Admit it. Did you sigh a silent groan at this worn thin title phrase? Not only is my memory tested by my six-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter who expects me to remember the lyrics of the song from “Frozen”, but my “Let it Go” abilities have been tested recently by my eighteen-year-old son, James.
The phenomenon that happens the moment the clock hands move to the eighteenth year after a child is born never gets easier with each child. The experience varied with each of our three children in terms of how they reacted to the flip of that switch from adolescent minor to “young adult”. Our experience has been: (1) a free-spirited flighty one who immediately ignored all parental authority and blindly jumped out of the nest with no forethought or preparedness (2) a “go-with-the-natural-flow” one who still respected the household rules before eventually moving to a dorm, and (3) a “too-wise-for-his-britches” pessimist who believes he will be forced to stay under our roof too long in order to realistically gain enough security and stability for himself and his future family in the current world’s state of affairs.
But the one common fact that remains consistently the same through each child is that we, the parents, lose our legal rights over them after the candles are blown out for the eighteenth time.
I didn’t really understand my issue with control until it was taken away from me. Recently our newest adult of the family, James, experienced an emergency medical situation. He had been eighteen years old for literally a whole month. We rushed him to the ER in a serious state of health, he was admitted as an inpatient and had to spend four days in the hospital before being discharged to home. Through the nightmare of the unknown cause of his medical issue for the first couple days of testing and the subsequent fallout of side effects from the treatments themselves, the medical staff could not legally confer with us because of the privacy laws and the fact that we did not have power of attorney for his medical decisions on file. Many of the staff would only look and speak to James and not even acknowledge at all my interjections from the sidelines with all the facts and questions that moms are often brimming over with about their child’s life, welfare and history. “Listen to me! I am his mom and he is too sick and too wet behind the ears to make these medical decisions on his own! Do you see that he is just a boy in a man’s body? He is my baby! He doesn’t know any of this yet. He has no experience.” A couple of nurses, who likely had man/woman-children at home too, gave me the knowing, compassionate eye, but the cold fact is…our parental rights are dead and buried and they all have to cover their behinds under the law. We are rendered powerless. We must yield.
I was forced in this situation to remember that God has the ultimate power over HIS son, James. He entrusted my husband and I with his care for a season within the world’s boundaries. We did the best we could do, by all means not even close to perfect, but yet with the heart to please God. Now we need to yield to our Lord’s protection and guidance of his life from His sovereign vantage point rooted in love and grace. All of us have tests of faith in Christ placed before us by our Teacher Lord all the time. They come in various forms that can be likened to either pop quizzes, expected standard tests and complex thesis papers. God reminded me recently that any form of control issue we may have is rooted in fear. Fear of insecurity, fear of weakness, fear of being hurt or offended, fear of insignificance, fear of judgment or fear that God is not really enough and/or His promises are not true. Ouch. Fear is not from God. Believe God and pass the test.
To pass the test is to let our own control go, to not fear, to trust with a sound mind and good judgment based on WHO God is, what He has done for us and who we are to HIM. Release it all to the God, we know WHO is good all the time. His Word is true and faithful. He is just and right. He is the most trustworthy…and He will pick up our failures and use them to teach us by His grace. We will have more chances to pass, just learn from the former tests.
Humbly surrendered in my Master’s grip,