Sunday, August 21, 2011

Never Give Up

"Let us not become weary..."

I am no longer a young mother. I am empty of the energy and enthusiasm I possessed when I was in my 30s. I flag these days. A lot. Parenting a depressed, defiant teenager can be a spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical drain on even the most-equipped, most-willing mother. Frequently I want to throw my hands up in the air and yell, "I'm done! Either she goes, or I go!" I grow weary of the ceaseless drama and the endless intrusion of physicians, counselors, psychiatrists, and therapists in our lives. I grow weary of the struggle of trying to raise a child who doesn't even want a mother. Every cell in my body and every hope in my heart is spent...depleted...weary.

"in doing good..."

Each morning I get out of bed with a positive mindset, but by day's close, I am beaten down and discouraged. What good do I do, and what difference does it make? I am not 'allowed' to develop and nurture a relationship with our daughter (her decision), the way I did with our first daughter. So I go through the motions of doing good -- cooking, cleaning, chauffering -- with the hope that some day she will look back and acknowledge and appreciate that I did what I was supposed to do, even if it wasn't all that I wanted to do. I want to do good in intangible ways as well -- making her laugh, worshipping the Lord together, discussing life, enjoying a movie. But for now, I am restricted in how I can do good, and it's just the bare bones.

"for at the proper time..."

How I wish that *today* would show evidence of healing and restoration, that *today* I would find a crumb of growth and change. I grow impatient waiting for 'the day' which, honestly, I fear might never arrive or might arrive only after I've passed on. She might be 18 or 25 or 40 before it's the 'proper time.' But I cling to God's promise that He will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. I have to, or I won't endure.

"we will reap a harvest..."

I can't wait to put on my dancing shoes and clap my hands when the harvest is ready! To witness the seeds of love, forgiveness, and trust taking root in our daughter's broken and bitter heart will be such a season of rejoicing. For now, those seeds lie under a blanket of fear, doubt, and disbelief, but the harvest *will* come in. God does not make empty promises.

"if we do not give up."

I long to give up. I long to pass the cup. I long to surrender to my failed attempts at being the mother I dreamed of being to this little scrappy bird who resists and rejects me at every turn. But we both live in the nest, and it's my instinct and responsibility to teach her how to fly. When every raw nerve and every suffering brain cell is screaming "Quit!", I will hold on and yell back, "Never!" And with God's help, I will be a woman of my word.

(ref. Galatians 6:9)

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