“We butt heads frequently. We disagree often. We fail to see eye-to-eye on the regular.
And to be honest, he seems okay with it. He seems fine with it. He seems to actually enjoy it somewhat, and that’s probably the thing that gets to me the most.
I’m a people-pleaser, a peace-lover, a don’t-rock-the-boat kind of gal down deep into my core, so I don’t understand his desire for contempt.
As submissive as I am, he is ten times more stubborn. As calm as I am, he is ten times more cantankerous. He is strong-willed from the very top of his little blonde head to the very bottom of his dirty toes.
He’s not very old, but he gives me a run for my money every single day, and I absolutely hate running, just ask the tennis shoes I bought three months ago that are still in the box.
I’ll say, ‘turn left,’ and he’ll say, ‘but I want to go right.’ I’ll say, ‘jump up,’ and he’ll say ‘no, down is better.’ I’ll say, ‘don’t do that again,’ and he’ll look me square in the eyes and do it again. And again. And again.
Questioning and challenging and pushing the limits is just in his very nature. It’s been this way from before he could even speak.
I saw a counselor and sought his advice on what I was doing wrong. I sat in the chair and cried and told story after story. I used to bawl ‘I want to be a good mom. I just need him to let me be one. Why won’t he let me be one???’ I sought some kind of guidance that would lay out the groundwork for turning him into somebody who was nice to get along with, somebody who knew how to bend.
I used to pray that he would change. It sounds horrible now, I can’t stand even typing those words out, but I just didn’t know what else to do. I was so tired of fighting. Disciplining every day was draining my spirit. It was all so far out of my comfort zone that it zapped every ounce of energy I had. He was my first child, my first baby, my first time. I already had no clue what I was doing, but he really threw me off the deep end.
I knew I must be royally screwing everything up. I mean, I had to be, or otherwise he would be easier, right? Aren’t kids supposed to be easier and happier and just plain pleasant? They sure are in the commercials.
One night, in the middle of my prayers, God smacked my hard with some tough love. It still hurts me to this day just to think about.
‘Stop trying so hard to change him. Stop trying so hard to mold him and work him and pray him into who you think he should be.
Let him be him.
I created him that way.
I created him to be a stubborn child, because one day, I am going to need him to be a man who stands his ground. I created him to be a difficult child, because one day, I am going to need him to be a man who is unwavering in his decisions. I created him to be a strong-willed child, because one day, I am going to need him to be a man whose ideologies don’t sway, whose beliefs don’t waver, whose integrity doesn’t give way to anything or anyone.
I created him to be a dominant child, because one day, I am going to need him to be a man who leads the masses. I am going to need him to be a man who leads his family. I am going to need him to be a man who leads people to my name.
This isn’t about you, Amy.
This isn’t about what you want. This isn’t about what you need. This isn’t about living up to your expectations of all you hoped motherhood would hold.
This is about me.
This is about what I want. This is about what I need. This is about you raising a child who goes out into the world and isn’t afraid to move mountains and carve paths and create magic.
This is about you training a child in the way he should go.
Are you up to the challenge?
I gave him to you because I know that you are. I entrusted him to you because I know that you are good and strong and capable.’
God’s answer spoke to me in a way that night that no counselor, no therapist, no parenting book ever could. Nothing. Not one thing has been the same since that night.
I’ve always loved him.
But now, I see him. All of him: who is he, who he isn’t, and most of all, who he is going to be.
I see how God will use him to do big things for His kingdom. I see the plans God has for
Him. I see the tower God is laying brick by brick and fight by fight to build a strong, steady and secure man.
I see how it’s not my job to change him into someone else.
I see how it’s not my job to mold him into something he isn’t.
I see how it isn’t my job to pray him into the person I want him to be.
I see how it’s my job to teach him and train him and steer him in the direction of his strengths, while helping him overcome those personality obstacles we all have.
It’s not easy raising strong-willed children, but what a blessing it will be to watch that strong-willed child grows into an uncompromising, unshakeable, determined adult. An adult with the fire to change the world. An adult with the will to shake the earth. An adult with the grit to love a big God in a big way.
It will be such a blessing.
But for now, God help the strong-willed children. And God help the women who raise them.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here and Twitter here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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