Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoughts on Sunday's Afternoon Tea post

I was thinking about the dear commenter on Sunday's Tea post who was so depressed on Mother's Day.  It is one of those Holidays that can cause a variety of responses.   I recall the Mother's Day after my first son was born a preemie and lived a very short time.  Mother's Day that year was a searing pain.

When one has dealt with premature birth, stillbirth, a miscarriage, or having given a child up for adoption to a loving family... you know you are a truly a mother but society doesn't see you as such if they cannot see the child.

My early challenges to motherhood came from the inability to carry a child full term, which was solved through surgery and the result was a beautiful baby girl.  But in the years to come we were unable to have any other children until  I was in my mid-30s and a specialist realized the problem... to be followed by a cute baby boy the following year.

I must admit that I was annoyed at God.   But now I look back through the years and realize His wisdom (I am certain He is just so relieved).

Sometimes infertility challenges are solved such as mine.  But there are many women who feel the emptiness of Mother's Day deeply.   One of the most beautiful articles Lanier has ever written on her blog was one about infertility.  It is called, Lo How a Rose.  I thought of her often Sunday.

Mother's Day can hurt when we have prodigal children missing from the table, such as the commenter on Sunday's post.  I must share two bits of wisdom I have learned about this over the years... some from having been a mother now for over half my life span and bits of wisdom obtained from others.

First, it is possible to have done everything right and have children seek after false gods of the World... drugs, alcohol, illicit relationships, turning their back on God, etc.

How do I know.  I read the Book of Genesis.

God was the perfect parent and his children lived in the perfect environment of Eden.  God not only loved but He was and is Love personified. There was nothing they could throw in the face of God as for the reason of their rebellion.

It was very simply... Eve believed the lies of Satan and Adam went along with it with eyes wide open.  An action of deception and a willful disobedience to a perfect parent.

Second, our children can go prodigal because of mistakes we made when they were growing up.  Let's face it, our first child arrives to inexperienced parents and for some of us, we were quite clueless on this whole parenting thing.

Like all kids, mine grew up in a very imperfect home... with imperfect parents... with far from imperfect circumstances... but filled with a lot of love and their parent's deep desire to follow Christ.

I know homeschool kids who have seriously rebelled and their parents wonder what happened.  Especially when their other kids turned out fine.  I also know homeschool parents who have great regret about being either too lax with their kids or having a home too filled with more rules than love.

I know parents who realized too late they should have homeschooled their children and others who think perhaps if they had not homeschooled their child would be just fine as an adult.

We have to put all that in the past, push the reset button in our mind, and realize whatever happened in the past... God can (and will) weave it into something good.

Satan goes around as a prowling lion seeking whom he can devour.  He does so often by planting doubts and lies in our mind.  He is not the real lion... the Lion of Judah.   It is only through getting under our skin and working with our thoughts that the false lion can manipulate our thinking.

But the real Lion... the true King... the One who is the judge of all?  Let's remember that He is able to bring back the least, the lost, the little... the last.

If you children turned out fine, you must keep praying for there are many snares in this fallen of worlds to turn them away from the One who created them.  Just as with ourselves, we cannot let down our spiritual guard and think we are just fine, thank you.

If one or more of your children is still a Prodigal... well don't give up praying, either.  There is hope while there is life (and even then we do not know what happened before they slipped into Eternity).  You cannot look at the situation with human reasoning for it may be surrounded in the dark fog of their rebellion.

But God sees through that fog and knows how to bring your child back to Him.   Someone mentioned the book Ruth Bell Graham wrote about the season in which Franklin was a prodigal.  A rather famous church father was a prodigal with a praying mother... St. Augustine was quite the party boy and scoundrel.

We must build on our prayers with a foundation of love, not of the sin but love of the sinner.  I see so often parents who think if they show love to their prodigal then it only encourages them to remain in rebellion.

That is not what our Father did when we were in rebellion.  He let us know our sins... past and present... wounded Him deeply but He has never ever stopped loving us.

Even good kids will annoy us, that is a guarantee.  Why?  Because although they can be similar to us in many ways... they are not little clones of Mom and Dad.  They will at times think differently than we do.  As parents and then as grandparents, we learn to not sweat the little things of life.

They will have their own opinions about all sorts of things... from politics, to raising children, to what church to attend, to the kind of music they like, to the kinds of media they watch, to where they will live... etc.

We should never expect our kids to be just like us even if we think we are absolutely right on everything (and if you do, God has a way of shooting that down quickly).

Even my beloved mentor Edith Schaeffer has one of her four children in rebellion.  I'm certain before she passed away, she spent much time in prayer over him.  But from what I have read about their relationship... she loved him just as much as her non-prodigal daughters.

That's really what it comes down to in all of life.  We must believe in the power of prayer and then understand that only God has the infinite wisdom required to take our children all the way from birth to that time they enter into eternity.

I don't know about you but that certainly takes a weight off of my shoulders.

Artist:  Loren Entz


Anonymous said...

thank you so much. i need this encouragement and to be reminded that God will take care of all. blessings to you.

Terra said...

O the mighty power of prayer, and of a praying mom. This post gives us all permission to forgive our mistakes and to keep on praying. My husband and I are blessed that our adult sons are great guys, and I send up prayers of thanks every day.

Ann said...

I have two sons; one just went to heaven this past summer and one who has moved home to live with us for a while. Both were "lost causes" for a long time. The older one who passed away found the Lord and few years ago and completely turned his life around with the help of his Heavenly Father. The younger one is still in my prayers every day and I know that God will do for him just what He did for his brother. It's a long, slow process. God doesn't give up on us and we must never give up in our prayers for our children. God is at work behind the scenes and we cannot know what is going on in the minds of our loved ones.

Vee said...

What a loving, encouraging, thoughtful word for those who have walk this path.

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

What a great post - such encouragement! God bless~ Lisa :O)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for one of your best posts yet.
A lot of the teenage rebellion- the goofy fashions and crummy music, gets outgrown eventually. Remember some of the fads and fashions when we were young that our parents thought were so shocking.

suzanne said...

Lovely post, and I hope that Anonymous knows that she is not alone. All mothers have regrets, doubts, fears, moments of great sadness, and moments of great joy. A community of saints, I would say!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Beautifully said!

We have a beloved rebel. God is at work, but I have had to let go of trying to change him and let the Holy Spirit do His work. It's not my job. We did make mistakes, and we still do, but our other 5 children are growing in Grace, and walking with the Lord.

The Lord has used this for my good - I am not the same woman I was before, when I was implementing all the 'right' things in order to achieve the nearly perfect home schooled child. Now I know it is ALL Him, little of me in the drawing of our children to Himself.

I've had to sit back and bite my tongue and let my heart hurt. I am thankful for still having a relationship with my son, his fiancé and our granddaughter. I am thankful for the chance to show love (not acceptance of wrong choices) to them all.

Our other kids have grown in amazing ways too, as they have had to work through anger, and bad feelings toward their brother and his choices. But everyone of them have a loving relationship with him and God is using that to show Himself to our son, in a real way. It is all God's work not ours.

Thanks Brenda for this post.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the encouragement... I have one of these sons... God has worked in me so much, humbling me - showing me that even though I thought I was doing everything right, I can not make a perfect person... I am not perfect... And though it seems like other peoples children are perfect, none are.

Far too often I read something a mother writes about her "wonderful children" and then says, "God is good". I want to say, "And what if your child were none of those things? Would God still be good?" I have discovered that He is...

I don't often comment on this blog, but I often find it a place of wisdom and comfort. Thank you!