Chambersburg, PA

Making a Control – Shift


Helen Steiner Rice, A Mother’s Love, edited
Written on August 28, 2014

She is breaking my heart!! Oh how I just want her to embrace this experience!  This awesome season in life of stepping out on her own, exploring life without her mother hovering over her head, and soak up all the knowledge she possibly can.  But instead she is miserable.  Absolutely miserable!

No one prepared me for this part or possibility.  She is my oldest and first to go off to college.  I knew that it would be difficult for me to let her go, especially all the way to Florida and leave her mama here in PA. I knew that part and was semi prepared.  But this, no one told me about this, and it never occurred to me that she just wouldn’t dive in and love it.

If it was me I would feel like I woke up in a dream.  A luxurious dream where college happened at  the beach, on a campus that resembled a resort, with dorms that overlooked the costal waters, and a baby grand piano in the common room. Where faculty and students assembled to represent Christ and grow his kingdom. Sounds like an amazing place and opportunity right?

Lord knows that wasn’t the dish my collegeic knowledge was served to me on! No mine was on a country campus in the middle of nowhere, cowtown PA, with dorm rooms made for hobbits and  the scenic view and entertainment were six dirty backdoor bars and the occasional Amish buggy race.  And don’t even get me started with the need for the Holy Spirit’s presence to be on that campus among student and staff alike.

How could one even have to think twice about which one was best?  Its completely maddening how anyone sober and free from the power of psychotropic drugs could say that they hate it there.  And yet that’s what continues to pop up on my screen, over and over again. “I hate it here. I hate the heat. I hate the people. I hate all the food except for one thing.” So much hatred coming out of one girl in a place that I would describe as the University of Milk and Honey.

In that moment I decide to seek the Lord’s wisdom, you know as us wise mothers would do.  We say to the Lord, “Dear God please help me because the words that I am thinking best not come out of my mouth or fingers onto the ears or eyes of my child for the intensity surely will burn her greater than any heat she is presently experiencing. I beseech you Lord give me words or give me silence!” You all know this prayer as I am sure if you are a mother you have prayed some form of it.

At the end of my prayer I looked down onto my key pad and I couldn’t help but see several words staring back at me.  I see a button that says control.  I see another button that says command, and I can’t help but feel convicted as the Lord reveals to me yet again that I am a control freak. That I love to command things to go as I deem best and not take into consideration that it is not my job to dictate these things. If in life I pressed a control button or command button every time I acted out those two c’s, you would no longer be able to read the c’s on the buttons because I would have long worn them off!

God knows I really don’t want to keep controlling and commanding my daughter and her choices, especially one as big as what college she attends. So I seek the Lord again, and this time new words pop off my keyboard at me. I see the word option, and I hear the Lord tell me to press that button and give my daughter options instead of commands. I see the word return, and the Lord reminds me that she is scared and unsure, and wants to return to a state of security.  I see the word escape, and He tells me how she must feel so overwhelmed that she just wants to escape back to the safety of her own room, in her family home.  And finally I see the word shift.  The Lord tells me that I need to make a shift in how I respond to my daughter.  I need to trust Him that as I shift with His assistance on my own journey in life, He will also help my precious daughter shift and grow on her journey . . . when the time is right.

Are you like me? Maybe you too are a control freak constantly trying to make a shift from being an overbearing mother to being a parent that is patient and trusts the Lord to guide your child? If that is you, lets both commit this following scripture to prayer and stand on its promises, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 


This post is the second of five posts in a series on parenting.  Thankfully the story didn’t end here. Come back to hear more on this topic in the weeks to come.

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