I had excellent
plans for my children. I read to them from birth. We watched educational TV and
videos. Their computer time was spent on clever learning games rather than
shooting aliens. Our vacation time often included museums and historical sites.
I volunteered in their classrooms and was actively involved in their schooling
while refusing to be a “helicopter mom.”
recipe to send our children to excellent universities! We did everything right!
daughter didn’t follow the path we laid out. She didn’t earn the grades she was
capable of. We argued far too often, and one day she snapped at me: “At least
I’m not pregnant, on drugs, or in jail!” True, and we were thankful. But why
couldn’t she see we knew what was best for her?
She ended up
at our local community college, determined to transfer. I was nervous. I’d
heard too many stories about students unable to get their required courses, languishing,
and dropping out. I wanted so much more for my girl!
But then God
slapped me. And aren’t you glad so you don’t have to slap me yourself?
slaps in love. This time He slapped me twice within an hour, once from each
First, I was
talking daughter problems with a friend. Her daughter had earned the grades and
degrees…but wasn’t walking with the Lord. My friend’s anguish was palpable and
put my concern in stunning perspective. My daughter was walking with the Lord, and isn’t that what matters most for
Yes, it is.
began conversing with another lady about the same issue. With the most serene
smile, she asked, “Sarah, whose plans are better? Yours, or the Lord’s?”
I knew the
answer to that question. God’s plans are always best. I’d already learned that
lesson in my own life. But in my children’s lives? That’s different.
Oh no, it
began a serious work in my heart that day. A work of trusting in His goodness
and His care and His love, even when things don’t happen as we want them to. A
work of humility, sloughing off my nasty pride and the bitter fruit it had
produced. A work of relinquishing control I never had in the first place. A
work of loving my daughter as God does and trusting her to make wise decisions. A work of resting in His sovereignty.
He showed me
the truth He spoke in Isaiah 55:9-10: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your
thoughts.’” In His sweet mercy, the Lord quickly showed me how much better His
plans were than mine.
daughter began working for a friend of mine and discovered a love for business,
a perfect melding of her numerical sense and her people skills. Now she’s on
track to transfer into an excellent business program. If she’d gone away to
college, she never would have taken that job, and she would have wasted
time—very expensive time—choosing her major. Score one for God!
extra time at home allowed my daughter and I to repair our relationship. As I
relaxed and trusted her, and she gained maturity, we became close. I wouldn’t
trade our deep talks for anything in the world. Score two for God!
found the love of her life. Her first semester she took a class with her big
brother’s close friend—a young man who’d adored her since fourth grade, a young
man she’d rejected countless times. Working together closely, she saw the depth
of his character and found a match for her wit. She tumbled into love, and this
July they were married. Game, set, match—to the Lord!
were better for my daughter’s life? God’s! Absolutely God’s!And I’m left
in awe of His sovereign goodness, His patience, and His mercy.
is the author of seven historical novels, including Through Waters Deep (Revell, August 2015). Her novella “I’ll Be
Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops
Glisten is a 2015 Carol Award finalist. A mother of three, Sarah lives in
California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. Connect with Sarah here: