“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” Psalm36:9
I think every parent has, more than just a time or two, experienced gripping panic when it comes to the well-being of their children. I know I sure have! None of us has all the answers, and we certainly don’t have the ability to prevent every possible difficulty and heartache. There’s not a parent in the world who knows how to navigate perfectly all the scenarios that would arise while bringing up their children. Sometimes we’ll meet someone or observe from a distance one who seems to have no weaknesses as a parent. The truth is that we are all vulnerable to finding ourselves lost in a sea of confusion and struggle at times, just trying to do right by our kids. It’s not easy. It’s just not. We parents continually need encouragement and forgiveness and wisdom. Parents have to contend with a complicated and flawed world that has dangerous and destructive ideas. We are trying to navigate a million different philosophies, “truths”, principles and approaches to raising our kids; all the while learning more about our own inadequacies. We are discovering and working on things we need to change in our own hearts and minds while trying to instill a standard in our kids’ beliefs and character that we have yet to see perfected in ourselves.
Our tasks in discerning and detecting areas that need attention concerning our children can be downright overwhelming. We try to be ever vigilant in protecting them. But when you mix in even a little guilt with mistakes and missteps we are likely to find ourselves longing for peace of mind. How do we stay strong and effective in caring for our precious kids when we don’t exactly know the best way to proceed?
Experience has taught me that my deepest times with God are when my circumstances (whatever they may be) are the most unresolved or even desperate. Though the path may be too dark to see ahead and doubt is all around, God is there and He is at work. Often, in just such times, a prayer will pour out of my heart and on to the pages of my journal. Often just such a prayer will concern the needs of my children. I’ve learned that when I choose to trust God, He gives me the words to pray and the Scriptures that confirm to my soul that He hears me, that He holds my kids. This trust brings a peace that breathes hope back into the circumstance. When the answers don’t come to mind I read the pages of the Bible until I hear His voice of truth. The answer isn’t always specific or even clear, in fact, most times it’s neither. When I finally quiet my soul and rest my panicked heart, His voice is enough to comfort me even if I still don’t see what the answer could be.
As parents we tend to think that no one understands our particular challenges, leaving us feeling disconnected from each other. Though each home and parent and child is unique, we need to remember that we are not alone. One of the most powerful sources of faith building and encouragement in my own life is hearing the testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the lives of others. We will all have stories on the other side of our trials that will encourage someone else. Parenting is no different. May God use our lessons learned for His good in someone else’s life.
Parenting is a job with matchless responsibility. It is huge and it is great! God is the One who works miracles in the lives of our children. Our part is to learn to lean heavily upon Him and to listen to His voice, praying continually. He is ever building character and faith in us and in our children. Remember, God loves our kids more than we as human beings could ever love them. He hears our prayers.