Sunday, December 04, 2011

Allowing Birds Their Freedom

Aww... all you other mama's out there who told me perhaps Naomi will get to Tennessee, decide she doesn't like it, then come running back home, well, thank-you. I realize you were trying to encourage me, to give me hope.

But you know? I cannot allow myself to even think such a thing. Why? Because that would be like hoping Naomi will fail, that things won't work out for her, that she won't be happy anywhere not near her parents.

And well, according to 1 Corinthians 13, I'd be oh-so-in-error to do that, especially when you consider these verses:

"Love endures long and is kind.... Love does not insist on its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not fretful ... .Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]." (taken in parts from the Amplified version).

Basically? Love wishes other people the very best in their endeavors. And as I heard one man preach years ago, real love prays that other people will do even better than we, ourselves, have done.

So I must go the way of love with this... and let Naomi fly away while wishing her success.

There's another reason I'll never try talking Naomi out of her decision: after Tom, Naomi and I had lived in New York for 5 years, my parents called one Thanksgiving and the conversation turned disastrous when they confessed they'd often told their friends, "We don't understand what we ever did to make Debra and her family move three-thousand miles away from us. Were we really such dreadful parents?"

Oh. My. Goodness. To my parents, our move was all about them. When actually? Tom and I loved living in New York, had been looked at by fellow church members as "missionaries from Nevada" (their term) and had both experienced an amazing spiritual awakening which continues to shape who we are all these 17 years later.

It took me a long time to recover from that Thanksgiving conversation (I'll spare you the further gory details) and I refuse to ever lay something like that upon my own daughter. Tom and I were led by God to New York (the most obvious thing I've ever known) and woe unto me if I try talking Naomi out of leaving for Tennessee. Double woe to me if I try holding her here out of my own self-seeking to get what I want.

God did not design Naomi's life to be about Tom and me, but rather, He meant for us to raise Naomi while she was young so that she could grow into an adult woman with a life of her very own.

And may I never, ever discourage her from living in that kind of God-given freedom.


Again, I realize those of you who said here and in emails "maybe she'll come back" were trying to encourage me. And also again, I so appreciate that! Your hearts were kind and right. I just tried to explain here why I cannot hope for the same thing.


Fun Stuff:

This week Tom and I discovered from a heater guy (we're buying a new heater and water heater) that Hobbit Cottage may have been a kit house back there in 1931. Oh! I've always wanted to live in one. The heater guy, at one time, lived in a house exactly like ours and his was a kit house, and well, there are a few of them near us so who knows?

Anyway, I discovered this website today which is about the most fun site, ever, for people who enjoy houses and floor plans. It's full of vintage kit house catalogs, complete with floor plans which I've, my whole life, enjoyed perusing. So if you're like minded, just go here and start clicking. Maybe you'll even discover your own home came from a kit(!)



jodi said...

Upon graduation from college my oldest went to grad school in Hawaii, lasted a year and came back to a college near home. Though we missed him and are glad that he is back I'm sorry that it didn't work out for him. But it was his choice to go and his to come back. It's his life. And there is something freeing about that as a parent. (Hope this makes sense.)

Sara said...

This post is so smart! My parents raised my sister and I with the attitude that if they were successful, we'd be independent adults. The Mr. and I had the same approach with our boys. Of course, we love them and would miss them if separated but God has plans for them, we are only temporary stewards. Loved this.

Anonymous said...

I would never consider it failure, for anything to not work out in the present situation our country is in. Especially knowing how things happened during the Great Depression for our grandparents and parents. Being flexible in all possible ways is what we need to be for now and the future I think. Knowing that plans may or may not come to pass. In fact, I am not sure how much of our plans ever came into full fruition. But I assume that what has happened is what my FATHER had planned. Tis not mine to be concerned about. Just to know that HE will take care of me/us is enough. I am not wishing my children would need to move back home, but I wish we would have a place to offer, which we probably will not have. Well, I am living in the 24th house, in 5 states (some states I lived in twice and a couple houses too) moving is ok with me. And not failure!!
Elizabeth in NC

Elizabeth said...

Debra, You are so wise! I am going to be a little selfish here and say I hope Naomi loves Tennessee and when you and Tom visit her,you both fall in love with it and decide to move there,then you would be close enough to Florida that we could actually meet and visit!