A Series Of Hope ( for the love of our Children)

Training up a child

Seven days before Christmas, she was born. She was beautiful.  Seven pounds, two ounces. We were blessed and full of hope for her life. I couldn’t stop staring at her.

A few years later, we held our baby boy. He seemed so tiny as his fingers wrapped around mine.

Life was moving fast and soon there were two more babies born into our family. Two little girls. Oh how blessed we were.

My hopes and dreams of becoming a mother was finally here in full bloom. My love for them was endless and even when I was tired, there was always room for hugs and kisses and stories.

Life was busy. There was so much to hope for. I wanted life to slow down. I took as many photos as I could so that I would always remember these four little people who gave me so much laughter and joy.

Somewhere between the adolescent years I could feel the pull, the struggle of what was coming. I didn’t understand what was happening.

Once sweet and full of life, she  was now becoming distant and defiant. The son who was once full of wonder and curiosity, was now wandering down a path that gripped my heart with fear.

Where did I go wrong?

I prayed for them, taught them to love God and hide his word in their hearts. I showed them to be kind and love others, to behave and not tell lies.

My hope was sinking as they were stepping further away.

Proverbs 22:6- “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they won’t depart from it.”

I thought this was the key verse to having perfect children who would grow up and love God because I trained them to.

My hope seemed to dissipate.

“Lord,” I cried out. “I thought if I tried really hard, my kids would always walk with you.”

“Why are they walking away?”

Throughout the years that followed, I took my broken-mother-heart to the Lord and he reminded me that He is my hope.

My constant peace in times of trouble.

I was on my knees, not just asking God to reach them, but asking God to forgive me for assuming I was going to train them and therefore, all would turn out according to my plans.

Some of the greatest lessons in my life were during those time of struggle. If I wanted, God was going to teach me so many valuable lessons. I had some decisions to make. I could either surrender and learn the lessons at hand or I could allow the enemy to keep me discouraged, complain and get angry that my once sweet kids were now unruly and ungrateful.

I chose to surrender.

God taught me some lessons for life:

  1. God’s love for them is far greater than my love for them. He was never going to give up on them. Even in their rebellion his love was calling them.
  2. He taught me to walk in the authority that He had given me to parent. I had to take my eyes off of what the world was saying to do and seek what God was saying in his word.
  3. He covered my children with his grace and mercy. While they were out in the world so many unthinkable things could have happened to them. God was with them.
  4. He drew a line in the sand for me and told me that I could only go this far. (One of the greatest lessons I learned with an 18-year-old that moved out because they didn’t want to live by our rules).
  5.  I learned to fight for my children on my knees. I did less yelling  and more praying.

God moved. He drew those kids back to him and he changed my heart. Surrendering is hard. It’s choosing to let go of everything we think we know and believe to be good, to trusting God when we cannot see the outcome.

I am reminded of an old hymn I grew up singing by Edward Mote.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

“My hope is build on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking.”

May we fully surrender our will and parenting to the God of Hope. He knows his children completely.

He knows just what it takes to bring them home.

Father God,

I pray for every parent who is discouraged. Maybe they have lost their way. Maybe they feel as though they have failed. But you God are still in control. No matter where our children are, you’ve got them. You are our Hope. I pray for every child and young adult struggling in their life to find the answers. Maybe they are discouraged and defeated. Give them the courage to turn to you. Give them eyes to see and ears to hear that you are God. Your Hope endures through everything they will face in this life. Your love for them never fails and your faith works to move mountains. I pray that every parent surrender to you and trust you to write the story of their children’s lives to bring your glory and not our fame. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

His Hope Is Alive,

~Jamie

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