When a Parent Hurts

Image result for image of sad parent

I have not written anything here for quite a while as I have been struggling with increased pain, fatigue, and depression, but this subject has been on my heart for a while so I am trying to get some writing done today.

I think that the two most difficult jobs in the world are being married and being a parent. Of the two, I sometimes feel that being a parent is the more difficult of the two.

There is something special about the bond that is formed between parent and child. As a mother, I “planned” for both of my children and eagerly awaited confirmation of their existence. I carried them in my womb with excitement, wonder and awe, along with trepidation, anxiety and fear as I had some complications.

I was a young mom – maybe too young – but I really wanted to be a mom. Throughout all the ups and downs of parenthood, I have never once wished that I didn’t have my children in my life – maybe out of my sight and hearing for a while, but never out of my life.

Besides the challenge of training and disciplining our children, I think the hardest part of being a parent is during the times when we must watch our children suffer and we feel unable to help them.

Both of my children are grown and have children of their own now, but as I have told them a few times, you never stop being a parent, no matter how old your children are. Perhaps being the parent of adult children is the most challenging time of all. You can’t hold their hand to make sure that they don’t fall and hurt themselves. You can’t make wise choices and decisions for them. You can’t ground them to discipline them and keep them safe.

Instead, you have to hope that all the training, guidance and words of wisdom you gave to them throughout their childhood, have remained front and foremost in their minds and are put into practice in their adult lives.

But what happens if, despite all your love, all your support and encouragement, all your guidance and wise instruction, your child makes choices which are harmful to them and causes them pain, sorrow, loss, suffering and grief?

Can you stop loving your child? No! Can you walk away from them and forget them? No! Do you suffer, mourn and grieve with them? Yes! Do you feel absolutely helpless to do anything to alleviate your child’s suffering? Often, yes.

So what do you do in that situation? I look to The One who is the original parent, the Creator and parent of us all, the Heavenly Father. He wanted us; He planned for us; He created us; He eagerly awaited having a relationship with us. He provided the best of everything that we could possibly need or want. He gave us His love, His wisdom, His counsel.

And then, despite all that we had been given, we made a wrong choice and we immediately began to suffer the painful consequences.

Did God stop loving us? No!

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Joh 3:16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life.

Did God forget us and forsake us? No!

Deu 4:31 For Jehovah your God is a merciful God; He will not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

Heb 13:5 Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be content with such things as you have, for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you, never!”

Does God suffer when his children are suffering? Yes!

Isa 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;

Is God unable to help His children in times of need? No!

Isa 43:15 I am Jehovah, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.
Isa 43:16 So says Jehovah, who makes a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters;

I am absolutely convinced that God is the ultimate loving parent and that He suffers, greaves and mourns when His children make wrong choices and suffer unpleasant consequences. I also believe that He is not only “all-knowing” but also “all-powerful” and ” able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think”, unlike the human me, who is often powerless to do anything about my child’s suffering.

So when I am a hurting parent, I turn to The One whom I know understands and cares about how I feel AND who is able to do something about the situation. I just need to learn to bring it to Him; leave it with Him, and trust in Him to bring good out of bad situations.

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2Ti 1:12  but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard My deposit unto that Day.