Nearly three years ago, our neighbors' son (in his mid 20s) had a tragic accident. He barely survived and now has very low brain function and is completely dependent on his parents. Chris and I talk with the parents regularly and have built a friendship with them. They are pleasant and loving. They are dedicated parents who haven't shown an ounce of bitterness. They've never expressed that God owed them something for the "good" they've done.
It was time for them to be empty-nesters and put their feet up when their whole world came crashing down. I expressed this recently to the mom, and she just grinned. I also told her that when she was out playing with her son, like I do with Cooper, she could have never dreamed this would have happened. She shook her head. I don't judge. It could have been me, and none of my children are exempt from what happened to hers. She tries to not let herself drown in what could be an ocean of guilt. She would never escape. Jesus can redeem any situation. That's what I told her. She agrees.
As mothers, we all know this guilt too well. I've stayed at home from day one with my kids, and there have still been nights when I feel I didn't give enough. I want to do the best I can do knowing they have their own strong wills, and above both of those, there is still the Sovereign one. That's where we have to rest.
Gary Thomas in Sacred Parenting says, "None of us can be such good parents that God becomes obligated to save our children's souls. On the more encouraging end, none of us can mess up so badly that our children somehow extend beyond the reach of God's mercy."