My three children are now adults, and looking back, it's surprising how my dreams for them...well, let's just say I was naive. Or maybe selfish. Life is full of surprises.
When our oldest was seven, his IQ tested very high. Gifted classes followed, and I assumed he would pursue a very academic path. He quit college after two years. What he loved was art and music. (He played the violin as a youngster, the guitar as a young adult.) He was very talented there as well, so I shifted my thinking. He joined a band and moved to Arizona. He found work in a pharmacy and became certified as a pharmacy tech. Oh, medicine! I thought. Maybe he'll head to pharmacy school.
He was not the least bit interested. The band folded, but he met his future wife, who is also musically gifted, and they married a few years later. They are very happy. I thought they might have a baby soon, but they shared recently they don't think kids are for them. Okay. I clearly have no idea what God has planned for our son.
Our daughter grew up loving science, and in her senior year of high school wrote about wanting to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. She got a full scholarship to college, but two years in, discovered chemistry and changed her major. After college, she worked at a health food store. How did we go from med school plans to being in charge of produce? She dabbled in youth ministry, and then...stunned my husband and me when she decided to enter religious formation to become a Catholic sister. Huh?
God worked on my heart, and I came to love the idea. After three years, she left the convent and began teaching high school science. (She's great at it, and the kids love her.) When she was younger, I assumed she would marry and have children some day. However...in her early college years, she developed an endocrine problem that derails the reproductive system. I have to admit, I have grieved about this. But, when I see how God is using her and all her gifts, I have peace.
Our baby, who's 30, married right out of college with a history degree. I thought he would teach. He ended up working in retail for Gucci. Gucci?! We thought it would be temporary, but he moved up in the company and was there seven years. Of our three, he seemed the most ready for kids, but did not have baby James until after seven years of marriage.
He and his wife were prepared to moved to KY to a new position with the job when his store closed suddenly and he was out of work - two weeks before their baby was due! They had to move. Just hours after they moved to a new home, her water broke. Curve balls, one after another. God, what are you doing? I have wondered more than once.
I share all this because I've realized, since baby James has arrived, that my dreams/expectations for my children apparently have no bearing on what God has planned for them. This makes me smile.
A mom's dreams for her child are lovely and, well, "dreamy," but looking back, I see I didn't remember that my children don't really belong to me; they belong to God. I can wish all I want for my children, but I don't know everything. I don't know what God knows about them. My husband and I made them, but God made them first. His plans are going to trump mine.
God is the ultimate creator who has divine plans for each of my children - for all of us. I want only success and rainbows for my kids, but God knows their journey is going to contain disappointments and detours, because that's how we grow. My dreams for my children are to be happy. God's dreams for them are to be holy.
|Four generations - my mom, myself, my son, and baby James when he was just days old.|
I wonder what my mom dreamed for me, and what my son dreams for his son. Time will tell, but in the end, God will win. And we certainly can't do better than that.
So James, my dream for you is that you love God and seek His dream for you.