Right now, 3 beautiful girls are lying sleeping in their beds. Dreaming of days gone by and fantasies unrealised. Often, I sit on the ends of their beds and listen to the calm cadence of their night breathing. Very different, I might add, to the irregular, shrill shrieking that permeates our home in the waking moments.
Earlier today, I messed up. Gemma was practising piano while I practised impatience. She cried. I had to say sorry. I had to encourage her to try again but now it seemed to be tougher than before. That was my fault. What a bitter pill to swallow.
Yesterday, I listened to Steve Hamilton, recovering addict and author of “I want my life back“, as he spoke to the boys I teach. He shared about his downward spiral into addiction and the ensuing madness of coming clean and finding some purpose in life. He told of how he had written his book and shared the final title choice with his mother. Her response was chilling, “You don’t have a right to want your life back, I want my son back.”
I never want to have to say, “Give my daughters back”.
How do I “proof” (drug-proof, promiscuity-proof, eating-disorder-proof, future-proof, etc-proof) my girls?
The scary thing is that I don’t know.
I’m going with prayer. Not flippant, start-the-day-or-pray-before-a-meal-quickly kind of prayer. Intentional, focused, specific intercession. I’m also going with unconditional, non-judgemental, relationship-building love for them, and my wife. Furthermore, I’m going to love Jesus, authentically, for all I’m worth so that they are drawn to him.
Truth is, I’m not always good at any of these things. But, by the grace of God, I can.