1 Samuel 1:24-28
Our children do not belong to us. We help God in the creating of their lives, but they are a gift from Him and He only loans them to us for a short while. Have you given yours back to God? We don’t have to leave them at the church like Hannah left Samuel at the temple, but I think it’s so important to remember that He created them for a purpose, and we can dedicate ourselves to helping them find it. We need to want God’s plan for their lives more than we want our own for them and we can encourage them to use their gifts and talents to help build the kingdom. I spoke recently with a woman in her 90’s. She was crying and very upset about the fact that she felt she had been called at 16 to be a nun, but her family didn’t understand God’s ways and couldn’t help her figure it out. Now she believes her "whole life" was wasted. How sad! I assured her that God understands, and her life was not wasted, but she is being tormented by these thoughts.
Raising kids can be overwhelming at times and I don’t see how anyone does it without God’s help! If you let yourself consider all that is wrong with the world, and all of the scary things that could happen to them, you feel pretty helpless to protect them. And of course the question of whether or not they will choose Christ for themselves looms large sometimes. One day I prayed, "I give them back to you Lord. Please do whatever You need to in each of their lives to draw them to Yourself." It was a very freeing prayer for me – not only because we aren’t supposed to worry and fret, but also because they are ultimately His kids and entrusting them to Him is the best place they can be. He loves them more than we ever could. Thank you Lord for the gift of children. Help us to steer them toward You and to release them to your perfect plan for their lives.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 2, soon to be 3.