“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Other times, like an anchor, I am a safe and trusted presence in this adolescent season, steady in the waves of questions, uncertainty, and insecurity. “I love you, Mommy,” she says, as she unexpectedly snuggles up to me on the couch.
Separation anxiety, it's so familiar. I remember the first time it appeared in my daughter, in those tender first months, at about five months of age, the “stranger anxiety” began. I remember it well. For a season then, too, I didn’t know if the little darling would be content and full of smiles or feisty and full of tears. It was a confusing time for us both, much less the innocent stranger, who would engage the little cutie pie, only to witness my daughter going from laughter to screaming her head off in a matter of seconds!
Recently, I was chatting with my sister about this and, as she pointed out, it’s like our kids are saying, “No matter how rotten I am to you, no matter how mean, rude, rejecting I can be, will you still love me? Will you still be there when I need you?”
Our kids go through lots of seasons like this, when they are five months old…two years old…five years…eleven or twelve…sixteen…twenty. Oh the joy!
It occurs to me, as I live in the middle of yet another teen letting go, hanging on, push me-pull you, going away, coming closer. Isn’t this just like me and my relationship with my heavenly Father? Sometimes, I just can’t get enough. I’m spending lots of precious time with God. I’m hanging on to every Word, I want to please Him. I want to draw closer. I’m enjoying the relationship. Then, other times, I seem to pull away. I neglect our relationship, buried deep in my own day-to-day life. I may even reject God’s desire for me to draw near.
Maybe I’m asking Him, “No matter how fickle I am, how distracted I get, no matter how I neglect our relationship, no matter how I ignore your call…Will you still love me? Will you still be there for me?”
My answer to my kids is always, “Yes!” God’s answer to us, His kids? “Yes! Always and forever.”
What’s Your Story?
Time and time again, God calls us to come, draw near, and yet I don’t always heed that call. He desires an intimacy with us that is personal and real. And even when we keep our distance, God’s promise is true. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1: 5a) Very reassuring. How about you? Have you sensed God calling you lately? How have you responded?