Parenting is 100% nothing like I thought it would be. It has pushed me, broken me, stretched me, and nearly destroyed me. If my children become productive citizens of this world, it will not be because of a single thing I have done. This parenting gig is the most fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing I do. I prefer lists, planning, and schedules, but God knew my hyper-scheduled life needed plenty of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants moments.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. It was always my dream. God has entrusted me to be the mom of four amazing kiddos and I am very thankful. I love our adventures and memories, but my favorite thing about being a mom is that I get to be their cheerleader, their comforter and encourager. I love cheering my kids on when they are making beautiful artwork and creating intricate Lego builds. I love celebrating them when they have aced a test and when they have climbed the tallest tree. The loudest and craziest I have ever cheered for my kids is when they have endured a hard season. I am so proud of them my heart overflows my eyes with tears.
Our ten months in Louisiana was a daily struggle for my kids. Our last day of school was a mixture of joyous, relieved, and sad tears. I was so proud of their endurance to make it to the end of our time there. Seeing their growth emotionally and spiritually was remarkable.
2020 has been very much the same. This year has been full of hard pivots and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants moments that have given us all a bit of whiplash. Watching my kids struggle through unpredictable school schedules and technology quirks has made me want to scream and throw a 2020-sized tantrum.
No one wants to see their children hurting and confused, but when we have no other option to cheer them on in spite of it all, we are given the gift of seeing who they become at the end of it.
Jesus is an incredible cheerleader. In Matthew 14, he had just miraculously fed more than five-thousand men, women, and children. He sent the disciples into a storm, on a lake, at night while he prayed on the top of a mountain. The disciples didn’t know a storm was coming, but Jesus did. He watched them struggle from the top of that mountain. He also prayed and I think He cheered them on too. He cheered them on without them being able to see Him through the wind, waves, and darkness. He cheered them on through his prayers to God.
Jesus didn’t keep the storm from coming, but he cheered them on through it.
I love the account of this story in Matthew because before Jesus calmed the waves, he began walking on water into the storm. At the break of day, when the disciples realized it was Jesus, Peter (never one to remain on the sidelines) requested to join Jesus in the storm on top of the water. “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Peter didn’t ask Jesus to calm the waves or calm their fears. He wanted to join Jesus in the storm. Jesus said, “Come”. Peter stepped out of the boat and started walking toward Jesus, but when he saw how powerful the storm was he began to sink. Jesus continued to cheer for Peter by encouraging him in his faith and reached out his hand. Although scripture doesn’t say, I wonder if Peter’s friends in the boat were cheering him on from behind.
God has been cheering for you in this year of 2020. He has entered the storm with you and held out His hand. God saw the storm coming, but also knew He would be cheering you on in the middle of it. I believe God, our heavenly Father, feels heart-bursting pride for us as we near the end of 2020 changed for the better.
To celebrate the last day of school in 2020, I got up early and drove to our favorite donut shop. One that makes mouthwatering yeast donuts fresh daily. I reserve this treat for celebrations. We have weathered a storm this year and I can not contain the pride I feel for watching my children walk on water to the end of it. While I know this storm is not over, I have loved cheering my children on through it. Don’t get me wrong, we have had plenty of “this is so stupid” days and an abundance of frustrated tears, but they have proven over an over that they have endured some pretty intense storms. Whatever comes our way in 2021, they know they have a proud Mama and Heavenly Father cheering for them as they head into the winds and the rain.
God is cheering for you too. Meet Him on the water, in the middle of the storm, with the wind beating against you. He is reaching His hand out to you and cheering for you louder than you can imagine. I hope you hear me cheering you on too.