Ouch! Like the snap of a stretched rubber band that stings when it hits you, that is often the feeling you get when your child in crisis has hurt your heart.
Most hurts are emotional than physical. Either way, they can both be painful. Hurts can also have a lasting effect on your relationship between you and your teen/young adult.
Parents don’t ask or beg for it. Like a punch to the stomach unexpectedly, they are taken by surprise with the aim more to the heart.
I’ll be honest, I have had many hurts in my life from my children, some small, some big. Some I was guilty of causing. Our hearts can be so easily wounded when it comes from pain directed at us by our children, the children we have raised and loved throughout their lives.
One mom said to me, “It is too hard to love my child right now because of the damage done to me.” Another mom shared, “I don’t want to continue talking about a child that I have chosen to let go of because their hurts were too much for me to handle.” Others have said, “I just don’t think I love my child anymore.”
I get it.
As a parent, I learned how to create a bubble around me like a wall of protection. This protection kept me from hearing painful words and also acted as a buffer to deflect the incoming arrows of hurt.
However, I was enlightened to the truth that my child was not necessarily hurting me on purpose out of their own heart. Children who are broken and filled with hurt, anger, bitterness, and pain, often lash out at the very people that love them. We are even talking about the ones who say they want nothing to do with you or do not care or love you anymore.
Feelings of unworthiness and high expectations play a role in our teens and young adults. Our wounded children also live with many consequences and pain by life’s experiences.
Some teens and young adults suffer from addictions and mental illnesses and can’t find their way back to the place of healing and acceptance. For others, experiences of rejection and distorted love have broken down the lines of communication and connections between parents and children. In essence, a cycle of hurt continues over and over.
The problem then becomes a hurt that is so deep, restoration and healing are hard to find if the person who is hurting doesn’t know how to fix it or even want it. A bruised heart struggles to open the doors of healing out of fear of being hurt again.
Throughout the years in my own life and talking with other parents, one need is made clear to the path of restoration. PRAYER! God already knows the depth of our injury from our children. He is also very aware of the hurts our children have too.
As parents, we have been given the responsibility to be the spiritual head over our children. God has called us to pray for, with, and over them. This means to open the door of forgiveness towards our child without having to bend the necessary boundaries for everyone’s well-being. We are in essence covering our children in prayer as a way for God to guide them back to Him so that He can implement His plan for their lives.
Forgiveness is a healing tool and lifeline between God and our child. Of course, this doesn’t mean to open your heart to more hurt. What it does mean is to bring the hurt to the Heavenly Father and ask Him how to love your child and how to pray for your child. When we go to the Father, we are doing this through Him, not through our flesh.
The Lord is not asking us to understand our child or try to fix our child. He is asking us to love our child the way He loves us and forgives us. For some parents, that can be a challenge. Many parents keep revisiting the painful past caused by bad memories, accusations, lying, stealing, distorted words, and more. We often ask ourselves, “Do I want to relive this?”
Hear this dear parent… our children do not have the spiritual eyes and ears that we have. They have not had the revelation that we have had. They have been blinded and disillusioned by the world. God calls us to pray that their eyes and ears be open to the truth. Sometimes the avenue of truth comes in the form of a prison cell, a hospital, or rehab. Maybe that revelation might be on the streets or working a job and living a life of independence. No matter where they are at, God is at the heart of the matter, their heart. He sees what we do not. He calls us to pray and intercede for our children, even if they are near the chasm of death. We pray that this won’t happen, but we do not know what life events will transpire in their lives. Our job is to make sure wherever they are, their hearts are ready to receive Him.
No matter the depth of the hurts we carry, God carries them even more. Let us look to Him as our support, our mentor, our example of how to love, forgive, and pray for our children.
A PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILD
Dear Heavenly Father,
I leave my child in Your hands to do what is necessary to bring them to repentance and a place of surrender. Whatever is holding them back, chained them down, or kept them from drawing close to You, I pray that You would help them break free from the very thing that entangles them.
Lord Jesus, I also ask that You would remove every distraction in their lives whether it be drugs, alcohol, or other peers, so that they can see how destructive those things are and will only bring them down.
I pray that wherever they are emotionally and physically, in their discomfort, may they cry out to You in desperation. Let them find no peace other that the peace You give. If their minds are hurting, pained, or disillusioned, please God, bring the right people into their lives to show them the way to freedom and receive the love You have for them.
No matter the hurts that have transpired in the past, Lord give me a heart of forgiveness towards my child and love them in a way that beyond me. Put upon my heart the longing to pray for them daily and to release them into Your hands. May their heart in return be softened and pliable to do the work You need to do in them. Thank you Jesus!