Sunday, May 27, 2012

Loaves and Fishes

I think one of the things that is hard about an emptying nest is the fact that it’s not really empty.  It’s filled with memories—both good and bad—and regrets.  The good memories warm you and lift your spirits most of the time, but they can also leave an ache inside on a lonely day.   The bad memories make you cringe or cry if you’re not quick enough to brush them away when they creep in at the corners of your mind.  But it’s the regrets that are most dangerous, at least for me.  I worry a lot about the things I got wrong as a parent even though there’s not a thing I can do about them now.  I drive myself crazy thinking about things I didn’t do but should have, things I did but shouldn’t have, and things I should have done differently or better. On a bad day, I can get myself pretty worked up over stuff like this, but here’s what I try to remember in my saner moments: I always did the best I could.  And I remind myself that all my efforts would never have been enough on their own anyway.  It’s like the story of the loaves and fishes from the Bible: on its own, the boy’s lunch was nowhere close to being enough, but in Jesus’s hands, it fed thousands.  The boy gave all he had, and God did the rest.  So I continue to trust and pray that God will take the loaves and fishes of my parenting and use them to work miracles in the lives of my children, despite the mistakes I made and the missteps I took along the way.