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.