This weekend I was able to enjoy some 1-on-1 time with Kennedi, as we attended an HBCU College Fair. Even though she’s a Freshman, I thought it would be worthwhile to expose her to some options along with the regional universities she has expressed an interest in (like University of Maryland, University of Delaware, and Penn State).
We chatted with some alumni from the represented schools, and now Xavier, Hampton, Tuskegee, FAMU, and North Carolina A&T are on her radar. After the fair, we spent the weekend talking about each school – their location, their available majors, their sports programs and facilities, amongst other factors.
While she chatted on about features that were important to her, I quietly wondered which school would be the best choice for her? Which academic program would give her the best opportunity for employment after graduation? Which sport would she play? Would her previous injury be a factor in competing at the collegiate level?
Can I be honest? I’ve become simply exhausted with all the nerve-wracking worrying that I tend to bring upon myself. Ever since they were born, I have been planning out my daughters’ lives. Doing what I could to make the thoughts, dreams, and desires I have for them become a reality.
As parents we have such high hopes and dreams for our children, and some of us more controlling parents have mapped out their entire childhood out through their early adult years. Which elementary, middle, and high schools they should attend, what colleges, what major (guilty!)
I have spent countless hours agonizing over if I’m making the right decisions about the schools, activities, sports teams/clubs, and social circles that the girls are being exposed to.
Am I causing them to miss an opportunity? Am I giving them the best path forward? All this was being measured by the best anticipated outcome according to my standards.
This soon became overwhelming, as I would work myself up into a frenzy if I thought I made a bad choice that would have long-reaching impact, even preventing future possibilities.
And what about the right teachers? After-school programs? Summer Camps? Coaches? Trainers? Yep, at one point or another, I’ve fretted about all of these. Are they smart enough? Tall enough? Fast enough? Talented enough? Any perceived shortcoming would threaten to negatively influence the path I thought they should be on.
We have OUR plan for our children, but God created each one, and they each have a purpose according to His plan for their lives. Since we don’t know this plan intimately, we have no idea if our choices are helping or hindering His plan.
It is our job to help them discover their purpose and put them on track, while providing resources and opportunities within our means to help them fulfill that purpose.
How do we find out their purpose? How do we know the purpose of anything? We look to the creator or inventor. Only the creator of something would know what it was created for.
I think it’s important that we do our best within our abilities for our children. I mean, God DID bless us with our children for a reason. There is a reason why each of us who are parents were “given” each child that we have. And it’s important for us to stay in constant communication with their Creator, who trusted us to care for and nurture His special creation.
Once we have that connection and are seeking Him for direction on the choices we should be making, we can take that heavy mantle of having to guide their lives off our shoulders. We can just experience life with them, by enjoying each day we are blessed with, and trusting that His perfect plan (which is so much better than ours) will come to pass in their lives.
Today’s Play Prediction was just what I needed to change my detrimental thinking. No matter what plans I feel are best for my children (based on my limited knowledge), what a relief it is to know that regardless of what choices they make or what path they take, God’s purpose will still prevail. And the same is true for us as well – no matter how old we are, or how many mistakes we’ve made!
So I’ve decided to throw in the towel. I no longer want to carry the conductor’s baton, I’m done with my orchestrating days. Just as Hannah did with Samuel, I’m giving my girls back to God, and praying they belong to Him and follow His plan for their entire lives.
And any time fear or worry starts to creep in, I’ll confidently remind myself that God’s got my girls, and according to His plan and His Word, everything is going to work out just fine!
Do you worry about your or your children’s future? Can you discard your blanket of worry and trust in the promise of Proverbs 19:21?
How would your level of peace change if you knew that a God-ordained purpose would be fulfilled in your life (no matter what mistakes you made in your past), if you just released your plans over to God?
Feel free to share your response in the comments section…