Along the way Contributors

Parents are called to teach through the witness of their lives

Emily Lopez is the lead consultant for adult evangelization.

by Emily Lopez

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.”

I’m reminded of this line from Disney’s “Cinderella” as we accompany our son through the adventures of his senior year of high school.

These upcoming months hold a number of experiences guaranteed to offer a roller coaster of emotions.

However, the dreaming and wishing is most evident in the simultaneous activity of college planning. As we sort through the endless postcards and constant emails, I’m challenged to prayerfully guide him through this particular stage of life.

More often, I find myself reminding him of the grace that we’ve been given in our parental vocation.

As a young adult on the precipice of independence, it can be difficult to appreciate the wisdom of your parents’ guidance. Prudence and right judgment can feel like a long hard rain on the parade of fun opportunities.

At the core of this guidance is a desire to encourage the best version of our child as uniquely created by God.

Parenting teenagers and young adult children is a constant reminder that they cannot always know or understand why we make certain decisions — but can absolutely trust that every decision is made with unconditional love. And when that unconditional love is tested, I’m challenged to consider my own relationship of trust in God my Father.

The problem with speaking about the beautiful gifts of love and trust is that we also have to recognize the truth of these words in our own life.

How often have I questioned God’s guidance in my life? When doors have shut, do I rant about missed opportunities or do I trust that God is leading me to something greater? When have I behaved like an unhappy teenager toward the wisdom of the church in my life?

On too many occasions, I have been caught up in the fun parade of life. I’ve been worried about the wishes of my heart instead of trusting the everlasting hope of my soul.

This hope and love we most desire has a name — Jesus. In a world full of glossy mailings and fun parades, Christ alone offers the fulfillment of our heart. This joy is what we most long for in our own lives and in the lives of those we love.

We’re called to a bigger dream, beyond the wishes of our heart, that is discovered in a deep relationship with Christ. Every day, we are called into trustful surrender.

As we work to guide our children in this discipline, I’m being called to teach through the witness of my life.

With his grace, may each of us strive to live beyond dreams and wishes, as bold witnesses of hope and joy in Christ.

About the author

Emily Lopez

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