(In)dependent

sunflower3“Back to school” felt really different this fall.  And I did not like it one bit.

My oldest daughter really took responsibility this year.

She looked up her schedule.
She organized her supply needs.
She drove herself to registration.
And to school.
And to practice.

All. By. Herself.

Before she left for school one morning last week, I began to load her water bottle with ice so it would still be cold by the time her 3:30pm cross-country practice rolled around. She’d already prepared her own breakfast and lunch; this was my small token effort to come alongside. But she interrupted me, saying that she wanted to do it… a particular way.

I felt rejected.

She didn’t seem to require anything from me. She just didn’t need me. While we’re raising our children to prepare them for launch into adulthood, I wanted her to need me (for more than just registrar fees, anyway).

As often happens in parenting, I realized how similarly God must feel with us. Indeed, He causes us to grow and mature. Our faith develops and deepens in much the same way as we progress toward adulthood from childhood. But God never intends for us to be independent of Him. He has the heart of a Father who desires to remain close to His children, ever-mindful of our needs.

Live and Move

The American culture promotes independence and “rugged individualism.” I wonder how often this way of thinking infiltrates our prayer life, keeping us from relationship and conversation with our God. How quickly we begin to problem-solve our lives and strategize to meet our own needs, instead of turning to Him and trusting He will care for us perfectly. Because He is “at hand,” we are instructed to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 ESV) He is close and wants to meet our needs and hear our voices even more than I wanted to share in my daughter’s daily life.

Join me in surrendering our independent natures so we can instead depend upon Him?

Please share!
    • http://youaremygirls.com/ Jennifer Camp

      Kirsten, I so needed to read this today. Thank you. I am in the middle of a tug-of-war with God, and I didn’t even know it . . . And I need to surrender the lie again that independence is strength. Rather, dependence on God is. So grateful for you.

      • http://www.eighttwentyeight.org Kirsten Holmberg

        I don’t often know I’m “warring” with God either, Jennifer — until something like this moment with my daughter shows me. So good of Him to open our eyes (even if I don’t like it at the moment!). Thanks for being here!

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/873671927740/ Emily Clements via Facebook

      Ahh feeling lovingly convicted by this today…a little too independent. ❤️ Thanks for the words and thoughts, my friend!

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/548501155289372/ Kristen Tilly Jacobs via Facebook

      Thank you for this message Kirsten. Earlier today during my devotion time I wrote down that I need to ask God to guide me through my parenting. I realize I think I know the path to follow, the prayer I want to say. Instead, I want to turn to God and have him guide me through parenting, praying, life, work….

      Hearing your words about is a great reminder. In addition, that is one of my very favorite verses.

    • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/10203709233432240/ Missy Luginbill Veeck via Facebook

      So true!! Great reminder!!!

    • Kim Martin

      I understand the feelings you had with your daughter becoming more independent. I’ve gone through that with both my daughters and am experiencing it again with my oldest granddaughter. As I watch my children and grandchildren mature and grow I hope that they will remember that God is in there corner and to lean on him and remember his ways.

      • http://www.eighttwentyeight.org Kirsten Holmberg

        Oh, Kim. Thanks for “getting it.” I’m glad your daughters and grandchildren have you in their lives to point them to God!