"Take your hands off the steering wheel and let the Lord drive," my pastor told me as I sat across from him in the church office.
"Excuse me, Pastor. What do you mean?" I replied, puzzled at his response. I had just finished pouring out my heart to him regarding a problem one of my children was experiencing.
"You can't fix it, Barbara. You have to let God work with him and bring him through this. Let Him direct your son's life and you take your hands off," he said.
Seeing my children leave home to begin their own lives involved many emotions. They were considered adults by virtue of their age, but my instinct to come to their aid when they were experiencing severe problems was still active.
I was greatly burdened for my son, but I had no clue how to proceed. He was a Christian and I prayed for the Lord to help him. However, as his mother, I felt I needed to give him some suggestions from my years of experience. Through many tearful hours, I prayed and asked for guidance and finally decided to consult my pastor.
The truth of my pastor's words lifted a burden from my heart. He was right. It was time for me to understand that my days of fixing problems for my children were over.
Then one day during my devotional time, I read a story of a child who came across a cocoon, which showed signs of the occupant trying to be emerge. The boy had learned about butterflies coming from cocoons so he decided to help the butterfly free itself by cutting the cocoon open. When the butterfly emerged, it couldn't fly and soon died. The child later learned that in the process of struggling to be free, the butterfly's body fluids are stimulated and it becomes strong enough to fly.
The words of the nature lesson, together with what my pastor said, gave me a full picture of what the Lord was showing me. I saw that interfering in my child's problem, regardless of my good intentions, could bring him further harm.
As my son struggles through his problem, he will learn to reach out to the Lord for help. Through the process, he will become spiritually stronger and wiser in making future decisions. The Lord has to lead him, not mom.