One Step at a Time

Life’s waves of turmoil and despair are crashing over me non-stop, with one knocking me over and another on top of it before the prior one subsides. So, what else is new? We all go through periods of strife and pain. But, why so much, God? Why now?

As life flies by, faster each day, I find it harder to digest all that happens. First, it’s a lack of a job. Then, the loss of connection with long time friends, followed by children that move away, both physically and mentally. The hardest of all is the mental loss.

What did I do wrong? Why is my child avoiding me? My first reaction is to blame myself. I did something to alienate him. My opinions on politics, the country and the world don’t match my child’s. Okay, so that’s not the worst thing that could happen. I am thankful that he is living and well; successful in his work, happy (seemingly) with lots of friends.

There is a change, however. A gradual movement to fewer visits; visits for big events such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, or a birthday being the ones worthy of the effort of traveling. They are short affairs, with the exit at the end of the visit quick and early. It’s like, if there is too much time spent together, something might be said or done that is disagreeable.

Are there issues hiding behind the smiling facade? Secrets that would be uncomfortable if shared? Has something happened that is too painful, or objectionable to speak of? Doesn’t my grown child know how much I love him? How much I would do for him; even if I don’t like things now central in his life?  That’s what unconditional love is all about. But, the same unconditional love also means doing the hard things; saying what needs to be said only because it is for the good of the receiver and it is said in love.

My husband loves to tell me (too often I think!) that truth hurts. We can know in our hearts that what is said is for our well-being, but in our heads, it hurts and we want to shun it. It comes down to the fact do we trust the person who tells us these things in love, or do we trust what the world tells us that is not necessarily the best for us or even the truth.

This is my real fear; that my child will believe the world’s lies before listening to, or even considering that what I say is the truth spoken in love. I fear he will be misled, lured down a road of lies, deceit and even betrayal. I fear that it is a road that could end in spiritual death.

When gazing upon the world’s current stage of events, it is easy to see how so many are affected by the emotion of the masses. Little to no consideration is given to the truth of matters discussed (more like shouted and screamed and threatened). Too few stop to consider the true consequences of their actions, both on themselves and on others. The pleasure of the moment, or what seems to be the politically correct thing to do, often outweighs the rationale or sanity on any given issue.

I look at these things and want to wrap my arms around my child and whisper in his ear to be wary, to watch out for the handsome devil, the cleaver deceiver. I want to beg him to stear clear of the lies that tickle one’s ears; ones that are used to coerce and manipulate.

As I take this unwelcome and uninvited journey, I realize I must give up control over the situation and plead with God for His mercy and justice. Daily, I beg Him to intervene and do what He knows is best and to help me let go of what I think is better.  I pray to Him to intervene in the life of my child and his eternal fate. As my knees get calloused, I slowly acknowledge it is out of my hands. It is only His hands, which are bigger and stronger, that can hold onto my child, and me at the same time.  And, through it all, faith is the only lamp I have to light the pathway in front of me, one step at a time.

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