My husband Frank and I live away from both of our daughters. Amy lives in Ft. Walton Beach, FL...which is about 5 hours from us and Kat lives in Montgomery...which right now is 1.5 hours away. When we move it will be more like 2.5. So many times we want to jump in our car and go see them....but work and other responsibilities keep us from doing that....and besides...they have a life seperate from ours. They are both grown women. It still does not make it any easier. Especially where Amy is concerned. Her husband Stephen is in the Air Force and has been in Iraq every year for a stint since they married in 2002. I know that hurts her...it hurts us. Frank and I feel her pain every time he is deployed. Our pain comes from knowing that our young adult daughter is now alone until he returns stateside. A daddy naturally goes into protective mode. Both of our daughters are survivors....and "Can do it themselves." When times like these arise...I long to be with whatever daughter is suffering at the time, but distance separates us. I need to know they are not alone, and that they are not thinking God is being unfair to them at this moment. My desires are not to be granted. Because of our work schedules(I teach and Frank preaches)....going to Amy's is often difficult. The last time we were there was at Christmas. It has been 5 months. Since Christmas...we have seen Kat four times...and she lives 1.5 hours away. We are all busy...and sometimes in the busyness....we miss something. First, our children - no matter what age - will experience life's tough stuff. Sometimes those circumstances are beyond our control, and there's nothing we can do. But when circumstances allow our input, often our first impulse is to pick our kids up or bail them out. Is that the best response? Of course not....but it is the most human one. I don't want either of the girls hurting, sad, angry....I want their lives rosy. That is because I am the mom figure...the emotional one. Now, I have to let you know that I am not Amy's biological mother....she has a Mom...I am her dad's wife...but from the moment I met her...we connected....and she is my friend....and I love her like a daughter...heck...she favors my daughter even. Frank, is not Kat's biological dad....she has a Dad...but he treats her just like he does Amy.....and eventhough I know I cannot protect either of them from trouble... I realize that my precious daughters would be better prepared for life if I could have taught them how to effectively deal with, rather than avoid, trouble and hurt...but in truth...I couldn't...because I did not have a manual...and it is something you have to learn for yourself....I have a few scars from my own lessons. Second, the hurtful experiences in our girls lives serve as catalysts for their spiritual growth. My walk with God was not a result of some great sermon I heard...or some wonderful book I read...it is because the troubled times I have felt...helped build character. The same is true for Amy and Kat. Scars build toughness. Third, we as the parents of these two remarkable girls have to embrace difficult experiences in their lives as catalysts for our own spiritual growth. But to be honest with you...as their mom, I'd rather grow by other means, thank you. I'm okay with my own pain, but please let it be their pain. Unfortunately, life's not like that. And sometimes....to be honest...life sucks. But I have learned a valuable lesson as a mom...and that is to believe that He would fulfill His promise to be their sufficiency and strength in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and He would work out His perfect plan for their lives (Philippians 2:13). Yeppers, because distance makes it impossible sometimes for us to be with the girls, I pray daily for God to be their comforter and fortress, and to help them rest in His sovereignty over the circumstances (Psalm 62:5-8). Several times I heard His gentle whisper: "I love your girls too....obviously more than you can imagine.So Karen, he says, " Don't worry. Just trust Me. Let Go....and Let God!" God Bless You all today....and if you have kids...and they are close by...hug them tightly and say some crazy lady with a blog made you do it.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.