Saturday, September 29, 2007

If I gave you thirty guesses, none of you would guess where Tom and I went last night.

Where did we go? To a bar. Yes, a bar where people stand around and drink alcohol two rows thick beside the counter on floors with missing tiles and play darts and shout over loud rhythm-and-blues and sit on ripped naugahyde chairs.

And well, calm down... Tom and I did not order any of the aforementioned alcohol. Nor did we play darts. heh. But we did shout to each other over the music a few times--it was the only way we could hear one another.

See, our daughter has been a drummer since she was 14 and played on our church's worship team along with Tom who played guitar and sang. Then when Naomi turned 19, or so, she began playing with many and sundry bands, through the years, who play at, well, bars. And every once in a blue moon her gigs begin before 10:00 p.m. (or 11 or 12) and she'll inform us old-early-to-bed folks in case we'd like to hear her current band play. Last night's gig began at 6:00 p.m., happy hour, I believe, and since we'll likely be moving soon, we went to hear Naomi play the drums with her current band.

So that's why Tom and I were at the bar. Honest.

The early years when Naomi played at bars and got home around 3 or 4 in the morning? Those were the years I became intimately acquainted with Worry. With standing at the front door, pacing, or waking up at night so I could check to see if she was home--and if not, struggling with that dark breed of Worry some more. I prayed every kind of prayer over Naomi--and I continued to worry.

Then God, one year, told me He'd had enough of my worrying. He told me to pray, yes, but worry? No. Worry cancels-out our prayers, He said. Worry would make me sick, He said, too. And He told me from now on, to go to bed and sleep. To trust Him with Naomi and place her in His hands. He respected--and responded to--trust. Not worry.

And over time I did that, though you other parents of teens and adult kids can guess it wasn't easy. But the trust has increased as my love for God has increased. And the trust has increased as I've watched Naomi change incredibly since I stopped worrying constantly about her. Since I stopped doubting she would change. She's become so interested in cooking and health and gardening and making a nice home--all things she, well, chided me about for years, saying I was wasting my life.

And she's become just about the sweetest daughter on Earth. Last night when Tom and I left the bar, Naomi told us she would stand at the end of the alley and watch us to make sure we made it to our car all right, uninjured by anyone. Naomi worries about Tom and I now... she sometimes treats us like we're a cute old senile couple... and we love it.

And well, did I mention that this past year Naomi and her boyfriend moved in together? And how she's known since she was nine years old how Tom and I feel about that? But there again, God has instructed me not to worry. To pray for Naomi, instead. And to just love her while God is changing her day by day... just as He's changing me, too.


Judy said...

Being a parent is such a mixed bag of joy and sorrow.

Without a God of hope, where would any one of us be?

He is still changing me, and I'm a pretty tough nut.

Jeanette said...

You must be doing something right as a parent, at least she didn't hide it from you... :)

Did she play well last night, then? :)

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of us who have lived through things we never dreamed we would have to. But the FATHER is still with us, to carry us when we need to be carried. My older daughter has also lived with guys, married, divorced and now married to a nice, responsible man. Still so very far from GOD, but at least the communication between her and us is much better. I know the FATHER will be fair and it is up to HIM now that she is grown...all we can do is pray and love her. But my heart feels as yours I think...we are mamas.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog yesterday, and believe me, I'll visit each and every day.
It's great to meet someone who is on my same "wavelength!"
God bless,

Me said...

You are right - we need to trust God and let Him make the change - it is a lesson that applies to spouses too.

I think (I am not sure, I am working on theory here as my children are still so young) that I will have to relearn that lesson as the girls grow older - as they grow and their personalities change - I think I will continually relapse into worry and have to let go again...

Saija said...

i'm so glad you have left Naomi into God's hands ... and i can only imagine how difficult that may somedays seem ... but it sounds like she is growing up just fine ... and one day, she will embrace HIM who has already embraced her ...

so how did the band sound? :o)

Charity Grace said...

Whether she tells you or not, I'm sure Naomi feels very loved that you come to hear her play at a place you normally would never enter. Good job!

Donetta said...

You sound like you have a wonderful daughter there. It is so hard to let go.