Your children aren't really yours [what we can learn from Hannah]

One of the most beautiful and most quoted scriptures in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Another equally powerful verse is found in Psalm 139 (one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible). Verse 16 reads, You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

After reading just those two verses, it's obvious that God wanted you, He planned you, and He wasn't surprised by your existence. He also knows every moment and every trial and every joy and heartache you will and have experienced in life. He knows what the seconds hold and how many seconds you will spend on earth before eternity begins.

He loves us with a perfect love and infinitely more than any human parent could. So as parents, humans, we need to trust God with our children. After all, only He knows the future. Only He knows the complete plan. Sometimes we get in the way of that. {We need to move.}

I think naturally we want to view our children as ours. Couples also tend to throw out phrases after their child is born like, "we made this little person" or "look at what we've done!" treating their child like a possession or some 9 month long art project. And then, if for some reason, the child WE created doesn't pass a test in utero or there might be a hint of malformation, some couples like to "crumple it up" and try again hoping for a better outcome. [Who are you to make that choice?]

Some parents are overly worrisome towards their children and fret and fuss over each and every consequential mishap. Some parents feel the need to be perfect and overbearing and overprotective because they may read too many parenting magazines or question their pediatrician constantly and then doubt their every ability to parent their own child.

Parenting is stressful. No doubt. There isn't another responsibility in life that can compare. But I believe the only way God wants us to parent is with Him in the drivers seat. Yea, that means you, parent, are the passenger....or maybe in the backseat even.

Your children aren't yours.

And thank goodness they aren't. Our children are Gods masterpiece. Each one with unique gifts and abilities and traits that will never be duplicated. Each one with a set number of days, each one with a purpose and a plan. And your plans for your child may collide hard sometimes with the plan God had laid out for them before He spoke "light" into existence. You may find yourself reeling with confusion and hurt somedays and think "why MY child?" or "why is my child making this choice instead of the choice I seek for them?" "Did I raise them right?" "Where did I go wrong?!!"

Which brings me to Hannah. Probably THE most amazing woman in the Old Testament, in my opinion. Having been barren for years, she continually prays for a son. God finally (well, in HIS perfect timing and will....since He, of course, is never late) sends her a son but requires of her to give her son to the temple priest, Eli, when he is of weaning age. God made good, as always, on His promise, and Hannah did so in return. When Samuel, her precious toddler son, was of age, she gave him over to be raised in the temple.

I look at Hannah and I am just in awe of her every time. She could have very easily changed her mind and heart about making good on her promise to God as soon as she locked eyes on little Samuel after he was born. I remember when my firstborn was born, I didn't even want anyone to hold him. I didn't want him out of my arms. He was MY son. I birthed him. I am his everything. I cannot imagine giving him up at such a young age. But Hannah's faith was bigger than her desire to mother Samuel. Her heart was sewn to Gods and she trusted He, not her, but He knew what was best for Samuel. His plans would prosper in her son, not her own. Her dreams for her son may have looked quite different than what God actually had dreamed up for him many millennia before.

Let go of the hold you have on your child. Let God move and work in them. Don't parent without putting God in the drivers seat. Don't look at your children as yours. They aren't. You are chosen as the earthly caregiver. You are to point their heart towards the Savior. Not towards your wants and desires, but for His desires to become your child's.

I'm thankful that my children aren't mine. I'm thankful that He's blessed my life with these precious ones. And may they always seek God and His path first. I couldn't dream up anything better.

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Olivia: snugly, sweet, and full of love. She loves stuffed animals, snuggling every 15 minutes, and eating crackers

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Hunter: sweet, intuitive, inquisitive, competitive, loves babies, art, and figuring out how things work

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Avery: sweet, loves puzzles and the alphabet, loves to dress up like a princess

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Carter: funny, caring, energetic, loves to cook and create with Legos

All are different. All with a purpose. All I must do is let God do as He wills. Here they are God, work as you will.

Love, Alicia