I’m listening to this song by Jacks Mannequin a lot lately. Before I let you listen, I want to tell you about the song’s impact on one of my most important relationships…
My daughter Emma, the baby, the proverbial exclamation mark on our family story, well she’s going through a tough time. It’s been on and off for awhile and she and I aren’t seeing eye to eye on everything in her life. But hey, she’s an adult. She lives on her own. What do I expect? I didn’t and don’t always see eye to eye with my parents.
But as a parent to four delightful adults I can tell you, it’s hard when their opinions and choices don’t match your own. I remember when Bethany, our oldest daughter, told us after Bible class at her predominately Presbyterian Christian school, that she didn’t agree with something we (our church at the time) believed. I looked at The Husband after a long conversation with her and said: “Were you the one who gave her permission to have her own opinions? And if it wasn’t you…then WHO?”
As odd as that sounds now, I wasn’t kidding when I said it. Over the years I’ve gotten better at opening my heart to their differing beliefs and choices, but Emma is my baby. Apparently I wasn’t as good at this as I thought. She’s had some major life changes over the past year or two and the changes have reached a crescendo over the past few months. This song is the one she put as her caller-tune. (in case you don’t know a caller tune is what someone hears when they call, not a ringing sound, but the song) Anyhoo, this was the song on her phone after her engagement to her long time (5 year) boyfriend was called off.
Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you but I can tell ya that I’ve been made aware of big issues in the lives of a couple of my kids by the music they chose for ring-tones or background music on their MySpace page. (Which none of them have anymore…apparently MySpace is soooo “out”) Anyhoo, every time I called her I heard the chorus blaring at me. This is what I thought it said:
And I’m alive
And I don’t need a witness
To know that I survived
I’m not looking for forgiveness
I just need light
I need light in the dark as I search for the revolution.
It annoyed me beyond words. All I could hear was: “I’m not looking for forgiveness” and “…I search for the revolution”. What kind of revolution is she looking for?
After a few weeks of thick tension between she and I, one morning I was praying for her and for some reason that song popped into my head. (If you call someone a lot and hear their caller tune over and over and over…it sticks in your head. Just sayin) I pulled up iTunes and downloaded the song and listened. And listened. And listened. Something happened in my heart. In the song I could hear what I couldn’t hear from talking to Emma. All the noise between us kept me from really hearing her.
But in the song , I heard raw pain and hurt. I could hear desperation to find NOT a revolution…but a resolution. I sent her a text immediately, it said something like: I’m praying for you as you search for your resolution. Love Mom
The next time we talked later that day, there was a considerable lessening in the noise between us. The familiar warmth was back. She and I still don’t see eye to eye on everything. But I feel I better understand this amazing young woman who is and will always be my baby. I’m praying for her. I’m here for her. I respect her decisions. Even if they aren’t ones I’d make. Mostly I trust God in her.
You’d think after practicing letting go of these four beautiful human beings I get to call my kids that I’d be good at it. But I continually revert back to being that shocked young parent discussing Biblical theology with that little curly haired middle schooler. Only now I know Who gave all of them permission to have their own opinions, the same One who gave me permission to have opinions that differed from my parents…
If you have kids, do you have trouble with them having opinions and making choices that you wouldn’t ?