Sounds like an contradiction, right?
Perhaps a play on words?
But I am here to tell you, from one hovering parent to another:
It is possible.
We seem to get a lot of bad publicity, hovering parents. But I believe that there is a little bit of fear of letting go in every parent.
Unfortunately distractions, discouragement, and bad news can create a whirlwind of fear as we wade through the what-ifs.
We may come to the conclusion that holding on tight is the answer. Or maybe even that worrying will keep the bad news away.
Oh, my dear friend, I so wish that I could keep the bad news away for you.
In Confessions of a Helicopter Mom, I shared 9 confessions in my own parenting journey including ways which helped me to love and let go so my children could soar. And truthfully, if I could sum it up for you in one nugget of wisdom (not to spoil the rest of the book for you, but this one is free):
Trust in the Lord
Proverbs 3:5-6 shares it like this: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Trust in the Lord, your Heavenly Father, your Creator, the One who knew your child in their mother’s womb, who knows the count of every hair on their head.
It’s hard, I know. As mentioned above, the world's distractions can make for a frightening case for hovering. But we don’t have to let them take us out. We have the opportunity to take our families back and turn away from the distractions which create fear in our hearts.
And it begins with trusting in the Lord.
You may ask, but how? How can I trust a God I cannot see? He's not here when I have to say goodbye to my new teenage driver or watch my son battle his own challenge, or is He?
I would like to suggest 3 time honored nuggets of wisdom shared by Solomon in this Proverbs passage:
1- Trust in the Lord with all your heart. When I walk out of my house, I am met with an immediate reminder that we are surrounded by a God who is not only present but is hands on. In the very beginning, we learn that God breathed life into Adam. The same God breathed life into every tree, every flower, and every bird that we see. This same God, our Creator, breathed life into you and me. Our Father is constant, He never changes. His Love today is the same as it was yesterday, and will be the same tomorrow. The heart of a Creator is for His creation. To know and believe this truth is to know that we are loved and that we can trust the One who loved us first. If He loves with all of His heart, we too can trust Him with our own.
2- Lean not on your own understanding. Candidly, I struggle with this part. When you lean on something, you place your full weight on it, expecting it to hold you up. When we lean on our own understanding, we are placing full confidence in our own knowledge and ideas to the exclusion of all others. I struggle with letting go because I want to be in control, meaning I know what is best. Which I can attest, I have clearly proven is not always the case. But when I trust in the Lord with all of my heart, I learn to trust in the One who is all knowing and who has given me clear direction and instruction in His love letter. This means learning to seek His wisdom and His guidance in all aspects of my life. This means letting go of control and allowing The One who is constant and has proven Himself completely trustworthy to guide and direct me in parenting.
3- In all your ways submit to Him. Do you feel like Solomon is building to a pinnacle here? In his instruction to his son, He has saved the best for last, submission. Can I be completely honest here? If letting go of control was hard, submission was near impossible! Submission was an identity killer. But what I didn’t realize is that my identity was defined by The One who knew me better than anyone. He created me. Submitting to The One who created me didn’t kill my identity, it clarified it. Submission isn’t relinquishment of your identity, it is the acceptance that you have a Helper, a Comforter, a Mentor. One who will help you weather the diagnosis, One who will comfort you as you wait for the return of your child, One who will mentor you through parenting. Just as you trust in Him and let go of control, submission is the release of your requests to the One who knows what you (and your child) need before you even ask.
In writing Confessions, I realized that while I have made a lot of mistakes in parenting, I was pointed to the One who would help me through every challenge I face. And in so doing, I recognized our Heavenly Father as a “Stabilizer Bar” in my life, meeting me where I am and yes, making my paths straight.
I may not be able to keep the bad news away friend, but I can promise you one thing,
You can trust Him to make your paths straight as well.
Father, thank You for the promises You have given us in Your love letter. Thank You for reminding us that You are with us, for us and that we can trust You. We pray Father that You will guide and direct us as we learn to lean on and submit to Your loving wisdom. Please give us the strength and the courage to let go of fear and worry and allow You to help us in parenting.
We Love You
In Jesus’ Name