Saturday, May 22, 2010

911 Help

“911 Emergency.” The voice on the other end of the phone was frantic. Words cracked as a mother relayed a desperate story. “My daughter Lisa just called me from home. She is wrapping Christmas gifts in her bedroom upstairs and thinks she heard someone come into the house. She can hear male voices downstairs. Her father and I are driving home from shopping.” As both mother and father raced back, they called 911 to get help for their child.

The parents arrived faster than the police did. It took everything I had to convince dad not to run into their house to help his daughter. If there was someone inside, we didn’t want him hurt. I told the parents to park down the street, telling them that the police were only a few minutes away. “Please wait. We are on the way to help your daughter.”

Waiting isn’t easy, especially when we have to hold back from running in and solving our kids’ problems. From the moment our warm bundle of love is placed in our arms, to the day those chubby, dimpled arms grow up and reach out for their own children, we desire to protect and help them. Whether our children are two or fifty-two, we respond to their hurts, and fears, their tears and pain.

It was easier to be a parent when my children were small. I could run in and be their help and protection. They often giggled when I shared the macabre ways I would deal with anyone who messed with any of them. I prided myself in being their 911 help.

Slowly, I’m learning to let go. My adult daughter and almost-adult-son have been great teaching tools. Surrendering my control, my protection, my covering into the hands of the Lord is an ongoing process. I thought I’d share a few lessons I’ve learned over the years:

•Excuses – I have to stop making excuses for helping, and keep my mouth and my wallet shut.

– I’m not my kids’ life raft. How are they ever going to learn to make it on their own, if I’m rescuing them from everything?

•Spankings – I’ve bent over life’s knee and received a few good spankings. I survived and learned A LOT from them - my kids will too.

•Stealing – Each time I over-help my kids, I steal their testimony. I take away an opportunity for their faith to grow. I should not be my kids “Holy Spirit”. The Lord doesn’t need my help.

The 911 call ended well. The teenager had confused the TV downstairs as intruders. The parents succeeded at waiting for help to arrive. You can imagine what it was like to try and convince them to stay in the car. Those few minutes, only yards away from their daughter, must have felt like the longest moments of their life.

What a reminder to me that God has things under control. I need to wait on Him. He's the real professional here. He loves my kids more than I do.

I think I'll take a break and let the Lord help them today.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1


Gina said...

what happened to the girl????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A worthy goal... harder to live! I'm with Gina... what's the rest of the story?


PS: Packed yet?

Mari said...

What a horrible situation for those parents. I know they appreciated your calm words of assurance.
As you so often do, you did a wonderful job of applying it to life and giving us all a message from it. Thanks!

Mariel said...

wow..that is quite a story! I would be a bit embarrassed if I were that girl, but incredibly releaved to be those parents!! Praise God it worked out fine.

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Denise said...


Mike Golch said...

OH brother,better be safe that sorry.

Braley Mama said...

I would of so ran in!!!! All though i agree with you about the analogy.

Beth in NC said...

LOL ... the TV?!?!?! Oh dear.

No way would we have been able to stay away. My husband would have been knocking down the door with a loaded and cocked weapon. No doubt.

Yikes. I can't imagine how hard it would be to NOT intervene in my daughter's life. God give me wisdom when to step back and allow her to learn on her own.

Karen said...

I really liked how you worded this...

"Each time I over-help my kids, I steal their testimony. "

Melanie Redd said...

Hey Joanne,

What a great illustration about waiting and not rushing in to help!

It's hard, isn't it? As a mom of older teens, I am praying for the wisdom to know when to help or not and when to speak or not.

Thanks for the reminder to "let the Lord help them today." What a good word!

Blessings to you,

Angie said...

Powerfully--TRUE words of A WISE MAMA!

It took me a long time...the wallet shut with a slam long before the mouth did with a click of the teeth. AND even after the mouth closed, the teeth clenched--and prayed--but the pray"er" had to get as much work done on her (meaning me) as the pray"ee" did.

Yup. Parenting is not for wimps, sissy or perfectionists.... ;)


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