I am sure you have seen a meme or two about the chaotic beginning to 2021. My favorites so far have been: “Well, 2021, it was a solid 5 days… Cheers to 2022!” And “I would like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I’ve done my 7-day trial and I am no longer interested.” And last but not least, “I need to get back in shape, but I’m kind of waiting to see if the world is going to end before I put in any real effort.”
While these are funny, they point to the uncomfortable truth that 2021 is just as bananas as 2020 was (if not, more bananas.) Whether you are Democratic, Republican, or Independent, pro- or anti-vaccine, homeschooling, virtual learning, or doing school in-person – raising kids in 2021 seems to be a Herculean task. Whenever we find our footing, it seems as though the earth shifts again. Doing “the best thing for your family” seems like a frustrating impossibility riddled with severe consequences. How are we supposed to raise strong, resilient, independent adult children in a world like this?
There has never been a time in our world’s wild history that yielded the “perfect circumstances” in which to raise perfect children. I can say with confidence that there probably never will be a perfect time to be a parent. It is daunting and overwhelming to be a parent anytime and anywhere, but it seems like right now is particularly challenging. Yet, we have been called into motherhood in this imperfect world during these trying times.
Alex Cravens, the Youth Pastor at Butterfield Church in Russellville, Arkansas, recently made a post that has gone viral and brought me to tears. It reads:
Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident. Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God. Train them up in the authority of His Word. Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control. Empower them to know they can change the world. Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it. Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan. He knew Daniel could handle the lion’s den. He knew David could handle Goliath. He knew Esther could handle Haman. He knew Peter could handle persecution. He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it! Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose you to parent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime. Rise up to the challenge. Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers, and Peters! God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world. He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth. Don’t let your fear steal the greatness God placed in them. I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.
Just some thoughts from a dad who is rocking his sleeping baby and thinking about what a crazy day it has been in our country.
Wow. What encouraging, inspiring, and comforting words full of GOOD NEWS!
This reminds me of the encouragement I received from a dear friend a few years ago. I had a health setback and my circumstances seemed insurmountable from the dark place I was in. She said, “Don’t let a bad day convince you that you have a bad life.” This could be adapted to say, “Don’t let a bad pandemic convince you that you have a bad life.” “Don’t let a bad political season convince you that you have a bad life.” “Don’t let a bad (or trying) schoolyear convince you that you have a bad life.”
God knew exactly what He was doing when He called you to be “Mom” to your children. He put your children in your charge knowing full well what your lives would entail. He knew what challenges you and your family would face globally, nationally, domestically, and everywhere in between. And best of all, He equipped you perfectly for it.
When it all seems too much to handle, God equipped you for that, too. Yes, COVID-19 is too much to handle on your own. Volatile political times are too much for you to handle on your own. Schooling your children is too much for you to handle on your own. The good news is that you are NOT on your own! God is with you and He is for you. He wants the best for you and your sweet children.
Want even more good news? God has overcome this broken world. He has seen worse, endured worse, and overcome worse. God is unsurprised by 2021.
This too shall pass, and in the meantime, raise your Daniels, Davids, Esthers, and Peters the best you can. As Julie Richard says, “Just do your best, and let God fill in the rest!” You can do this, Mom.
Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created. Esther 4:14.