I have been reading this wonderful book from Karen Ball called "A Test of Faith." It has been the most amazing, eye opening book for me. It could have been written about my life, a time when my faith was tested. Do you go through those times as I do? As parents we want to be the best we can be, we strive to do right, we want the best for our children. But in that time that I was striving to do my best, to do what I thought God wanted me to do, I let my own desires get in the way. Sometimes as parents we think we know best because we have been there and we have gone through all those things,so we want to talk to our children,and lead them in the right direction. Sometimes, I just needed to be quiet, and listen. I think I could have learned. God teaches us in many ways, and I learned from my children also. In being a parent and striving to be the best, that can get in our way. We don't always have to be the best, we don't always have to win, and we don't always have to be right. If we think back to when we were teenagers, we thought different, and learned in different ways. We hear the saying," I wish I knew then, what I know now." It took us a long time to get to that place where we could figure things out and look at things through Gods eyes, not our own. I am still learning today in my early 40's, and I pray I stay humble and learn more and more from my Savior. We can't expect our children to get it all at 17, when we didn't get it either, just because we get it now. I know I was always there for my girls, but was I always listening, really listening? I think there came a point that I heard only what I wanted to hear. Our children make mistakes, we make many mistakes. I still hold guilt from the mistakes I made as a teenager that affected the rest of my life. I have learned we have to let our children fall, we have to let them make mistakes, we have to let them choose, and during this time we are their example, their rock at home, the one they can come to with anything at anytime and share with us, and not blow up because they didn't meet our standards. Do we meet Gods standards? I believe we all fall short of His glory. So how can we expect our children to go above and beyond? During this time, my girls were teenagers. This was my test of faith. I cried out to God day and night for strength, for wisdom,and to make our family whole again. You would think a person could run out of tears, but you never do. I would walk past their door, and place my hand upon it, and pray, cry, and just sit in the middle of the night asking God,"Why are you not answering my prayers?" This was not just a short time,this was about four years. I really felt that God had left me, I felt angry, I felt jealous even of others for having wonderful homes. I thought I had done everything right. We all made mistakes, satan was attacking my family, he had set out to destroy us,and it was happening before my eyes. If someone would have told me that this would have happend in my family, I would have never believed it. Satan can touch anyone,and its usually when you least expect it. I have a little wall hanging in our daughters room. It says "Angels abide here". It is for our three girls who are no longer at home now. As time has gone by some things have gotten better, some have not. One thing is for sure,my faith was tested,and it survived,and it strengthend. The Lord never left my side, nor my daughters. He was right there with us, through every step. I have learned more in four years, than I have in the last twenty. I have grown with my Savior, I know He either calms the storm or He calms the child in the storm.He has done both. My children are the most precious thing to me on this earth.They are so beautiful,smart,and gifted. I still go in their room when no one is home and just sit, remembering the love,the shared laughter,and so many wonderful gifts I hold dear to my heart. I still make mistakes, no one is perfect, and I know now that no matter how much you try as a mom to be perfect, its impossible. You have to let go of the control, open up your hands, and give to God what belongs to Him.Trusting Him with what is precious to you. I still have hope that God will restore my family,and I know He is in control,and that His Hand is in everything. We will all have our faith tested at one time or another. Don't give up, don't let go, and just believe. We are still a work in progress, with our hearts open to Christ, anything is possible with Him.