My older daughter is 13 1/2. She goes to high school next year. So far, this teenager thing hasn’t been too bad, but changes are coming that are going to make parenting her a bit more challenging.
In six months, she can get her driving permit (because in our state, we think it’s a good idea to let kids drive at 14). Her list of people she texts has expanded in just the past month to include some boys she’s friends with. She’s going to Ecuador on her own with our youth group on a mission trip this summer.
These are all big changes that are stretching my momma’s heart. They all require that she have more independence and more responsibility. They require me letting go of a lot of control and trusting her to make the right choices.
I have to tell you, I don’t think I’m ready.
I’m pretty sure it was just yesterday that she was taking her first wobbly steps. Wasn’t it just hours ago that I sent her off to kindergarten?
But the truth is that our kids grow up. They move to different stages in life. They require a different kind of parenting. And, as parents, I don’t think we’re ever ready to leave one stage behind and move on to the next. The truth is, though, that we don’t have to be ready. We just have to be willing to follow where God leads. Because whether we’re ready or not, He is.
I know that God holds both my daughters close to His heart. I know that He is busy molding and shaping them into the people He needs them to be. I’m simply a tool that He uses to do so.
God is never surprised by the new stages that our kids enter. He is not startled by the addition of boys to the texting list. He is not concerned by a driver’s permit. He is not worried about an out-of-the-country trip. He is in control.
While I’m adjusting to the new norm of this new stage of parenting, God is already in the midst of it. He is busy working in my daughter’s heart and my own heart. He is there to offer up wisdom and guidance to this mom who sometimes already feels in over her head. He is simply waiting in the wings for me to acknowledge my need for Him.
So, as we enter this new stage — one that includes boys, driving and independence — I’m not ready, but God is. And that’s enough.