I am a mother of six children—three are adults and three are not far behind. Being a parent to adults has been a learning curve for me. They are no longer in my house, and I cannot speak into their lives on a daily basis or send them to their rooms.
A while back, my oldest son stopped by late. He is newly married and in the midst of moving. He was sharing with me some of his stressors. I tried not to jump in with advice; adult children often hear unsolicited advice as criticism. As they figure out life, they don’t always appreciate us jumping in to solve it. I have spent my entire life advising these kids, so it is hard to keep quiet and listen. But I know my listening is what he needed.
I could have given many pieces of advice. But if I could distill it down to one thing, I would want him to know God’s love.
Here is what I would say:
When you kids were little, no matter what you were doing, I had my heart and my eyes focused on you. When you hid, I always knew the obvious bump under the blanket was where you were. Even though you thought your hiding spot was brilliant.
On the day you decided to run away from home, I had my eyes on you the entire time. I was ready to rush out the door to grab you if you went too far, yet you felt brave and alone.
I obviously never mistook you for Buzz Lightyear. But you were convinced you were the spitting image of him.
Little kids are so funny like that. They have so much faith in what they believe. To a child, anything seems possible. You really can be Buzz Lightyear or the Little Mermaid. You can run away and jump a train and be a hobo. You can hide under a blanket, and all the while not realize your mother knows exactly where you are.
As adults, we are like the little kids we used to be. We do the same things: we hide, we question. We think we have all the answers or none of them. We try to pretend to be who we are not. We think God does not see or care.
All the while, we are seen and loved by God.
We are all in the center of God’s hands no matter where we go, what we believe, or what choices we make.
Some choices in life are harder. Some have more consequences than others, but no matter what, we are surrounded by His love. He loves us and watches over us no matter what. Nothing can change that fact.
No matter what, I will love you and pray for you. I know how much I love you. But it is nothing compared to the love of God.
There is so much going on in your world. You are trying to get jobs, move, and learn to be married and all those changes are stressful. Life will be full of stress, choices, and changes. But God’s love does not change. You are in His hands every moment of every day, always. I wish there were some way we could let that sink in. It would change the way we live.
It is hard to be a parent. There is so much riding on it. You don’t just have to clothe, feed, and keep your child safe—you also have to teach and train your child for life. As a parent, you want so much to get it right, and you never know if you are doing it right. I know we did a lot of things right and probably a lot of things wrong
Looking back, I know I showed you and taught you kids to love. You are all amazing people. But I wish I would have told you 500 times a day how loved you were and not just by me, but by God. I know I told you God loved you but I wish and still long for it to seep into your souls.
It’s not too late. Here is what I want you to remember:
You are loved by God and He holds you close. Nothing you can do can ever separate you from that love.
He cares for us.
He watches over us.
He works for our good.
He not only sees but loves.
Look for His love in the midst of your day. Look for His love in the joyful times but especially the times of sorrow.
Let His love fill you.
Please know I am praying for you.
Previously published on the author’s blog