My daughter and I spent a few stolen minutes together yesterday after I got into town. I told her about some of the silly things I did as a teenager. She laughed at the young girl she never knew.
It is hard to fathom that our parents didn't start out life as parents. Understandably since they have been parents our entire lives, it is difficult to picture them young and carefree.
But, I once was young and carefree.
That being so, I know what it is like to be unable to see beyond the end of your own nose, so to speak. I have an understanding of my children and the phases that they have passed through, and those yet to come, on this road to complete adulthood.
I can remember lying on my bed, with my mother standing at my bedside as I cried "I want to just be like everyone else, and be able to go out and have fun!"
Poor pitiful me....
I remember how it felt to be stifled by *rules* set by my parents/prison guards.
Now, alas, here I sit...guarding the souls of my very own charges...
My, how the tables turn.
And I remember how I felt so unfairly treated. I felt so held down, and watched. Freedom was all I longed for, something my keepers could not seem to understand.
There is another child that I love, though not my own. And I see in her that aching to *break free* from the proverbial bondage, to be who she feels she is destined to be. I know she counts the days until her imprisonment will be over and the oppression of her current situation will be but a memory.
It saddens me to the depth of my soul.
For what our young people sometimes see as oppression is really where the truest of freedom lies.
I can put a name to oppression today that will forevermore identify this crafty creature.
That name is *REGRET.*
Oppression is waking every morning for the rest of your life to the consequence of your mistakes. It is facing each day knowing your own choices sometimes born of rebellion will forever color each sunrise of every day you live.
Oppression is settling for less than you could have obtained, it is selling out your dreams for a moment.
Oppression is giving away your very heart and soul and being bound to a promise that cuts the very life out of your being.
Oppression is casting your precious pearls before the swine of the world who have no understanding of the value of what is before them.
I have said so many times that my job as a mother is to make sure when my children are grown they have no regrets because I wasn't doing my job as a mother. Mistakes happen, there is no perfect world, I know this to be true. And I want to be the one that they turn to when trouble comes, and it will.
I don't want to hold my children back from living out their potential, from happiness, from tomorrow.
What I want is for them to have the freedom from *REGRET* when their time comes to fly. I don't want the weight of an oppressive past to keep them from soaring as high as God allows.
If I could say what my desire is for my children it would be this...
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesying.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-23
My dear sweet Friend, You know the burden I carry, for You carry the same. Help me to lead and guide my family to You. Help me to live an example before them, to show them the way, and to remain firm in that way. Let me not bow to the pressures of this world. Let me never give in to the draw of the easy way, for it would be easy for me to turn my head. But let me stand strong for their sakes, even it makes me unpopular, even if it is hard, because I know what is at stake. I know the oppressor. And I know where freedom lies. Thank You for loving me.