Mom, my friend told me I’m not good at anything I do.
Mom, I didn’t make the team, and all of my best friends did.
Mom, I failed another test, and I really tried.
Mom, I have no friends.
Mom, I need to tell you something I’ve done.
As any mom knows, hearing such words from your child can release a thousand emotions. These are problems we can’t fix. We can’t put a band-aid on these things and make them all better.
When they were really little, we could soothe most of their aches and pains because the injuries weren’t necessarily pains of the heart. I mean, maybe little George Fishington died because you accidently knocked his eye out while cleaning his bowl (didn’t know that could happen? Yeah, it can) but that didn’t devastate like losing a friend.
We can listen, we can pray, we can help as much as we can, but in the end a lot of the things our kids encounter in life are beyond our control.
As my kids have gotten older and are entering junior high and highschool years, I am finding that there are many things I cannot fix or guard against. What they are encountering is real life. I hate it sometimes. Sometimes my heart aches. I have enough friends with kids my kids’ ages to know that this is an universal ache. I’ve seen the flash in the eye of mothers when they recount stories of their children’s broken hearts It’s the mama bear reaction you have when your kid is messed with. I’ve heard and had the agonizing question of, “NOW what do I do?”
I have to trust. We have to trust.
We have to trust that God will “work all things according to His purposes for those who love Him” as it says in Romans 8:28.
We don’t have to get very far into the Bible to realize that the very things that cause us pain result in beauty.
In Genesis 37-50, we read about Joseph’s life. We know that Rebekah died in childbirth when Joseph was quite young. Surely her mother heart would have been devastated had she known the difficult turn Joseph’s life would take. God’s purpose for him was to be a deliverer for his people, but first he needed some tools. His brothers sold him as a slave; he was sold in Egypt and then spent years wrongly accused and forgotten in prison. Despite his outward troubles, he remained devoted to God. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams, and after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he was released from prison and became second in power.. His family, including the very brothers who sold him in the first place, were saved because God worked through Joseph.. He was able to handle his power because of the things he had been through. In fact, it was the adversity that got him to Egypt in the first place,by way of a slave trading caravan.
We see this pattern not only with Joseph, but also with Moses, David, Esther, Joshua, Paul and many others throughout the Bible as well as many other men and women throughout history.
God uses adversity to work those things into our lives and the lives of our children to accomplish His purposes. They are not needless things, but needed things. When it is all said and done, we will see.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT)
Father, thank You that You have a purpose for my children. Thank You that though some of the experiences they have to go through will be difficult, You will use those things for good in their lives. Give me wisdom to help them navigate through those hard places and to point them to You. I choose to trust You.
Author: Wendy Gerdes