Have you ever heard the story in the Bible about King Solomon? How wise he was? "Oh, to have the wisdom of Solomon?"
Here's a story that explains his great wisdom: Two women (who were actually sisters-in-law) had a baby within a few days of eachother. Both of their husbands died and they were living in the same house. In the middle of the night, one of the mothers accidentally smothered her baby in bed. Rather than mourn for her lost child, she switched her dead son with her nephew, who was cradled safely in his mother's bed. The next morning, the woman awoke and was horrified to see that *her* baby had died in his sleep. But on closer inspection, she realized that it wasn't her baby at all. Her sister-in-law denied the act and they went before wise King Solomon to settle their dispute.
After hearing both sides, King Solomon suggested he cut the live baby in half. That way, both mothers would be appeased, right? The mother who had lost her baby said, "Good idea." If she couldn't have a baby, her sister-in-law shouldn't either. But the mother whose baby the king was going to cut in half said, "No, don't do it! Give her the baby. I would rather that my baby were alive and living with another mother than be chopped in two." King Solomon knew that this was the real mother of the child. He gave her the baby and sent them home. If you're interested, the whole story can be found in 1 Kings 3:16-28.
Crazy story, isn't it? Just a beautiful example at how sacrificial mothers can be when it comes to her children. She will do anything to see that they have life.
I've been thinking about that story lately. About how much a mother loves her children. How there isn't anything a mother wouldn't do for them to have life. For them to be happy. How she would never want anything to happen to them. But if a mother really love her children, she would need to - first - be willing to let them go.
Trust me, this is not something I enjoy thinking about.
But it is a harsh reality. Jack and Ben are not my own. They belong to the Lord. I'm only caring for them for a time. They are my responsibility, trusted to my care. But they are God's precious precious children. I try and remind myself of this fact when I don't know how to get them to NOT run directly into the street or obey when mommy says, "Stay on the sidewalk, don't touch the grass" and they intentionally do it. Again and again. I go to the Lord in frustration and say, "God, give me wisdom to know how to respond to Your children." Trust me, in those moments, it's not difficult to acknowledge them as NOT being my sons ;)
Nonetheless, it's the truth. I first must let them go before God can decide whether or not to give them back. I'm responsible for my actions and how I choose to raise these kids, mostly because I am performing an act on earth that the Lord entrusted to me.
Someday, this will mean allowing them to get on a schoolbus. Go through a day of kindergarten without me looking over their shoulder or dictating their speech. Giving them the keys to the car and trusting them to be home before curfew. Allowing them to go with a group of friends to the movies. Or to visit a female friend's house. All of these things require letting go. Giving up control. Because only then will our kids HAVE life.
Not to belabor the point, but I've also been thinking about this in relation to house-hunting. As you are probably aware, my husband and I have been searching for our next home. We've found a few that we liked and began the process of imagining ourselves there. Thinking about logistics and talking to our realtor about price. But there's always been a reason we had to walk away. Let it go. The first house had a bad foundation. The second one could only be accessed through a rickety bridge. And with another, we haven't seemed to be able to decide on a price with the sellers. We've had to let them go. Give them up. Because only then can God decide whether He'd like to give them to us or provide something better.
Giving up. Letting go. And trusting God with the future. Not as easy as it sounds, but it's definitely nice to know this isn't my fight. If I truly wants what's best for my family - and I desperately do - I will first need the power to let go. Walk away. And see if the Lord brings it back.