Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grandmother - Rewards & Challenges

As soon as my first grandchild entered the world I knew that being a grandmother was going to be a priceless and joyful adventure. Just as we do not truly grasp the grip love has on our hearts with children until we have them, the same I found to be true with grandchildren. My joy and awe at this most treasured relationship has grown with each addition. Just as it has always been with my children, I would gladly lay my life down for any one of my grandchildren.

The rewards are amazing. A smile or hug from them can lift my heart to amazing heights. 

"Mama, I love you to the moon and stars and back." "Mama, you're my hero." "Mama, I love you this much!" (with arms stretched so wide they nearly touch in the back) Each word treasured as I marvel in these wondrous blessings from God.

However, just as with our children, I have found that challenges are mixed in with the rewards. For me, the biggest challenge is wrestling with my desire to make everything alright for them. You know how we moms are! We want to protect our children from the bumps and bruises of life. When someone hurts them, whether it is a physical attack, hurtful words, or actions, we want to come out swinging. It is the same with my grandchildren. I so want to make their lives 'perfect'. To take away the pain that results from the actions and decisions of others.

...and then my Heavenly Father reminds me. My vision of perfect is still flawed. It is blurred by my humanity. If I could make changes in their lives that would somehow magically transform their circumstances into what my mind perceives to be the 'perfect' childhood they would still have issues to face, difficult decisions to make, desires to deal with. For, just like me, they are simply human. There is no perfect in this world.

But we do have access to One who is perfect. Who walked on this earth in human form. Who experienced the same painful challenges that we do. Who felt both physical and heart pain. Who understands my heart and knows how deeply I love my children and grandchildren. Who has their best interest in His heart. Who loves them even more deeply than I could ever comprehend.

And so I choose to let go of my desire to make things perfect for them and simply trust Him to work all things for their good.

Instead of dwelling on what I can not change, I will instead focus on what I can do and that is love them. I pray that I will love them in a way that points them to the love of their Heavenly Father. That my life will be one that shows them the transforming love and power of Jesus and leads them to their own relationship with Him.

And that, my dear friends, will be the greatest reward.

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