I’ve been asking God lately why we have to spend so much time waiting as parents. Sometimes its as simple as waiting for our child to pull themselves away from the computer so we can eat dinner as a family. Other times, it is waiting to see if our teens will ever mature enough to be successful in this world. We wait for them to get their driver’s license only to experience the consequences and financial burden of a speeding ticket or accident. We wait for what sometimes seems like the impossible. They push the limits, talk to us in disrespectful ways, become addicted to a person, or substance, or they turn their backs on our core beliefs.
My “waiting room” has at times consumed me. A teen who argues and fights over everything pushes me to the brink of yelling back. I find myself in the crazy cycle that seems to have a constant loop. We get nowhere until I change.
Yes, you heard me right…“til I change”.
Right now, my “waiting room” may be very different that yours. My wait is for a medical miracle.
For me, three years ago my teen woke up, stretched, and started screaming in horrific pain. As a parent, I just want to fix the problem for him. So, my “waiting room” all this time has actually been a doctor’s office or hospital. We’ve gone from specialist to specialist and driven halfway across the country. I stayed in a hotel across the street from the hospital for 18 days, 700 miles from home, only to realize that everything the doctors tried didn’t change the pain.
We limp through the school year just surviving until summer comes. Then its time for more doctors and more tests. My parent nightmare continues. And I wait.
I’m waiting for a miracle because there is nothing that I personally can do to control my son’s situation. I only have one option…
Work like it depends on me, pray like it depends on God. (St. Augustine)
I hope you’ll think about that phrase for a few minutes. I’ve been dissecting it for weeks as I’ve been contemplating Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker.
How do you handle life when your prayers aren’t answered?
What happens when you exhaust every avenue that seems logical to you and you keep running into dead ends?
I’ve decided I’m going to keep exploring different options for my son’s healing while I stay on my knees. Kind of the keep on keeping on mentality.
That’s hard in the parenting process. There are times we are exhausted, times we want to give up, times we don’t have answers and can’t make the situation with our children go away. But only through prayer can we find the answers. Only through the heartaches and trial do we learn perseverance and patience.
What I’m discovering through the wait is that I am different. I have changed. My responses have become more gentle. I’m learning to empathize with my son’s predicament. I’m realizing that my job as a parent is to express hope for a better day even when life seems hopeless. I’m on my knees more often. And through trial and error I’m realizing that my responses can either help the situation or bring strife.
What about you? Are you changing as a result of whatever “waiting room” you are in with your son or daughter? Are your responses becoming more gentle or louder? Are you on your knees in the midst of the trial praying like the solution depends on God? Are you working, trying different responses to the situation to bring about peace? Where’s your empathy meter with your tween or teen?
The desert and the parched land will be glad, the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong, do not fear your God will come, he will come with vengeance with divine retribution he will come to save you.
Will you join me in praying for my son? Mark Batterson suggests in his book that we start praying circles around our greatest fears and that we have people join us in our prayer circle. My greatest fear right now is that we won’t find the answer to my son’s pain.
What about you? What’s your greatest fear for your children?
What if we, as a community of believers, start circling these prayer requests together? Will you join me? We have over 50 people as part of Greater Impact that are on our prayer team. Send us your prayer requests via my blog below and we’ll start praying together. Be sure to keep us posted as God answers as well.
…they were at their wits end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He still the storm to a whisper the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let me know if you are joining my prayer circle or if you’d like me to join yours. I want to make sure we stay in touch.
“Let go…and let God”,