Parents are called to teach through the witness of their lives

Emily Lopez is the Senior Advisor for Adult Evangelism.

by Emily Lopez

“A dream is a desire of your heart.”

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

These coming months hold a range of experiences guaranteed to provide 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 feel challenged to prayerfully guide him through this special time of his life.

More often I remind him of the grace given to us in our parental callings.

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

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Central to this guide is a desire to nurture the best version of our child as uniquely created by God.

Raising teenagers and young adult children is a constant reminder that they may not always know or understand why we make certain decisions—but can have absolute confidence that every decision is made with unconditional love. And when that unconditional love is put to the test, I am challenged to reconsider my own relationship of trust with God, my Father.

The problem with speaking about the beautiful gifts of love and trust is that we need to see the truth of those words in our own lives as well.

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How many times have I questioned God’s guidance in my life? When doors are closed, do I grumble about missed opportunities or do I trust that God is leading me to something greater? When in my life have I acted like an unhappy teenager to the wisdom of the Church?

Life’s merry parade has caught up with me too many times. I have worried about my heart’s desires instead of trusting my soul’s eternal hope.

This hope and love that we desire most has a name – Jesus. In a world of glossy mailings and merry parades, Christ alone offers the fulfillment of our hearts. This joy is what we long for most in our own lives and in the lives of our loved ones.

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We are called to a greater dream, one that transcends our heart’s desires and is discovered in a deep relationship with Christ. Every day we are called into trusting surrender.

As we work to train our children in this discipline, I am called to teach through the testimony of my life.

May each of us strive with grace to live beyond dreams and desires as bold witnesses of hope and joy in Christ.

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