One of the toughest things you will ever do is raise children. Just the fact that you are here, reading this blog, shows that we are always seeking advice and tips on bringing up our children in the best way possible, to ensure they have all the tools and life skills needed to become independent adults one day. As Christian parents, we also want to make sure that our children find their way to the Savior, Jesus, and begin to walk the path He has for them as soon as they are mature enough to do so.
It's tough!! If you are anything like me, you will struggle over a infinite number of decisions during your children's lifetime. Should I take this promotion? Should we make this move, school-change, new house...... The list can be endless! Also, needless to say, daunting, in it's enormity. Yes, I know that we should seek God over every major decision, and most of us try to, but I always find myself trying to do God's work instead of getting out of His way. I think many of us are guilty of this, so don't judge yourself too harshly.
Like I was saying, TOUGH, doesn't even come close to describing bringing up children. I recently told one of my dearest and oldest friends that if you can lay your head on your pillow at night, and are able to congratulate yourself on your perfection as a parent, you are doing something wrong(or the rest of us are!!!!) Doubts will plague you, it is normal!
Saturday night, the 21st of February, 2009, during a Mardi Gras parade, my husband of 16 years, fell from the top of a fire truck and fractured almost every bone in his neck. He died on that street corner and was "brought back" at a local hospital. Our two girls, who were 9 and 14 at the time, as well as myself were witnesses to the entire horrific scene. He would go on to live 10 months in a vegetative state(coma), finally passing away, December 12th, 2009.
The single hardest job God has ever placed into my life, was bringing those two babies up through the unthinkable. Through the trauma of their father's untimely death, the heartbreak of the mother they love, and the indescribable ache that took hold of the three of us after fighting for his recovery for nearly a year.
My journey with the God I now know( He's not the same as the one I thought I knew, but that is another blog) began in a quite, dark hallway, around the corner of the ICU where Tommy was fighting for his life, about 24 hours after his injury. I finally left him long enough to come out and talk to my precious children and what I found in that hallway forever changed me. I came face to face with two terrified children who knew nothing of what was going on. They didn't even know if he was alive. It had been left to me to be the bearer of information to our girls and I had failed miserably!! It still hurts to remember all the questions they had. Is he alive? Is he awake? What's wrong with him? Can the doctors fix his neck? Will he walk again after they do? Is he going to die? After my 5th, "I don't know, babies" "momma just does not know", something moved through my soul. I surrendered that moment to God, and let Him lead.
The greatest decision I could, and probably will ever make was made in that moment! I knelt down in front of those girls and just said, I don't know. I don't know, was the answer to every single question that they had( that was tough when you are the momma that has a answer for everything). I don't know if he is going to live or die, I don't know if he is going to wake-up, walk, talk, or anything. I don't know, over and over, said in weakness, would become my greatest strength. I ended with I don't know anything that is going to happen, but I DO know that God has us! God has your Dad, He has this family, He has the entire thing firmly in His grasp, and we are going to be ok. HE HAS US!! It was at that moment, I realize now, that I firmly anchored my family in Faith! The faith that we would come through, no matter what. That we would walk on the other side of this nightmare one day, and be okay. That faith and only that faith would carry us through the next 5 years, and us still carrying us today. Many times I would ask my girls, are we ok? I know we are sad, I know we miss him, I know we ache, but, are we okay??? Are we truly okay?? They both always answer the same. Yes, momma, we are ok. We really are.
There is no obstacle that you are facing that God can not walk you and your family through. Not a single one. Because of my unmovable statement of faith, I know God has walked us through the worst and we are coming out on the other side. The girls are happy, well-adjusted, successful, loving children. They have large loving hearts and I see very little remaining traces of hurt, anger, and bitterness. Everyday, I watch them grow stronger and my heart is at peace. They are both amazingly strong and happy. It is not because I'm the best patent to walk the earth! It is because in my brokenness, in my sorrow, at my lowest, I cried out for help to get us through the unthinkable, and God has never left my side.