Feeling safe in her locked bathroom, she stood there in front of the mirror with swollen eyes. With a warm washrag, she slowly and meticulously wiped the tear-streaked mascara left on her face.
Barely audible, she forced the words out of her mouth, “I can’t take it anymore God.” With uncontrollable sobs, she dropped to the cold tile floor.
In a curled fetal position for what seemed like hours, she swirled her finger in the wet puddle of tears left on the floor.
Like ringing in the ears, she could hear so clearly her teen son repeating to her, “I hate you. I don’t want you in my life.”
Anne’s thoughts were running around in her head of how much she tried to help her son. She was willing to save him, to deliver him from his own demise. However, the more she tried to help, the more her son’s problems escalated.
Despite the counseling, the days would often drag along with little change in Trent’s behavior. Trent had become more rebellious and displayed more risky behavior. That worried Anne constantly. Trying to step in and make corrections was futile. Trent just didn’t care what happened to him. He had so much anger and rage inside of him making Anne the biggest target.
Today was the breaking point for Anne. She even had feelings of not loving her son anymore. She knew deep in her heart that she did, but her pain buried those feelings. Weary and exhausted, she could no longer continue this battle.
In the stillness of the moment Anne looked up. “How much longer must I suffer,” was all she could ask?
Today, this is often the story of teens in crisis; Stories of self-harm, suicide attempts, anger explosions, mental breakdowns and more. Maybe you are one of those parents; secretly crying, feeling exhausted and ready to give up.
There were many moments I was like Anne. I had nothing left in me to give. Helping my teen seemed to be beyond my grasp. The more I tried to control my teen, the risks became bigger.
What was I to do?
I said enough and stopped trying. That’s right. I had realized that my own wisdom and strength could not change the situation. My helpful words were lost in conversations or confronted by a stone wall.
So what changed my predicament? I met the War Room. Just like the movie War Room, I started to pray and journal. I started to write my story; the pain, the agony, the need for God’s help. There were desperate cries for God to intervene when all else failed. I didn’t necessarily give up, I gave in.
You see God was waiting for me to stop playing His part. None of my teen’s problems could be rescued by me. Only God could heal my broken teen. Once I understood this, the responsibility was taken off my shoulders and now upon God’s. Who else could better understand my teen’s needs other than the one who created my teen?
Leaning heavily on the Word of God, I began to ask God to protect my teen from their risky behavior. I asked God to touch their mind so that they could think more clearly about their thoughts and actions and make better choices.
I prayed for the Lord to intervene in my teen’s life in many forms, giving little reminders that God was watching over them and loved them. There were significant moments in which my teen’s life was in danger and God brought my teen out of those circumstances in a way that man could not.
I prayed that God would soften and heal my teen’s heart because they were angry, bitter, hurt, filled with pain and dealing with emotions that no teen should endure. I asked God to reveal Himself to my teen through truth and love and heal their broken spirit.
Scripture was the only way to pray these things. I inserted my teen‘s name within the scripture as I prayed for each problem. In time, which were not days but months, I began to see a change. With added support in counsel, I was seeing my teen being transformed.
As the months and even years went by, struggles slowly became blessings, hurt became a forgotten memory and anger was turned into compassion.
God was not finished.
Despite the fact that healing was taking place, new issues surfaced. At first, I was disappointed and discouraged. Thankfully I began to realize that in order for growth to happen in my teen, all things that are not good, must come to the top and be dealt with. Only then can there be room for the healthier changes to begin.
And so it is with us as parents. We must lay down the things that are not beneficial to us in order for God to do the work He has started in us. If that means to be a better parent, our own brokenness must be healed and fixed no matter how difficult and painful it might be, then so be it.
God’s love is so great for your family. He will not leave or forsake you in this process. You will find Him in the deepest depths of despair and in the joyous peaks of life-restoring accomplishments. You will find Him through others and in little divine appointments that you know had to be God. You will find healing through the Word and through prayer. Just keep your focus on Him.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8