He Loved Them First

darcyblog-june24

BY DARCY WOOD

If you are a parent, chances are you might share this feeling with me: I want the very best for my kids! I want them to have experiences, learn, develop, and then, eventually grow up and live a full life. I want them to be successful, happy, and have deep relationships and a rewarding career. I want them to follow after God and for him to be at the center of all they do. I’m a mom and of course I want the best possible life for my kids.

As my kids have grown up, I’ve encouraged them to do well in school, be active in church and sports, and build friendships with other kids. I’ve done everything I can to help guide them and teach them. When they were little, I’d ask them what they wanted to be when they grew up and what kind of person they wanted to become. All the while hoping and praying for what I thought was a good future for them.

My kids are now teenagers, and I have much less control over their decisions and direction, and honestly, I get nervous. Ok, let’s be real honest, I’m terrified at times.

If they make poor choices or don’t follow my instruction, what will their lives look like? The truth is, my kids are great kids, but they don’t always make the decisions I would hope they’d make. They don’t always see into the future, play it forward, or think of the impact their choices will have. As a parent, that can be discouraging and frustrating.

I have a feeling that my husband and I are not alone, and that there are other kids out there who aren’t exactly following the path their parents have laid out for them. For quite a while I let it really bother me. Why didn’t my kids want the things that I wanted for them? Where did I go wrong? Why did they make those choices? Do they even understand the consequences? What will their life as an adult be like?

I spent a lot of time feeling frustrated, defeated, discouraged, and just at a loss for how to move forward. Some days, I’ll admit, I just wanted to give up. And the worst part of it all: I didn’t trust that God could possibly love my kids more than I do. I didn’t trust that His plans for them were greater than the present circumstance. I didn’t trust that He would use their mistakes for something really beautiful later.

God loves my kids more than I do―way more, actually. In fact, He loved them first.

He has a plan for them and he wants the best for them too. He will use their mistakes and poor choices to create character, perseverance, and hope. He has a plan for my boys that is bigger and better than any plan I can come up with. I know that God is walking right alongside them, every single step of the way. I just need to continue to trust and put my hope in the mighty Creator who loves us in the midst of mistakes and makes beautiful things out of the worst circumstances.

More and more these days, I trust God with my boys and feel free of worry. After all, as I reflect on my own path, my own life, I can clearly see His plan was so much better than my own and I’m thankful for that.

Parents, how about you? Do you believe God loves your kids more than you do? That He loved them before you did? Can you let go of some of the control, and truly trust in God’s plan for your kids? If you’re having a hard time with this, why? What are your barriers? What is one thing you can do this week to break down those barriers and trust our Creator even more?

darcyDarcy is the director of EBC Kids and leads the team that creates, develops and plans ministry for kids. Darcy’s passion is reaching kids for Christ and helping them to understand who God is and how much he loves them. Darcy and her husband are raising two teenage boys. Their family enjoys spending time outside bicycling, going on camping trips, listening to music, cooking big meals, working out and, most of all, just having fun and laughing together! Follow Darcy on Twitter @dwood9799.

A Time For Everything: Day 31

We spend so much of our lives working toward the next promotion, rising to the next pay grade, and accruing more possessions. Our homes may have started out sparsely decorated with a few things hanging on the walls, but by the end of our lives, our bookshelves and counters are littered with trinkets and knickknacks—because why not more?

There’s nothing wrong with working hard and having things; in fact, God has given us many gifts to enjoy. But where does our satisfaction come from? Our increasing bank account and the fattening of our wallets? Or through God and our families and friendships?

Today, let’s take to heart the cold hard truth: “We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.” Whatever we have, whatever we own, it won’t be ours for long. After the few short years we spend on this earth, we will leave it behind. The good news? Far greater riches are awaiting us. For all of us who follow Christ, we are promised riches, peace, and a perfect relationship with God in heaven. What more could we want? Let’s live with this eternal mentality and wisdom today.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 5:8-15

The Futility of Wealth

8 Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. 9 Even the king milks the land for his own profit!

10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! 11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!

12 People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep.

13 There is another serious problem I have seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the saver. 14 Money is put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one’s children. 15 We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.