Turning hardships over to God
by Donna Boggs
Learning about Lent as a new Methodist and how to ready my heart and mind in remembrance of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection is a welcomed experience for me. I have so many questions and so little clarity.
This time of Lent is the time to think, clear our heads of all the noise of the world. So much noise. Senseless noise. The noise of injustice. The noise of prejudice. The noise of white supremacy.
I have chosen to begin a gratitude journal and reflect on my relationships and where God has always appeared in my life and helped to clear the noise. Learning to find my strength in times of turmoil has not always been an easy task for me. Becoming a parent almost 34 years ago made me realize I could not do this thing called life alone. It took me many years however to realize where that support was patiently waiting for me. The last 11 months has again proven I cannot do life without you, Lord.
Adult children and parent relationships can be both joyous and troubling and are not always easy as parenting never stops. I talk about and remember my father and grandmother’s relationship often. My grandmother passed at 95 years young when my father was 75. Watching her parent my father was so much fun even up until the end of her life. They would argue, tease and love each other so openly. I cherish all I learned from them both as they were always there for me holding my hand, loving and supporting me through life’s challenges.
Adult children come with their own set of challenges and can put you in a place of confusion and sadness. I am sad at times wondering now was I as good a parent as those who came before me. “Did I really miss that when you were a child? Was I so busy making a living I didn’t pay attention? Did you feel all the support I gave you? Did you realize every breath I took, my prayers were to ease your growing up challenges and for your happiness?” These questions are sometimes answered differently than you remember and the guilt and sadness can be overwhelming.
When I think about my experiences as a parent of a now adult child, I am ever so proud of her. Proud of the accomplishments and endurance to overcome being widowed with an infant at 22. Proud of myself as well and my success at raising a smart, strong, loving, caring person who always advocates for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Does she not understand all she has taught me? Like the importance of being present in today’s world of injustice, prejudice and white supremacy. Does she know I am trying to address the mess my generation made of our world?
Helping my adult child to advocate for herself, however, and allow others to guide her through life’s challenges is where I am at a loss and continue to fail. The process of communicating is oh so confusing sometimes. I have learned that my God is always there for me during these times with comfort and open arms. My sadness and sorrows are replaced with peace as I reach out and pray. Peace and comfort is a reminder that we have a loving and forgiving God. Turning to God and relinquishing troubles is difficult. Hardships of divorce, parent and family loss, illness, and family discord have taught me there is no other than our Lord who can be the peace that I sometimes seek.
Prayer: Thank you Father for the peace you provide in times of strife and struggle. Thank you for being that peace that transcends all understanding. Without your guidance, direction and comfort we would surely be a lost world. Help me to always remember you are always there waiting to take my burdens and provide the peace I need to be a better person.