“Let me do it!”

I hear this sentence and its variations a lot lately.  My toddler is independent, vocal and strong-willed.  Last week, on a particularly difficult day, we had a 20-minute battle over who would put on her shoes before we could leave the house.  I’m all for letting her do or try to do things on her own.  I understand that she is learning.  But, it was a cool day and we were putting on her tennis shoes, which she simply cannot do on her own, yet.  She’s not happy about that.  I even tried my go-to tactic for such tasks of “Let’s do it together.”  Many times that works.  Sometimes, like last Thursday, it doesn’t.

In the end, I am still the mother.  And I am still mostly in control.  I say mostly, because there is a give-and-take to this process of letting her grow and learn.  She wants so much to do things on her own.  I know that her fight for more independence is only beginning.  I was an obedient child and teenager, yet, I still struggled and desired to be independent from my parents.  It’s normal and natural.

Today these battles have had me thinking about spiritual matters.  Maybe it’s because I’m engaged in a battle with God right now.  I see things one way.  I see a certain plan.  He, however, isn’t seeing the same plan.  And I’m fighting Him.  Let me do it!  Let me do it!

Yet, as much as I want to do things and make decisions and plan every moment of my life, I can’t.  Or I should say, I can’t do so successfully.  Just as Lexiana cannot get her shoes fastened onto her feet by herself right now, so I cannot run my life myself.  I may try.  I may flail around.  I may fuss and whine and cry.  And God just looks at me.  He stays patient.  He stays calm.  (Both things I try to do when these situations arise with my toddler.  I’m not as good at it as God is.)  He continues loving me.  He continues gently guiding me and showing me the way. He continues to hold me close and love on me when I’m sad that I can’t do it my way.  And He doesn’t rub it in my face when I realize that I was fighting the wrong fight for what I wanted and not for what He wanted.

When the child in me screams, “Let me do it!”, He smiles knowingly.  I think He understands this desire for independence and control that I have.  But, He also knows what is best.

I hope that one day soon Lexiana will learn that I am not working against her.  I hope she will realize that all I have done and will ever do is try to guide and teach her and help her navigate life.  I pray that I do all these same things with God.  I pray that as I learn time and again to just let go and let Him guide me and have control that I can do so without fighting Him nearly as much or as long.  And I thank Him that He remains ever faithful and patient.

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