Earlier this year, on the 13th of January, my daughter turned 9 years old. At 12:19 a.m. to be exact!
She was super excited and so happy and in the moment, I could see her flourishing and becoming more and more independent by the second.
These days, she no longer wants mommy’s kisses and hugs in front of her friends. She hardly wants me to cuddle her in bed as we sing our lullabies at bedtime.
She’s gone from wanting me to sing “Jesus loves me” or “You are my sunshine” to singing verses from modern pop songs she hears on the radio (with me rolling my eyes… as I turn into my mother daily!)
Nine years ago as I was pushed to the limits of pain and physical exhaustion after almost three days of labour, I did not know how much my life would change. Before that, it was all about me and about how I felt. I had a choice as to when I would eat, sleep and even when I brushed my teeth.
Little did I know that a new boss of me was arriving.
Before Lillian was born, I kept saying how excited I was about having a “mini me”. At the time, I was just getting settled into my twenties, I had been married for 3 years and was starting to feel like a grown up simply enjoying my independence of no longer being a student. I was finally becoming a woman… wow!
The chaos and privilege of being a mother had begun.
A few weeks ago, on Lilian’s birthday, after dropping off both of my children at school in the morning, and seeing my baby girl stand up in assembly, I felt like bursting into tears.
She looked so proud of herself, so independent.
I am not exactly sure why I wanted to cry, but it might have been that rather selfishly I felt as if I was losing control of her. This thought made me reflect very deeply and reminded me of this quarter’s Sabbath school lesson regarding the Holy Spirit.
“From the testimony of Scripture, we learn that the Holy Spirit willingly and gracefully accepts a supporting, helping, sustaining, and equipping behind-the-scenes role. No matter whether it is in creation or redemption or mission, He does not seek to stand in the spotlight, regardless of His crucial role”. [From “The Holy Spirt and Spirituality”, Sabbath School Quarterly 2017 by Ron Clouzet, Lesson 2: “The Holy Spirit: Working Behind The Scenes”].
Reading this was a lightbulb moment for me as I considered that as a mother, my role should be like that of the Holy Spirit whose main role is to point people toward Jesus!
Our role as parents/carers/mentors is to work behind the scenes to ensure that the children – our sons and daughters – are supported and equipped to grow up in this world.
God only knows what challenges still lay ahead for them. All we can do is gracefully accept our crucial roles, not by seeking the spotlight but to bring our children up the best way we can that reflects our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ.