Heartaches and Happiness

“Where there is desire, there’s gonna be a flame,
where there is a flame someone’s gonna get burned,
just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die,
you gotta get up and try, try, try.
You gotta get up and try, try, try.”

My mind is swirling. I would much rather go through pain, heartache, rejection than to have to watch my child experience it. I want to fix it. Make it go away. I can deal with it. Give me pain, heartache, rejection, just don’t make me stand by helpless while my child is suffering.

And yet, we know that we can’t protect our children from hurts and heartaches. These experiences will mold them into the people that God wants them to be. An easy life does not build character.

So many times I wish I could know the future, how everything will turn out, but it’s not that simple. In reality, if we could see the future it would show some very happy times, but also some hard times, times that we would dread because we didn’t have the full picture.

Think about one of the worst things that has happened to you. What if you had known that it was coming – five years before, ten, twenty? What would that have changed? Would you have enjoyed the years leading up to it less, more?

If you’re married, you probably repeated the vows, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want. In theory you knew you’d have hard times, but you didn’t know what they’d be. If you knew, would you still have made that commitment?

We have the façade of our careers, our money, our stuff, our plans, but that’s all they really are – a façade. We have little control. The only things any of us have control over are our own thoughts and actions. Logically, if two people both stick to that commitment, the marriage lasts. If one changes his mind, it’s over.

Thinking like that is scary business. But it all boils down to trust. There are no guarantees.

When you know a battle is brewing, what’s the best thing to do? Postpone it? Avoid it? No, we have to walk through it. Use the most direct route. The most direct route is the fastest way out. The fastest way through the pain. Times that we might not say thank you for, but realize what they taught us, and for whatever reason, that was the way that God chose to teach us.

In two days, my 16-year-old daughter’s boyfriend will move twelve hours away. She is heartbroken. He is heartbroken. I’m heartbroken watching them. Me trying to control her life is not the answer. Some parents would say, “It would be easier to just break up…You’re just postponing the inevitable…It won’t last.”

I’ve decided instead to simply model a life of faith. None of us knows the future. That may be what makes this situation so difficult. But it’s also a blessing. Isn’t any experience that builds our faith, a blessing? Times that lift the façade of our security, and force us to face the truth. God is in control of everything, all the time. We don’t have control. So we focus on Him.

“What if our blessings come through raindrops, what if our healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near? What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst, this world can’t satisfy? What if trials of this life, are your blessings in disguise?”

These are two very special kids. God is in control and has both of their best interests at heart. I wish I could take their pain away, but I can’t. What I can do is lean on God. I know that God works all things out for GOOD for those who love Him. Even when we don’t understand. Even when we have no control over our circumstances. Even when our hearts are full of aching sadness. Faith is what gets us through.  

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