This past week I was blindsided. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion but it quickly turned into a time of speechlessness, shock, and a heavy spirit.
The fact is, when you have teens and young adult children, they are bound to do something that rips at your heart. It makes you realize that no matter how hard you try to be a good parent and how much you love them, they will make choices that you never expected and leave your heart burdened with heaviness.
That was a something I have not become a stranger to. However, I have come to learn one very important lesson in all of this.
God knew all along.
You see, God is never shocked or rendered speechless. He is never blind-sided either. He sees before, during, and after. The one thing I am encouraged about is that God can show me how to pray for my teen and adult children. He can show me how to supply support but not enable them. He can teach me how to correct in love, and not to push them away.
I think the hardest part of parenting is that in some way, when a teen or young adult disappoints us, we take it so hurtfully as if they intentionally did it towards us. In hindsight we can see differently.
There was a scene in the movie “Soul Surfer” in which the youth leader, played by Carrie Underwood, asks the teens to look at a series of pictures. When a slide is pulled up for the teens to view, they see what they think looks like a brain. Eventually, the answer is revealed and the teens were surprised that the picture was really of a walnut up close. What they perceived the picture to be was false.
As parents, we don’t always have a good perspective or know all the details inside the mind of our teen or young adult. What we must do however, is not make hasty and unwise decisions based on our immediate reaction. Instead, we must search our hearts on how to handle the situation after the shock has worn off and the anger and hurt has died down. That may take days or weeks.
Our next step is asking God to give us a spiritual perspective in dealing with the crisis because we will not be able to allow God to take the lead if we are in control. And to be quite honest, when I’ve been in control, it always turned into disaster. I’m not talking about the immediate response in making sure your teen or young adult is safe, but more about the daily needs thereafter.
In the end, God doesn’t want us to walk this path alone. He knows your teen/young adult better than anyone else. They will need spiritual support as well as mental and physical support. As parents, we are not perfect and neither are our children. However, we can provide them with the firm foundation to stand, good counsel when needed, and covering them with our prayers; All of which is the best support that we can give them.
When we leave everything to the Lord, He will be our provider no matter what the need is. And it is with this, I have confidence that with faith and trust, my children will be finally able to make that step on a firm ground instead of sinking sand to stand on that will ultimately transform their lives.
I leave you with these scriptures to ponder on.
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.