learn who we really are. It’s a scary process and we take one step forward, two steps back – our whole lives, it seems – dancing to and fro, like a skittish puppy who doesn’t quite trust.
Aaron refuses to dance with me because I don’t trust him enough to let him lead. I am so afraid of losing balance or looking like a fool.
In the dancing, it’s how we learn. We must learn to trust Him to lead. We must trust that in our stumbles, even our falls, our missteps, He will lead us true, protect us, and redeem our mistakes work out.
He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:28
We may never make it to Dancing With the Stars, but we can overcome that fear of the music and learn to dance simply, in our way, with our own flow and flourish.