by Beth Duewel @DuewelBeth
“Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to Saul his son, ‘Take one of the young men with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys.’ And he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. And they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then they passed through the land of Benjamin but did not find them. When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, ‘Come let us go back, lest my father cease to care about the donkeys and become anxious about us.” 1 Samuel 9:3-5 NASB
I admit. There may be a hint of helicopter mama in me.
Sure, I want my adulting children to fly solo. To soar, flip, and do bungy cord belly-flops off the hope of their futures. Sometimes though, I secretly want their cord-thingy to tangle in my propellers. And tomorrow my oldest daughter and her husband will move past the invisible state line. They want me to drop them in the middle of nowhere-land and be happy about it. Please. Somebody STOP this high-drama-mama moment right here!
Moms, you know what, we don’t start out this way. All hovery and clingy and obsessively licky with smudges of dirt. We never intended to tuck hair into envelopes, mark walls with inches of growth, or lick purse fuzz off suckers. But I’m here to tell you—when it comes to the irrational way we love our children—these things happen.
We start off secure. We point up, train up, and show up with a dollar slipped under the pillow for good molar-measure. And has the price per tooth gone up? I don’t even know.
How did our moms stay calm while we slept on the backest inside window ledge of a car the size of a Cozy Coupe? No seatbelts or one single kilometer of panic from our mothers, and right now I’m sweating, sweating as I think about it, because, that window ledge was the porthole of death! Yet-we’re alive.
I think it’s harder than it was then, because we’re flying busy-anxious with a laser-like focus over the lives of our children.
We can’t look away, we can’t let go, we can’t trust. We. Just. Can. Not.
And I’m really not sure when “hover” mother showed up in our house. She just appeared one day, uninvited and fearful. One moment I got a phone call to pick up our daughter early from school. The next morning a seizure. An instant later a brain tumor. That first night, I touched the cold glass of my daughter’s hospital window and couldn’t reconcile with the Trust-God Mama within. Life looked different through frosty glass and tears.
Suddenly, I felt constricted and clingy while we followed the doctor’s advice to “look normal” because, “We don’t want Brittany worrying about you—worrying about her.” Oh, sweet Jesus, help. Then, with mascara streaking I reached for God’s Word where truth told me to trust.
I found Kish (a worried father), sending his son, Saul, on a journey to look for lost donkeys. They passed through many lands, but still—no donkeys. Finally, Saul tells his servant, “Come let us return, or else my father will cease to be concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious about us” (1 Samuel 9:5 NASB).
Before leaving Zuph, Saul and his companions decide to seek out the prophet Samuel for help. Unbeknownst to Saul, the Lord had already revealed to Samuel that Saul was coming. When they arrive, the Lord tells Samuel, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.” On the very next day a recently clueless Saul is anointed king.
And what about the donkeys? Samuel assures Saul: “As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found” (1 Samuel 9:20 NASB).
God brought Saul to that very place at that very time to fulfill His purpose for Saul’s life and give His people the king they requested. All through a frustratingly futile search for lost donkeys.
Friends, it’s really NEVER about the donkey. Or a brain tumor. Or rebellion, addiction, the worst or the best. The journey is—and always will be—about the high love and altitude of a God who loves well. Who is always at work, always present, and always able.
But we must trust God’s ability before we can rest in His abundance.
Mamas were never meant to carry the weight of their children. Jesus, You alone are able. He draws them to Himself through a gracious journey we may not understand. And when it comes to the irrational way God loves our children—lofty things will happen. Always.
Speaking of lofty, if you happen to have a helicopter handy, can you pick me up? Please. I’m just thinking a little fly-by can’t hurt.
About the author: Beth Duewel is a writer, speaker, and blogger at Fix-Her-Upper.com. She has three almost adulting children, and lives with her husband in Ashland, Ohio. Beth and her coauthor, Rhonda Rhea, are super excited about their first book, Fix Her Upper: Hope and Laughter Through a God Renovated Life! And now you can catch Beth & Rhonda’s soon to release, Fix Her Upper 90 Day Devotional , (Bold Vision). Start off the New Year with this Devotional, Journal, and Coloring Book in one! https://www.boldvisionbooks.com/shop/. Use the link to pre-order their new book now!
Join the conversation: Are you a helicopter mama?