Parenting is unpredictable.
Heck, life is unpredictable. And for us (mostly) recovering control freaks, unpredictable is not an easy thing to embrace. It’s strange really because I lean in the direction of being a free spirit who is not good with schedules and planning but unpredictability often creates stress for me if I let it.
And that is the key phrase: if I let it.
Because ultimately, God is in control. Even if He doesn’t appear to be because my life’s circumstances are beyond my abilities or my liking and even when the world seems to be spinning out of control.
Always God remains all knowing and all powerful and always present.
Never is this more important than in my journey of learning to parent unconditionally. Especially when it comes to parenting a child on the spectrum or a child with sensory challenges or a child with anxiety.
Ultimately God is the One I must lean on from moment to moment. Because ultimately God is the One who knows what my child needs as well as what I need; He designed both of us in His image. He gave us to each other. So I trust Him with the unexpected outbursts and the meltdowns and the tantrums that arise and threaten to upend an otherwise tranquil and seemingly ordinary moment.
Like the moment when I took my girls to the library for what should have been a fun children’s event but it spiraled into what for me was a confluence of warring emotions ranging from defensiveness to humiliation to helplessness to frustration to despair. As I attempted to guide my child toward self-control and comfort, I couldn’t help but mourn what both my girls would miss out on, not just in that moment but in so many untold moments to come.
We left within but a few minutes of arriving and there were tears and non-stop, super wound up chattering as she processed things in her own way and I took deep breath after deep breath to keep my own tears at bay and whispered prayers of desperation, frustration, and longing while speaking softly and offering a soothing balm of words. At home we created our own stuffed animal breakfast event and found our sense of self.
But even as I offered prayers of thanksgiving I offered God my fragile mama heart with its pain and doubt and fear and anger – the question of Why loomed on my mind’s horizon but instead I surrendered. I surrendered all of me to all of God: His presence, His power, His wisdom, His faithfulness. I thanked Him for holding my hand and my heart through those moments and asked Him to guide me along this unfamiliar wilderness.
The moments continue to come and I continue to seek His presence and His comfort.
We have good days, days that can lull me into a false sense of confidence, and we have bad days, days we cannot predict or control. And through them all we have God. And just like in every other aspect of life, that is enough.