As mothers, we are constantly helping our children handle life’s curveballs that seems to be thrown at them on a continual basis.
Our kids enter our broken world, unable to process each and every unpredictable circumstance that enters their path. It is up to us to teach them how to not only survive the inevitable flames that ignite around them, but lead them through a journey of growth in rising above the heat with new-found awareness and strength. Each season of their life will bring new challenges and adversities that may have a lifelong impact on who they are.
I believe the greatest calling of all parents, is to equip our children with the ability to process, pray, and find purpose in their hardships.
Through the wee ten years that I have been a parent, I have encountered all the messes that life presents with both my kids. Every child will suffer through difficult situations, from medical issues to social dilemmas. We can all fill in our own long lists with personal testimony to the burdens all our children must bear at one time or another.
This is life.
The question for us parents is this:
How do we teach our children to navigate this world they live in?
As I reflect on the short history of my parenting years, I realize I have been using a certain ‘equation’ with my children. There is a consistent pattern that reflects our faith and ultimately my own wisdom from a hard lived life, full of agonizing failure and ultimate triumph. This has eventually formed a model that is sealed around my existence and consequently my children’s too.
Lets talk through this new issue that has entered into your life. Share what happened and how you feel about the situation…
Although my kids are still young enough to want to share everything with me, and trust me completely with their private turmoil- I anticipate there will be coming years of strong set boundaries in this ‘process’. My prayer is that by that time, they will be able to entrust others with this information.
After we talk through what happened, we bring God into it all through prayer. This is not about some ritual or recited verse- it is about authentically releasing the raw wounds and angst into the arms of our Loving Heavenly Father. This prayer is about pouring our hearts out to Him and asking for His guidance and intervention and purpose in this situation.
After we pray about what has happened and invite God into the details of our mess, we open our hearts to discover a purpose that may be revealed and realized. How can God use this experience for our good? And most importantly…
How can God use this experience for His Good?
I have written several pieces about this very pattern in action, over on my blog, TheMomCafe.com. My daughter has suffered medical issues her entire life and she is now experiencing the trials of social conflicts. My son is questioning friendships with kids who are acting inappropriate and also learning how to ‘lose’ and not always be ‘perfect’. My daughter lived an amazing experience through her swimming season, which I titled “This Is How God Works”. It’s three parts- all reflecting this very pattern through her defeats and ultimate glory.
Every downfall is an opportunity for us to teach our children how to respond and steer their hearts through each test.
Our mission is to ensure they are able to find victory in each loss, strength in each fall, and wisdom in each new uncharted territory of this world. I pray they learn the only resource that will provide such things…
Their Loving Heavenly Father.
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Before having children, Chris Carter worked as a music therapist for several years in Chicago’s inpatient psychiatric hospitals. She also managed creative arts and recreation programming for four group homes. In that time of her life, she learned and grew to know the pain and suffering of so many people. She is now a stay-at-home mom and currently spends her days running kids to and from school four times a day, volunteering and keeping the house in some sort of order! She has a thriving blog, The Mom Cafe, where she regularly shares her mothering experience and wisdom.