Life can be filled with obstacles, trials, disappointments, and heartaches. At specific points in life, a situation can present itself and ultimately take you off guard. What do you do in those moments? Life is unpredictable, and you never know what will happen from day to day. I have realized that life is a faith walk because of the uncertainty of the future. As a parent, that statement rings deep. When we have our children, we do the best that we can in raising them. We make mistakes along the way, but we try hard to get it right. We raise them based on what we know and sometimes based on how we were raised. Children do not, and I repeat, do not come with instructions. So once this little bundle of joy makes its debut into the world, the life of a parent begins—the training, shaping, and molding. Children are born with a clean slate, and we as parents are responsible for what is put on that slate that will eventually shape the child.
We learn the child’s cues when they need to be changed, fed, or when they want to be held. As they get older, they start becoming curious and reaching for things until they eventually begin crawling then walking. It is incredible to see their personalities shine through as you learn their likes and their dislikes. After a while, they start daycare, then school, and before you know it, they graduate High School. Time flies, and it only seems like yesterday you brought them home from the hospital. When they grow into young adulthood, you ask yourself if I taught them all they needed to know or was there anything that I missed. Our hope as parents is that our children grow up to be productive citizens in the community. We want nothing but the best for them. But what happens when the choices they make are not good ones, and choices lead to a life of trouble and trials? What happens when they make the right decisions in life, but situations come up that turn the course of their life around?
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The title heading for the NIV version of Philippians 4:6-7 characterizes this part of the chapter as an appeal for steadfastness. That is what is needed during these times, steadfastness. The choices our children or other loved ones, family or not, make concern us because we want them to make the right decision. We cannot, however, allow it to affect us. As a parent, sister, daughter, friend, etc., I have come to learn that I cannot allow my health and peace of mind to suffer behind another person’s choice. To be completely transparent, it was hard in the beginning because we tend to carry our loved ones in our hearts. Then I realized that my loved ones were living their best life (so they think), while I was worried and getting headaches. Through teachings from my Pastors and reading God’s word, I learned that this was not the way things were supposed to be.
I prayed and asked God to help me to release my loved ones to Him. The best thing we can do is release our loved ones to their Creator. God knows what it will take to get their attention. He knows more about that person than you do. Again, being transparent, I struggled with releasing loved ones to God. I would release them, but then I would turn around and take them back as if God doesn’t know what He is doing. I didn’t realize at the time that I was doing more damage than good. When I tried to fix it or do whatever needed to be done, I was doing what I thought was the right thing. Forgetting that my earthly minute thinking could not come close the mind of the Creator. I decided to take God at his word, and Philippians 4:6-7 is a scripture that I hold very dear. As I began to speak God’s Word over and over continually, I started to walk in it; I began to abide in the peace of God.
My husband and I have been faced with trials that required us to walk in the peace of God, not knowing how things were going to work out. We are witnesses that God will give you a level of calmness, confidence, and a knowing that all things work together for the good of those called by Christ. When the test comes, begin to see it as an opportunity for God to get the glory. During the trial, keep praying, keep speaking God’s promises, and stand firm on what you know to be the truth. Are you going to have moments that you feel like crying? Absolutely. I remember when my husband and I faced a trial with one of our children. At first, I was calm because there was an action as parents that we needed to take, but then everything settles, and the reality of what was going on set in, and I began to cry, and I cried until I felt a release. Crying is a release. I can hear my Co-Pastor say, “Sometimes, all you need is a good cry.” But then she would also tell us after we have that cry, we have to keep trusting God and stand on His Word. Will there be moments that you will need to vent? Absolutely, but the key is to vent to the right person. When you are going through, you need someone who will agree that the perfect will of God will be done. It would be best to talk to someone who will tell you the truth and help push you to stand on what you know is right. If you allow Him, God will give you the peace and the strength that you need to make it through whatever trial or test you are going through. God promised not to provide you with just peace but a peace that goes beyond all understanding. When you begin to rely on and trust in God, speak His word, and refuse to doubt, people are going to be amazed at how you are still standing. That’s the kind of God we serve.