“You can be Gabriel’s mother, but let me be his God.”
What? Who said that? I knew good and well who said that to me. If you’ve ever had an encounter with the Holy Spirit, then you can relate to what I’m saying. I have three amazing children – two sons and a daughter; and to be honest with you, I have learned so much with each one along the way. I’ve been forced to let go in areas earlier with one that I didn’t with the other. One is driving earlier than the other two because of circumstances that life have imposed upon us. It’s okay though. Let me tell you more about what the Holy Spirit told me about being Gabriel’s mom and allowing God to be God. I don’t want to go off too far in another direction, because this is super important for moms everywhere.
I don’t know how to understand people, especially moms who are able to give birth to a child and mistreat them, leave them or hurt them. I don’t get that. I have had the hardest time with both of my sons leaving for college. They are two different children, but they had one thing in common, besides having me as their mom (lol), they were never the type of boys who hung out with friends or spend nights away from home. They didn’t want to. They were just fine with playing their sports when the season was in – which happened to be year round with baseball, but at all times they were ready to go to Main Event, the bowling alley, to a movie, skating, or even down to museums. Some experienced things that my oldest didn’t experience, simply because there are eight years between my oldest and my middle child, so what we were able to do as entertainment when my oldest was at home was different from my last two being at home. No matter what the money looked like, we did things together.
Gabriel had a rough time in his elementary days and middle school years, so I guess I can say I was a little more overprotective towards him in that particular area than the oldest son. My oldest son breezed through school. It wasn’t until around the third grade, April to be exact, that I was approached by Gabriel’s teacher and was asked could he be tested. It was obvious that Gabriel was smart because he made A’s and B’s in school – more A’s, but when it came to testing for that state-mandated TAAS or STAARS. I can’t remember which one it was, but anyway, he would fail it every single year and ended up in summer school. It really did hurt me as a mom, because Gabriel was a sweetheart. He was rough and active, but a sweetheart! At the end of each school year, it broke my heart to leave the house the first day of summer and the other two were at home sleeping in, and Gabriel is dressed for school to be dropped off for school - in the summer! Not fair! Not fair at all! I’m not just speaking from a mom’s point of view, I’m also speaking from a human side – the side that knows where the testing came from and whose point of view the tests are based upon. Gabriel never complained. He never asked, “Why me?” You know what? I never made this statement or had this revelation about him, but it’s true….he never complained about being the only one in the house going to school. I think I would have questioned why if it was me. I mean, really? My report card says A’s and B’s and perfect attendance and I still have to go to summer school? All E’s in citizenship, but yet summer school is required? Not easy to understand that one at all. I won’t go into how blessed I am to have a teacher like his who actually saw that something was wrong, but it wasn’t that he couldn’t learn. I’ll talk about that later in another post. Gabriel worked his little hiney off! He stayed up working on homework, which I should say we stayed up all night with homework. He cried. I cried. I thought I was failing him because I couldn’t help him. I thought it was those stupid ways of doing today’s math that they are teaching the students, but it wasn’t. For a long time (years), I thought it was me not being able to give my son what he needed to do well in school. Not thinking about he’s doing something right, it’s just taking him longer to do it and it’s harder for him to process what is asked of him, because he was making the A/B Honor Roll. Remember? Anyway, again, I will talk about all of that later. Can’t you tell it’s hard for me not to go there? It’s hard because that was the turning point of Gabriel’s life and mine.
After high school, it was Gabriel’s idea to attend a local community college. For whatever reason, he didn’t want to go away to school. He decided to commit to a junior college close by to play baseball, but he decided right before it was time to get ready to head that way to start conditioning that he didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want him driving in that traffic in the area in the mornings anyway. Even experienced drivers have wrecks daily in that area. It’s a very busy big city, and listening to the radio in the mornings, I would hear, “There’s a slowdown at ……” or “There’s an accident at……, be prepared for a delay. Right two lanes are closed, traffic detouring to….”
I didn’t want to be the one to tell Gabriel that he couldn’t go to school! He earned that right. He spent many hard years of school to graduate on time and played baseball well enough for a college to want him to play for him. Who am I to say no? God is faithful, and I learned that. I have to be reminded at times that I know better, but I knew that. He answered my prayer that went like this: “Heavenly Father, I thank you for what you are doing in Gabriel’s life. I thank you for all that you have done, doing and what you will do and what you’re going to do. Father, I ask that Your will be done – not mine. I don’t know what’s best for him, but you do. Let Your will be done. In Jesus name, amen.” Of course not every single prayer was verbatim, but along these lines, because you know how you need Him to hear it again just in case He didn’t hear it the first time. Right?
Gabriel gave two years and a semester right here at Tarrant County College, and that was the best decision ever. Not only to save money, but he wasn’t ready to leave home. He wasn’t ready at 18 like my oldest son was. I can’t say that he was totally ready either, because he texted and called crying on a nightly basis for a long time. I just knew that Gabriel was different in that area. He needed a little more growing up to do and preparing for studies and not having mommy around. When Gabriel finished the community college and was accepted to a university that did something for his esteem and his ambitions. Gabriel has always believed that he could do anything. He really did! I like that about him. My oldest, Michael would often say thing to me, “Mom, I wish I was like Gabe. He’s not afraid of anything. He doesn’t mind being told no.” I think we could all use a little bit of that in our lives. I know I can. Not being afraid to hear the word ‘no’ will allow you to get more ‘yeses’ because you’ll ask for what you want more often. Gabriel didn’t allow his mind to hold him back. He didn’t give himself negative self-talk. He ended up being accepted in a couple of different universities, which made him feel really good, because all that he applied for said yes. What a self-esteem booster!
One night I was thinking. Keep in mind that I didn’t get better with him being gone in one night, it was a process, but I have to say that it was a speedy one. What sped up the process for me I believe was prayer – much prayer, and knowing that God had Gabriel. One of my Instagram posts came from a revealing thought that I had from God – You had him, but I got Him. I gave all of my children back to God after birth. For some, it might seem a little crazy or spooky, but I did. I realized that God could do more for them than I ever could. He knows them! He created them! If I can trust anyone with the steering wheel to their cars, it would be God giving His angels charge over them. Psalm 91.
One day we were driving to San Marcos, where he would be attending school, for an Advisor meeting that he had to have before getting registered for his classes. Something just came over me and it made me say to myself, ‘You can’t hold him back.’ I offended myself with my own thoughts at first, and then the next part came immediately after, when I said, “I don’t want to hold my child back!” Isn’t it weird that I would get a little disturbed at my own conscience? I know….Only me. Anyway, after getting that straight, at that moment by entire attitude changed. I didn’t know that it needed changing until I felt the change. I started enjoying the trip and looking forward to what God had in store for him. I know it’s something beautiful and far greater than I could give to him. Then one thought or message after another started rolling in over the next few days and short weeks. They came from trusted friends and prayer partners who were there in the wings with me praying for my children. My friend Cathey told me, “God’s got him, and our kids are living their lives.”
The message that resonated with me most was when my dear friend and big sister, intercessor prayer partner reminded me of when her baby boy was taken from the home and sent six hours away to a home about an accident that occurred at her home. I remember that incident. You see, it was a battle for her, and the enemy was trying to bring her low in her life. Asher, Mrs. Helene’s (my friend) was born perfectly normal and had a reaction to a vaccination as a child and became mentally ill. It took many years for that to be proven, but it finally was after years of testing and learning from nutritionists. When Mrs. Helene reminded me that at least my son could call and talk to me and tell me what’s going on. Hers could not. I even thought about that mine has gotten in his car and come home every single weekend since he has been in college. He texts, calls, live alone, buys his own everything, and her son was sent to live in a group home and couldn’t communicate verbally and barely physically. I was so hurt. She was right. Then she reminded me of how God placed her son in a town where I had so many beautiful, Christian hearted cousins at. I told Mrs. Helene that I had cousins in Lubbock and I would tell them that he was there. One day, Mrs. Helene was told by the staff of the home that Asher’s cousins had been there with him everyday. They were bringing him fruit and spending time with him every single day since he had been there. Mrs. Helene told the nurses that he didn’t have cousins there, and they went on to say that his cousins are there everyday. She was overwhelmed with peace and joy when she found out that my cousins were ‘his’ cousins. Like Ruth told Naomi, “Your God will be my God.” I thought of that because that’s trust! That’s trusting that the person you love will not lead you wrong because they are trusting in an all-knowing, all-loving God. That there was enough to dry up every tear that I had left to cry. Not only did I think about how blessed I was to have a healthy son who could communicate to me everything that he needed to tell me, but most of all…God is in control; and He will send exactly who we need to us when we need them. There I was trying to protect him and steer him in the way that I felt that he should go instead of relying on our training him up as a child and rearing Him through Christ. That should have been enough, but I didn’t act like it was. In fact, I didn’t even realize I was taking control from God and relying on myself. I can’t see past the room I am sitting in, but God is Omniscient. He is all-seeing, all-knowing and all powerful. I knew that, but I was being a mom. A mom who wants to protect her children, but God allowed me to know that I can’t be everywhere with them, and neither should I want to be. They can stand on their own because they pray and they have a praying mother, father, family and loved ones. Most of all, he is covered by the blood of Jesus. So, why not trust the person who gave His life to give him life – with his life! Think about it. I meant to say it that way. God sees him everywhere he is and where he goes. I can’t. Trust God with all of your thoughts and needs. He will keep you in perfect peace.
My message to myself from God was, “You can be Gabriel’s mother, but let me be God.”