Friday, November 18, 2011

My Son Needs Me to Control Things, Right?

The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
Psalm 145:13

I have a big ‘ole ladle of control freak mixed up in the recipe that is my personality. I used to have a gallon, but after surrendering often to Jesus, it’s much less. My dream is to someday only have a pinch. It’s a fantasy, but with God anything is possible.

God is often teaching me lessons about living for Him through that part of myself that says, “I got this.” Most of the time, I do not “got” it. At all.

The object of my control is often my son, Noah. 7th grade has been a challenge for him, not because he is unintelligent, he is smart as a whip. But because is he is disorganization personified. I read somewhere that at his age, the frontal lobe is not developed yet. The part that connects cause with effect and the part that develops short term memory. When I read this, I said, “YES” as if I’d just found a great sale or if I’d won the lottery. This scientific report validated that maybe, just maybe, Noah’s constant need for reminder is not due to me eating too many chocolate brownies during pregnancy.

Noah and I went to his parent/teacher conferences this past week. He was apathetic about the whole thing, but I was terrified. Two fears consumed me. 1) That each teacher would look at me and say, “Why aren’t you the kind of mother that Noah really needs?” and 2) That I would start bawling and point an angry finger at each teacher and blubber, “Why aren’t you the kind of teacher that can fix my son?”

Just trying to control the situation. It’s about me, right?

Well, no. It’s about Noah. This observation came from John, the voice of reason in our home. (I’m not always thrilled about that.) So John prayed for me before we went.

The science teacher was first and he spoke words that would be echoed by Noah’s other teachers. “Noah is a great student. Hard working and well liked. A leader that doesn’t know it yet. He could get all A’s but he is disorganized. But he knows the material and asks great questions.”

I was caught between asking “Seriously?” and crying in gratitude. Both would have horrified my boy so I kept silent, nodding politely. I confessed that Noah’s locker, which is ridiculously messy, and my purse are quite similar. I cannot teach him organization. The teachers all suggested an elective course at the school that teaches organization and study skills that Noah would be perfect for. I jumped for joy. Noah wasn’t so thrilled. He didn’t want to give up P.E.

We had a discussion at home that came down to me saying, “You are going to do this!” and Noah saying, “I don’t want to do this!” The voice of reason came in and asked if one of the requirements was Noah’s enthusiasm about taking the class. Unfortunately, we were told that yes, Noah had to WANT to be in the course.

John looked at his wife and son, who were both extremely upset, and said this. “Noah, do me a favor. Tonight, ask God what He wants you to do. And if you believe that He doesn’t mind if you don’t enroll, then you don’t have to.”

I glared at my husband. In one remark, he’d taken control and given it to our twelve-year-old boy who cares more about video games than eating, more about playing with his friends than going to church and more about P.E. than a new class! I remained silent, while asking God to kick John in the behind. Would Noah ask God? Would Noah hear God’s reply?

Letting go is terrifying and I am horrible at it and Noah needs me to control his world. Right?

Wrong. The next day, John asked Noah if he prayed and Noah said yes and that he was going to enroll in the class and drop P.E. I was shocked. Something good happened without me being in charge of it.

If you are like me, and many of you are, I hope that you can join me in surrendering control. It’s a desperate attempt to make us the center of the universe. It is also a way to say, “God, I don’t trust You to handle this.”

And God can handle it. He is trustworthy. He’s got Noah and I can let go.

A little at a time. :0)

1 comment:

Hilary said...

A wonderful post, Robbie! Very encouraging to me today. :-)