I don’t know what parenting hard & holy has you awake at night right now if it’s a hard road you’re traveling through the murky waters of adolescence or just the every day navigating required for these tricky times.
But there’s one thing I know that is true even though the details of our journeys may be quite different our children will all face an intersection….A crisis of faith.
Where their faith will get tried through a difficult season.
Where the beauty of the cross connects to the heart.
We all have an event or a time…. Where we’ve questioned God with our burdened heart to see if our belief was for real….a peering of our eyes to feed our souls.
With three sons married and out of the house we are holding onto the shirt tail of our youngest anticipating his launching and doing a lot of looking back. Thinking through the years I’ve been hesitant to offer a lot of parenting advice as I often feel unworthy to speak. Much of the time I’ve felt like I was doing more wandering than anything else but God keeps prodding my heart to tell our story. I suppose God has a way of seeing deep within while not paying a lot of attention to what lies above the surface….He has a way of repurposing our struggles and turning them into usable grace-giving life to others.
Parenting is hard friends, it’s been some of the most exciting, holy, unknown and intimidating seasons of our lives. Although it is far more enjoyable to rest in the beautiful moments, it seems we live so many of our days navigating through the hard ones with our families.
We happen to be in one of the more treasured seasons of parenting as our youngest is at home with us and we’re able to lean back into our older sons and glean wisdom from their experiences. It’s been a beautiful time of listening to stories of God’s redemption and protection in their lives. As they speak first-handed of what worked well and not-so-well in our parenting… they’ve been generous to share from a sweet place of wisdom and grace.
Their faith hasn’t come without brave battle wounds which God is using to heal others.
In the middle of the crazy and the common our children each encounter a confrontation of faith. A time when their life calls them to choose the why and what they believe. Parenting them through these hard and holy times is a beautiful and bitter thing,
I love what John Bloom another writer says about this season…
‘… if our children are going to see the Light, they very likely must endure darkness. Which means we will endure it with them, and experience a powerlessness over the outcome we find hard to bear.’
My husband and I worked with students for over 20 years, I naively liked to think of raising kids as an equation A+B always =C. But I soon found out it didn’t work like this and honestly a bit devastated as I spent many days sprawled out before God. No matter how hard I deeply desired to protect our sons from evil their faith would have to be fought for in order for it to become their own. These battles cause our kids to trust and rely on God more than they ever have.
God uses whatever storm our child needs to develop a faith that is deep and belongs to them alone. Our faith is not enough for our children to borrow, they need to get it for themselves. These sacred moments we feel we can’t take any more
–God has a way of wrapping us up in His loving arms and carrying us through these rough waters.
God is tenderly rooting them in their faith and using these times to get to know our children better.
My Father in law was so good at speaking truth he had a special way of speaking words and etching them on my heart.
He used to say,
‘Ruthann with God you will have everything, without Him you will have nothing!‘
These words have resurrected my thinking so many times and reminded me as a parent that God alone is what my children ‘need’, the cost may be great but their faith will become greater.
The book of James tells us…
‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’
James 1.2-4 TPT
It’s so hard for us as parents to imagine our children trust falling into anyone’s arms but our own and yet the moment we recognize the greatest trust fall they can do is into the arms of Jesus.
Our child’s crisis of faith becomes our cross road as well deepening our faith and rooting it alongside of theirs. It is where we have to keep on walking when our legs feel too weary to stand…breathing the truth of God into their lungs and placing them into His care again and again.
One thing is for sure…remember although this is a strenuous road know you’re not doing it alone…parents all around you are in their own hard broken moments of their own and God is with each one of you and He will see you through! These crisis’ are hard because we can’t know if our broken and needy prayers are going to bring about their clinging to God or a rejection but know if you’re feeling weary…God is not done writing your child’s story and He is not going to stop until He gets their whole heart!
And no-thing you do will keep Him from giving you all you need to get through.
God is your child’s biggest fan…He’s always there beside them no matter the trail they trod…He’s cheering them on and loving them farther than your love can reach.
And as Ann Voskamp says so beautifully….
‘…parenting is hard & beautiful,
and very, very hard & very, very beautiful,
and sometimes you just get down on the floor & weep
& there’s no shame in it — tears just saying we’re loving deep.
And it’s kinda true… parenting children you literally have to look up — keeps you parenting from the best posture of all.’