You know the old Hymn...
" I have decided, to follow Jesus. I have decided, to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back"
Following Christ is a big decision, but if it is one that you have been presented with then you know that it's a life changing one. You know that from now on your life will follow a path in a direction where you know the final destination.
You know that every decision you make afterwards, brings you back to the question, is this the direction God is leading me to take?
We all know that there are many decisions, that are life altering, and once made... are unchangeable, you can never turn back the time and re-choose your decision.
So this hymn has been in my head for days... as I have been struggling with some decisions about our older daughter. I don't know where to turn for answers, yet I feel like the decisions I make now in this area are ones that are life altering and I can never go back and change the decision to get a different outcome... They are decisions that will lead us on a path towards a specific destination... but there's my problem.
I want to know the destination before I make the decisions, I want to know where we are heading before I take the next step, I want the answers before I ask the questions...
How does one ever really know what is best for your child when faced with a plethora of issues??
See, her bio father resurfaced when my husband and I married last year. In short, he wasn't ready for the changes that a baby brings when she was born. We separated for many reasons when she was a few months old, and he mainly saw her for her Birthdays and Christmas. Last year, just before her 3rd Birthday he worked with me to start a visitation schedule. He got minimal contact due to my fear of him leaving her again.
No mother will put her child in harm's way willingly, right? So I did what I thought was best at the time and kept him at arm's length so she could meet him but not get attached and thereby not get hurt.
Our pregnancy was rough so I was no longer able to be the supervisor and my dad was able to step up for me. I took back over as soon as I could after our baby came.
He has made it a point to keep up the regular visits and now he has started bringing his fiance with him and recently told me that they are expecting their first baby together. He also told me that he wants more time with our daughter. She is now attached and developing a relationship with both of them.
He is no longer the person I left, or he doesn't seem to be. He seems to have grown up and is now driven to live his life for himself instead of, well, what he used to live for. It's great that our daughter should never meet the person I knew, but I am very hesitant about her getting close to this new person that I don't know and his fiance that I know nothing about.
So where do I go from here? If it was what I wanted for me he would just go away, but I can't make him and I shouldn't try to stop her from having a relationship with her father. So to try to find a balance... but what? More time together I think, but there are so many things that concern me with all the unknowns. They want to be in her life permanantly, and for her I am willing to do whatever it takes to give her the best variety and the most opportunities to learn/do/see new things and have new experiences.
Does that mean that I need to get to know them? Or continue to keep them at arm's length and just try to work on rules and boundaries that I feel keep her safety and innocence intact?
I believe that I have moved past the pain he put me through. I have no desire to hurt him like he hurt me. I don't want to make him pay for what he did to me. I'm happy where I am, I love my life and I know that I wouldn't be here if I hadn't gone through that period in my life that unfortunately was with him.
Problem is, as a mother there is a different kind of pain that I still have from that time. I don't know how to move past the pain of what he put her through, she was a baby and didn't deserve the pain and stress. It still hurts that when he walked out time and again, he was walking away from her… he mad other people and other things have more importance in his life than she did. It still concerns me that he was oblivious to the harm that she barely escaped from in the situations that he continually put her into. I can't make him pay for what he did to her back then or that she now has to work through her family relationships differently because of him. I wouldn't want to if I could... but it still leaves me with a hesitation that if I give him too much freedom with the visits, in the end SHE is the one that could get hurt... and this time she would remember it.
So I have decided to do what I think is best for her... move forward and look at only how today, not yesterday, could affect her future. Hopefully it will put all of us in a better position to give her the best life she can have in these circumstances.
I am going to move past the pain and the fear. I am going to trust that this is just another part of following Jesus. God will not give me more than I can handle, and God will help me stay on the path I'm supposed to be on. God gave me my husband partly so that my daughter could have a daddy who is a wonderful male role model and great example of what to look for in her future relationships. God will show us all where to go and will help us get there.
So I will follow, try harder to not look back, and only move forward... because it's what's best for her!