Not one bit in control. And that is okay.
Updated: Feb 6
Our flight takes off in five hours. In eleven hours we will be back home. On the way, we can eat when we want, sleep while the pilot keeps us in the air, read or watch a movie. But, it is everything I can't control that is making my heart race. I'm irritable and indecisive. I'm okay. But, several of my kids are suffering. And everything in my mama heart wants to take their pain away.
As I write this, one daughter is at her home in the throes of now a three-day labor. She is steeped in the pain of bringing their first child into their arms and hearts. We came to meet the baby, but more than likely we will leave unable to do anything about our own baby's agony. I remember the pain of her birth. I empathize with the overwhelming desire to run from the pain. I know what the fear feels like. The questioning of physical, mental, and emotional abilities to stay in the game of birth. Even though I know what she's enduring, I would take it from her in a heartbeat. I want to suffer instead of watching her suffer. But, I can't. I need to let go. This is her journey.
Another daughter is on day 66 of her oldest daughter missing. Her 10-year-old step-daughter was abducted by her non-custodial mother. She's been in a different state. She's missed over two months of school. Her two younger sisters have cried themselves to sleep missing her. The family waits for the lawyers to build their cases. They wait for a date still two months away when the judge said he will hear the case. They can't act rashly and they can't rush the process of the system. And I can't either. I'm 900 miles away and powerless to help my daughter or my granddaughter. My stomach hurts and I ache to knock down any doors in the way of getting that precious girl back to her home and her family. I need to let go. And it is hard.
Our second oldest daughter is in the middle of yet another military move. Her husband is at an officer's school for two more months, and she and her three young kids are at our house for support. The kids are unsettled and a new routine is difficult to maintain. We were also a military family and the days of single parenting are still fresh in my mind. It was hard. I try to help with the kids and listen when our daughter is stressed. But, at the end of the day I find my own bed and let her be a mom. I long to do something. Anything. But, I know I need to let go. And so I do.
Our youngest daughter is in treatment for mental health issues. She misses home. She hates home. She is hurt and struggling. I want to hug her, but she doesn't want to be touched. I long to get to know her, but she is hesitant to share anything from the first eight years of her life. The years before we welcomed her to our family. I want to make her receive our love. But, I can't. I need to let go.
When my kids suffer my stomach hurts, my mind races, and my heart recoils from shots of adrenalin. I lean towards becoming a mess myself. But, I can't stay there. I need to let go. I need to trust the process of life. I need to understand that God is near and working. I don't need to be the savior.
I'm learning that letting go isn't forgetting. And it isn't walking away and ignoring. It is releasing and praying. It's owning my limitations and acknowledging my own needs. It is sometimes stepping aside and letting others help.
Like right now, the doula is by our daughter's side. Music, prayer, and counter pressure by her husband are keeping her going. She's staying in the fight and I couldn't be more proud.
Today the lawyers are working on building a strong case to get our granddaughter back where she belongs. Friends from our daughter and son-in-law's church are checking in on them and offering encouragement. Strangers helped provide Christmas presents when lawyer fees used up what was in savings and I know the days ahead hold even more loving surprises for them. I'm so thankful.
From a distance our daughter and her husband are making moving decisions. A Face Time call from dad helped calm the 3-year-old down enough to fall asleep. Friends of mine are helping to watch the kids so our daughter can work a temporary nursing job to make ends meet. I'm encouraged.
Our youngest daughter turned 16 yesterday and we weren't there. She's in a pediatric behavioral hospital four states away. The staff is amazing. Her therapist brought her out to lunch to celebrate. We were able to call and sing to her last night. She's learning a vocabulary of healing. She's trying out coping strategies. She's growing and maturing. I'm hopeful.
And so I let go. I pray they will each find comfort, peace, and resolution in their moments of need.
I'm not one bit in control. And that is okay.