Mom, God, and Growing in Grace

I just got done texting my mom.

imageDespite being thousands of miles apart—she in Seattle, Washington, and me in Oklahoma City—we’re able to share our lives together. We share our struggles, our tears, our laughs, our “Hey, guess what happened!” moments, our frustrations. I look up to her, and when something is going on, good or bad, I know I can talk to her, and she knows she can text me.

Mom and I have had our not-so-fun moments, too. It was hard to call her after my car accident back in April. I’m almost sure she raises her eyebrows whenever I make my uber-formal phone calls to request some more money for various expenses. I don’t always have the best attitude when she gives me advice (e.g., balancing the checkbook, filling out job applications, studying for classes), but she’s ready to give it, to tell me what I need to do in order to succeed.

Yeah, we share our lives over our 2½” x 4½” cell phone screens. One thing I miss, though, is not being able to give her a hug.

Sometimes, it’s not until you’re grown up (or semi-grown up, or older but “young at heart”) that you realize that the mom who raised you also goes through difficult times and needs someone to lean on.

You see, Mom’s going through a rough time.

The phone call was too much effort, so we just texted—those long “e-mail length” texts filled with quotes, Bible verses, prayer requests, incomplete sentences filled in with punctuated emphasis. Sometimes the texts hit the point, and sometimes we completely missed it. But we knew that the little green and yellow text bubbles on the screen didn’t always have to connect. What mattered was that we knew what the other was going through.

Right now is one of those moments when I want to give her a hug, but I can’t. We’re kind of together, but we’re not. But that doesn’t mean we’re in the wrong place. We’re right where God wants us to be.

I once asked a friend how he was able to leave his college life behind without ever missing it, and he said, “Because God has me here.” That’s the point of fellowship with God. Whether we’re able to track our own steps and follow our plans to higher ground or whether we’re completely lost in a tangled web of circumstances, each of us is at this point in our lives—right now—because here is where God has us.

Trusting God’s sovereignty and growing in His grace go hand in hand. When we don’t understand why in the world we’re where we’re at or we’ve tried everything we can think of but nothing’s working, the only thing we can trust is that God’s working here and now to accomplish His will. At that point, we should step back, thanking and praising Him for making His Person clearer than ever, clear that He is indeed the One who holds the world together and orders everything according to His plan.

Mom and I are growing together. We don’t have to be in the same place in order to understand that. We might miss each other’s presence, but God’s using this time to help us cherish the presence of the One who loves us the most. The closer He draws us to Himself, the more He makes known that He’s filling our lives with Himself and His redeeming peace.