I want my little girl to grow up to be an amazing woman.
I was chatting with a friend when I suddenly felt my phone vibrating in my purse. As a habit, I try to not answer phone calls when I’m in the middle of a conversation—because, well, manners. However, I also always make it a habit to carry my phone with me when my daughter is in school—because, well, common sense. As I reached down to check my phone, I was planning on just pushing the automatic “call you right back” text until I saw it was my daughter’s school calling.
Sorry friend, I gotta answer this.
“Hello Mrs. Frugé! It’s the school nurse…everything’s O.K. but I wanted to let you know Eve fell in class again.” As the parent of an amputee I know that falling is a part of the game. Prosthetics are tricky and can be difficult, and falling—sadly—happens often. But what she told me next broke my heart, “She’s fine, but I think she was a little embarrassed. She was walking up to the front of class to make a presentation and fell in front of everyone. She said she was fine and went back to class, I just wanted to call and let you know!”
My. Sweet. Little. Girl.
I wanted to leave right away and go rescue her. I wanted to bake her all the cookies and offer all the hugs to heal any potential damage or injury her little heart may have sustained. As a parent, I’m not sure there is anything worse than knowing your child is hurt and not being able to help. Admittedly, in the grand scheme of everything my girl will go through in this life, this incidental fall won’t even rank in the top 100, but it still pulled on my heart to know that for a brief moment, she was hurting and I wasn’t there.
Throughout the rest of the day, I wrestled with my longing to be there physically for my daughter when stuff like this comes up and my simultaneous desire that she grow up to be the kind of woman who falls and gets right back up. I want to be her mom and let her be a kid, but I also want her to grow up to be a great adult. The further into parenting I get, the harder it is to find the right balance between these two goals. My wrestling turned to prayers. Prayers that God would remind my girl He was with her. Prayers that God would give me wisdom to know what to do. Prayers for the right words. Mothers are nurturers. We love our children deeply and we want what’s best for them. As I continue to wrestle through finding the right balance of nurturing my children and helping them grow into adulthood, I’ve come to realize a few core truths.
Truth: I cannot follow my child everywhere.
Truth: I can trust the Lord to be near her to the ends of the world.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.–Psalm 139:7-10
My immediate thought when I learned of my daughter’s difficult day was a tinge of guilt that I wasn’t there to protect her. But the truth is, I can’t be there to protect her every time she falls. To be honest, it’s probably even best that I’m not there. I want her to grow into a woman who is not dependent on others for protection, but confident in a God who will never leave her side no matter the situation. So, when she has rough days, I comfort her by reminding her she can always cry out to a loving and present God.
Truth: I cannot protect my daughter from troubles.
Truth: Christ has overcome the world and is her Protector.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. –John 16:33
As much as I’d like to shield my child from all trouble and sorrows—the truth is that she will face troubles. Her heart will break. She will cry many times. As she faces troubles and heartaches, I want her to remember that Christ is her Rescuer. Her Redeemer. She will be OK because He has already won. Maybe it’s ok to let her fall so that she knows He will always be there to catch her.
Truth: I cannot carry her burdens for her.
Truth: I can teach her to look to Christ. He alone provides rest for the restless soul.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
I love this passage in Matthew so much. I love that Christ promises rest for our soul. I love that He doesn’t say “just come to me and I’ll take care of it all.” Rather, He invites us to participate with Him. Put on HIS yoke. HIS burden is light. Life isn’t about just gliding through without any cares or concerns. There is still work. Hard work. Have you actually ever looked up what a yoke looks like? A yoke is a tool for labor. It implies hard, manual labor. But Jesus beautifully reassures us that in this labor we call life, His yoke is easy. And His burden is light, providing rest for our souls.
When my daughter came home from school that day, we sat down and talked about God’s never-ending presence. How, when we are hurting, we can call out to Him. In the end, my daughter was fine and hopefully encouraged to hear once again she is loved so fully by God. I don’t know what kind of person she will eventually grow up to be, but I hope that as I teach her these core truths, she will a grow into a woman confident in her God and His love—and I think that would be pretty amazing.
Katie Frugé lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and their two small daughters. As a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, she loves connecting the truth she's learning in the classroom with the realities of being a wife and mom. Katie spends her time nurturing her daughters by day and discussing (or maybe debating!) theology with her husband by night. She loves a good cup of coffee, a good run, and a good musical. Feel free to connect with Katie via twitter (@KFruge) or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.