The Pit in Our Parenting Stomach
Fear grips every parent. No exceptions.
We all know our pH levels drop to battery acid levels as icy spasms start to form deep inside. Fear, becomes helplessness… ending in despair.
The acid pit we call a stomach boils uncontrollably as we near our puke point… from the moment we allowed ourselves to ponder in vivid detail all the horrific outcomes of life.
We lurch forward numb and nauseous praying – “sweet Jesus don’t let “that” ever happen to my little one”…. we rush to push the nightmare back into our sub-conscious, hoping to never find out what “that” might feel like as a parent.
But the pit in our stomach eventually creeps back…. a breaking news report of another tragic school shooting or a families missing teen girl, we easily slide back into another acid soaked anxious parenting turmoil… we have so much to worry about already.
We understand the “normal” stress of parenting… all wanting our children to emerge from adolescence with at least a rudimentary sense of balance and wholeness, familiar with “right” and “wrong”, connecting to their faith with growing certainty. We, parents of faith, hope and pray they learn to trust God for themselves as they walk through their teen lives… “trying on” their parents beliefs and values to see if they fit.
What we can’t endure or cope well with is the “curve balls” life throws at us. The things that no-one could have predicted. A cancer diagnosis, bankruptcy… marriage collapses, or legitimate random tragedy.
As parents we’re expected to navigate our own lives and our kids as we bounce from one life moment or challenge to the next, hoping and praying for enough strength to “hang on” for one more hour… one more day. When we add layer upon layer of fear upon our minds and hearts… we start to know despair.
For those who feel that despair… Remember this! God won’t leave us to get through it all by ourselves. No matter what we feel or can sense in our desperate moments… God has NOT ABANDONED US.
When you feel the acid burn in your gut…it’s time to reach past the tums and find your bible. Reach for genuine hope and linger in it until you find encouragement, not containment. God has plans for us and for our kids, we just need to remember what they are and how faithful God is to make everything work out for good.
It’s amazing how a few moments in prayer – reading an encouraging Psalm or sharing your uncertainties with a good friend, frees us from the paralytic grip of chronic anxiety & fear. God’s promise isn’t to keep us from trouble, but to keep us company while we’re in it. His PEACE is ours to have in any circumstance.
Sometimes we just need a nudge back to sanity… back to some pillar of our Christian faith and then the clouds break and we can see the light again. I think the Apostle Paul (author of Romans) really knew how we all feel at times…
Romans 8: (NIV) In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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