I never knew emotional pain like this until becoming a parent. I am a nurse who deals with cancer in children. So, yes, I am unfortunately accustomed to seeing little ones suffer. I’ve witnessed children in their sickest moments. But it never came full circle until I became a parent: this little person who is apart of me is tired, hurting, and does not understand why.
I always aimed for compassion for our patients and families. But having Griffin put a new spin on what parents feel when their child is ill. We are not battling cancer, but watching my sweet nugget feel restless, frustrated, and hurting makes me feel completely helpless. Aren’t we supposed to be able to protect our children? Heal them? Kiss their boo-boos away?? The sad truth every parent faces at some point is we cannot and will not always keep them from harm. The realization itself is enough to break your heart.
I prayed over Griffin as I rocked him to sleep today: God, helplessness is not something I should feel. I want to do something to at least make him feel better or take the pain away all together. Please show me what to do.
No, He didn’t give me a cure all for Hand-foot-mouth disease… or for future broken hearts, disappointments, or lessons learned. But what He did give me was peace. Peace in knowing I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to do as a parent. I’m praying for God’s intervention in my child’s life. I’m praying for strength to get us all through this time of suffering. I’m asking for His direction in how to comfort, love, and act on behalf of my child.
Will I be able to prevent my son from ever facing hurt again? No. But, Jesus can wrap His arms around Griffin and comfort him with the truth that He will never leave nor forsake him. He will never shield Griffin from His love and affection. God is our Father, after all. He loves Griffin even more than I do. He would never purposely cause him pain. But, He’s there to get Griffin—all of us—through hardships.
I was lost in thought today about God’s comfort in times of distress for parents. Mary came to mind. Oh, sweet Mary. I don’t know how she did it. If I feel this bad over hand-foot-mouth disease, how did she combat her sense of helplessness and grief as she watched her only son die on the cross? How her heart must have broken knowing there was NOTHING she could do to stop the torture, the hurt, the humiliation, and the greatest loss she and the world has ever known. Jesus reassured her the cross was His calling, but it could never change the pain she felt.
We have to know, as I’m sure Mary knew deep down, that God longs to fill our hearts with hope when we feel worthless and unable to help others, especially our children. He wants to consume our deepest spaces with joy. So, when the time comes to battle those feelings of helplessness, we can look to Him for comfort, tranquility, and fortitude.
He wants to replace our feelings of helplessness with hope in Him, in His love, and in HIS ability to heal and restore.
As much as I wish I could take away every hurt, frustration, or disappointment my children will face, I have to acknowledge its not my job—it’s God’s. He longs to be the source of redemption and compassion for our children just as much as we do, if not more. Griffin is on loan to me from the Lord. And with that comes the responsibility to offer what healing and comfort I can, but to point him to Jesus for the rest. If we can do that as parents, we will bless our children far more than we could on our own.
Word of the Day:
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we might receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Thank you for giving us the privilege of raising our children through joy, but also hardship. Please encase our hearts and teach us how to comfort, love, and guide them through any storm or circumstance. Give us peace knowing we are designed only to give so much before pointing our children to You as their main resource for hope and grace. Jesus, where we feel insufficient, please restore our confidence in Your healing and love for our precious babies. Remind us that Your presence in our children’s lives is the greatest blessing they can receive, no matter what they face. In Your unfailing love, Amen
Author: Candace Koon