If my heart was a boat, it would be beaten and battered by wind and stormy seas. If my heart was a ship, it would have been wrecked from all the burdens I carry and don’t know how to throw overboard. It hurts sometimes, to let go. And yet, I feel in some way I am constantly being asked to let go. Let go of expectations, let go of hopes and dreams, let go of hurt, just lay it all down and walk away.
And I know it will be good for me, and I know it will show obedience, but I can’t seem to let go of some things. Because some things break my heart. Some things just aren’t fair.
This weekend, a bunch of youth from our church went away to a large youth convention. They had a great time, I’m sure. They learned, they experienced and they grew in love for Jesus. They had fun together, being together. I loved seeing their pictures, but then it hurt a little too… because my sons didn’t get to go. It was a choice we made as parents – and it was the right choice – but it still hurts.
It’s not fair that they can’t go away for a fun overnight trip. That they can’t enjoy being together with others. That their lives are just a bit too complicated for something like that to work. But it’s not just that, really. On a smaller scale, it’s difficult even to get together with the youth on a Friday night. They just don’t fit in. And it’s not fair.
I used to love youth group, when I was a teen. I went off with friends and did my own thing for a few hours a week. I learned things, I laughed a lot and I got to enjoy being in a safe place. I imagined it would be the same for my kids. I imagined it would be a place where they could be themselves, listen to the word being taught and have fun with their friends. But, it’s not like that for them. At all.
I cried myself to sleep thinking about how it’s not fair that it’s not always a safe place and it’s because they’re there. It’s not always fun, they’re not always laughing, they’re not ever going to have the same experience as I did, or my husband did, or our friends did. They don’t really fit the mold. They don’t really fit anywhere, and it’s just that little bit that crushes my heart. They don’t fit.
I had to lay it down and let it go and it was so hard. It was so soul crushingly hard to weep for the normal experiences my children will never really have. It was so awful to think about the fact that the only friend they truly have are each other, when I’ve always had good friendships that enriched my soul. So I cried, and cried and cried.
But then something amazing happened. As I surrendered it all, a peace settled in my heart and I was able to see the things I couldn’t see before, when the injustices of normality were choking me.
My kids may not be able to go to a large conference to grow and be encouraged in their faith, but God meets them when they’re sitting on their beds reading His word or blasting worship music at full volume. They may not really fit the mold at youth group, but there’s a whole group of AMAZING leaders who work with them to make it an enjoyable experience for them and every week they can’t wait to go back. And while they don’t really have many friends, they have a whole village of adults who love them and cheer them on in their own way.
Maybe it doesn’t look the same as my experience, and maybe it never will. But the important things are still there. And it’s so beautiful to see.
We are on the cusp of summer break, just a few weeks away. And after what I’m praying will be a peaceful and relaxing summer (because I for one, could use a little break from the crazy), we are heading into a season of the unknown. A season of fears, tears, and a whole lot of rocking the boat. But somehow I’m not as afraid as I thought I’d be. Because the best part of letting go is laying it down and surrendering it over to a Mighty God who is sovereign and who already knows the outcome.
And even though I feel like we are going to come up to some pretty rocky seas, and we might overturn our vessel a few times, we aren’t going to drown. Because no matter how heavy laden our lives are, no matter how many extra burdens I carry for these kids so they don’t have to, He’s guiding us through it all. And He won’t let us sink.