If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I think very highly of my children.
The Daughter is almost 25, and The Son is 22. When they were little, I thought they were exceptional, and, I'm not just saying that because they were beautiful physically.
Although, of course, they were...
They each have a type of maturity that it's hard to put your finger on. People used to call it being self-possessed. A way of carrying yourself --and a way of reaching out.
As they've grown up, life has not always been easy. Physically, emotionally, financially, academically; they've dealt with a lot. As young adults, they've each been through significant trauma. But, I've watched the way they've never lost their connection with God, with each other or with us. And, I've seen how they've let God use what they've been through to make them stronger.
With very, very few exceptions, I've been proud of the decisions I've watched them make. When others say nice things about them, I'm proud for their sakes, and (I hope,) I'm quick to turn that credit to God.
Because that IS where the bottom line is. It is not our parenting. It is God reaching out to them, through us.
But, there is something I just realized recently.
These little people, who grew to be such fine adults, who are studying, and working, and making their mark for God out in the world. These two people are---wonder of wonders--still in relationship with me!
They talk to me and they pray for me. They care about the things I go through. They are quick to pour conviction on my head if they think I'm wrong, and just as quick to praise me when they see me doing right. They are there when I need something, and just as fast to push me away when I cross those ever-widening boundaries between parent of a little child, and mentor of an full-fledged adult. They are not perfect, and neither am I. When iron sharpens iron, we all say fierce, angry words and we all have to apologize and ask forgiveness. But somehow, they still hang in there with me. They have grown to be people who stand on their own, but they are still willing to take the time to bless me.
People tell me they are working for the Kingdom of God. I see it myself, every day. But they take the time to love me too. And that is when I realize that after all the years of raising, and training, and worrying, and working so hard to give it back to God, I've somehow taken the first place prize. I've gotten the Blue Ribbon at the fair.
And I am, the winner.