My older daughter had an abysmal school year last year. The transition to middle school was much harder than we thought it would be. The switch from one soccer team to another turned out to be a terrible decision. She lost her confidence and her spirit.
This summer, though, we made some changes. We switched to a different soccer club. We dropped her out of the accelerated math class that was just a bit out of her reach. We worked with her to take a different attitude toward school. And we sent her to a week of camp with our church's student ministry.
That week away was the best thing we could have done. God worked on her in ways that we couldn't. She came home with a renewed confidence and a renewed set of purpose. Instead of letting the school year attack her, she attacked it. She became confident that God was by her side every step of the way.
I went to parent-teacher conferences on Thursday morning, and every one of her teachers told me that while she was quiet, she did participate in class. They knew who she was, and more importantly, they knew something about her. It was a drastic difference from last fall's parent-teacher conferences where her teachers struggled to find something to say about her because she never spoke in class.
While I want my girls to try their hardest and receive good grades in school, I was more proud of this set of parent-teacher conferences than any I've attended before. Because those comments from her teachers meant that my daughter had recognized a problem and changed it. She had worked to overcome her innate shyness in a group setting. She had not let one bad year turn into another one. She had let God work on her to change her actions and her attitudes.
The older my girls get, the less able I am to "fix" things for them, the more they have to change things themselves. I can't change attitudes. I can't change behaviors. I can't change how they approach a situation.
But I can offer advice. I can pray for them. I can help them seek wise counsel from someone other than me. And the amount of time I spent on my knees last year praying over this child is proof positive that God hears our prayers, He knows the desires of our hearts, and He loves our kids more than we ever could. And sometimes we simply have to get out of the way and let Him work on our kids.
Because sometimes no amount of talking on our part, no amount of trying to solve the problem from our perspective, no amount of pushing our kids to do something differently can get results. Sometimes it takes them deciding to change. Sometimes it takes God working on our kids to change their perspectives, their hearts and their actions.
And I'm good with that because I know that God is much more effective at changing hearts than I am. I know that God's plan for my child is much greater than my own. And I know that God loves my kids much more than I ever could.
Is there a place in your child's life where you need to step back and let God work?