I’m struggling to come to terms with some hard facts of life this week:
1. I can’t bar disappointment or suffering from visiting my loved ones.
2. I can’t face people’s demons for them, as much as I want to.
3. I can’t implant solutions into a problem when the problem is not mine to solve.
4. I can’t take a burden that is not assigned to me.
5. I can’t halt the aging process.
The bottom line: I cannot ensure anyone’s happiness or peace of mind.
This is a painful reality to accept. For years, as a parent, keeping a child safe and relatively happy is doable. When kids are young, so much is in our control. Once they are of age and interacting with the world on their own, we can only watch.
And help, if asked.
At the other end, our own parents are capable and independent, and we don’t spend any time thinking that there will come a time when they will not be.
When that time comes, it’s surreal, because it’s never been like this before. They resist help, and we don’t know what to do.
We realize they are people, and not simply our parents, and we have to carve out a new relationship of sorts. Mainly, we just watch.
And help, if asked.
Watching loved ones, young and seasoned, face challenges is difficult.
Which drives me to God, because I don’t know what else to do.
I would like to hop into the head of loved ones and rearrange the furniture, but God didn’t create that option. So I just pray that I can be loving and wise, if I’m asked to help, which I’m not always.
So while God works things out, I wait (impatiently) and watch (with ideas spinning around), and try not to get in the way – which (surprise, surprise) is a challenge for me.
I tend to think I know what loved ones should do, but then God reminds me of number 3 above. And I have to shut up.
I’m not very good at this, but I’m always working on it. I suspect I’ll be working on it until I draw my last breath.
So, today, I’m reminding myself (again) that God is in charge.
He alone knows the hearts of my loved ones.
He alone can guide them and bring them peace of mind.
He doesn’t need my help.
I don’t know why it’s so easy to forget this.