This weekend my daughter Bethany turned eighteen… This weekend my little girl, Munchkinaroo… became an adult? WHAT!!!
How did that happen so quick?
I can still “feel” her little tiny arms around my neck as I carried her from the couch to her bedroom as a little girl. I can see her running around the house, little legs and arms peeking out of her diaper, one hand holding her blankie up. A slobbered Nuk jammed in her mouth and the other hand grasping for a snack.
I can see the ghosts of their toddler selves everywhere I look. Sometimes, I almost believe that things haven’t changed, I’ll just blink a few times to clear my eyes and the girls will snap back into focus and climb up onto my lap excitedly jabbering about their latest discovery at the grocery store or the latest stuffed teddy that lost an eye. Somberly asking if it was “o.k.” if a teddy bear only had one eyeball or not?
Instead when I blink rapidly I just feel warm tears in the folds of my eyes… blurring the view of the spectacular beauty staring back at me from across the table, a woman with strong faith and tenacious intelligence and the young guy sitting next to her looks suspiciously like a boyfriend…
What the HECK !
Now I’m rubbing my eyes furiously with both of my hands, palms digging deeper into my salty stinging eyes as I desperately try to clear my vision. It can’t be, it couldn’t have been eighteen years already !
The answer is yes.
A definite yes. I remember the little girl who I called “munchkinaroo” and I remember the preteen who smiled with flashes of steel and braces, awkwardly crossing over into young “woman” status and then POOF! %#* and I’m seeing this grown lady with no hint of the little baby or pre-teen left smiling confidently back at me, saying… quietly and lovingly, “I Love You Daddy”.
I’m not gonna tell you about all of the wonderful-painful-triumphant-agonizing moments in-between, those are treasures to keep a bit longer, but I will tell you that each moment along the way was a testament to God’s faithfulness. My daughter is a monument to HIS character and strength and enduring love… a modern-day miracle of faith all my own.
I write these words, not to brag or boast or even call attention to my amazing daughter or family. Instead, I write these words to share with someone who is struggling as a parent right now. Wondering, what went so wrong. Desperate to find a solution, a direction to take in their parenting nightmare of crisis and conflict and frustration.
My strong encouragement is this… stay the course.
Hold true to the values and beliefs that God has placed in your heart and when that fades, cling to the promises of scripture and wait. Stay put, don’t move an inch. God is coming.
God is coming for you, your children and your family. He has come, He is coming and He will come. He’s timeless, ageless and perfect in the way that he will orchestrate a redemptive end to your dilemma. I don’t care what you feel like, how it looks or how bad it seems to be getting. God will not mock you. He will not forget to show up and he desperately cares about the outcome of your own personal assignment of parenting a soul into adulthood.
I know because He came for me, my daughter Bethany and my marriage. He keeps coming for us and I know he will never ever stop coming for us. He can’t help himself.
So take heart, be encouraged… there is a hero to your story. He will come into your life in the least likely way, and when you least expect it. But don’t doubt it… He IS coming.
My prayer for you struggling parent, “Hang tough, Remember God and Remember His faithful ways in your life already, trust in the test-a-mony of my life and know HOPE.”
Peace out and Happy B-Day to my “munchkinaroo”! Daddy will always Love You.
PS – June (2013) RTP has a release of our first book, “RoadTrip to Redemption” – with Tyndale / Momentum Publishers.