Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mothering a Young Adult

Halceta Lighthouse taken on our Oregon family vacation

Mothering  a young adult is a lot different than mothering  a child through the infant, toddler, school-age, and teenager ages.  In the young adult age, we really have to practice some restraint in not saying what might be on our minds and what we really want to say! It is this interesting mix of them still being children and needing guidance from their parents, but being adults and needing to make their own decisions.  We have given them hopefully the right tools to make correct decisions, then we have to hang back a little and let them make the decisions.

Interesting thing though, I have noticed that the young adult stage is a stage when they may need us the most. And when they need us, they will really need us. When things are good, and their friends are there and their plans are in place and working, they may not even notice us besides wanting something from us.  But  when things start falling apart, or when they struggle, they will need us in a strong way.  And, we really need to be ready to guide them. They may actually want to hear what we have to say.

A very common principle we can teach our young adult children RIGHT away, is the principle taught by Boyd K. Packer in a life experience he shared known by The Edge of Light. I read this first, in a book he wrote many years ago called Watchman on the Tower. Since then, he has used it in several General Conference talks, and it is a fairly familiar story to the LDS.  I love this story and have personally used this  many times to guide my own life, and now to guide my children's life.

The main principle from this story is that  sometimes in our lives, and it seems to happen first in that young adult stage of making life decisions, that the Lord requires us to walk to the edge of light.  The edge of light is the place when we step away from our comfort zones where we can see, our plans, our ideas, and find out what the Lord wants for us. 

Usually this follows a hard time of searching and feeling lost. A time when it feels we are at a cross-roads and all the doors are closing in our lives.   This is a time when the spirit is whispering to us the steps to take.  We are listening, but not sure if what we are feeling is right.  Usually that step might be in a direction that feels scary to us, or in a direction we haven't previously thought of going. 

We take a few steps into the darkness.  This darkness is dark only because it is unknown to us, but not the Lord.  An area where we cannot see what is ahead or how things are going to turn out, and th only thing we have to hold on to that is remotely familiar, is the Lord's hand.  We take a few steps into this darkness of faith, knowing that although we cannot see, the Lord can.  And His plan is greater and more magnificent than anything we can come up with on our own.

  As we take His  hand and trust in His plan for our lives, the light will, rather quickly,  appear before us and light the way. 

This is a powerful life-changing action of faith, that will make all the difference in our children's life.
As well as a guiding principle for our  lives as we reach those edges of light when we have huge decisions to make, and needing to stop, listen, and find out what the Lord may have in mind.

The Edge of Light
Move Forward in Faith
Watchman on the Tower