I fidget before her on a stale sofa, pouring out the wounds of my soul. She listens and watches. I weep over the destruction of my home, the betrayal of vows, and the brokenness of hearts. I tell her of the tears I wipe and the babies that scream in the middle of the night. The sign on her door promises godly counsel and I’ve come desperate. Finally she breaks the silence with her solution. “You need to know that God loves you”, she whispers. The words soothe my soul. Yes, my need for God’s love is deep, but how do I find it? She hands me a list. The answer: 101 ways to love yourself. My heart sinks as I walk away from a shattered hope.
The 10 minute drive home is long and the tears fall hopeless. I glance again at the list.
Number 13… Take a bubble bath…
Number 47… light a candle and watch a Disney movie…
Seriously? Perhaps I have struggled to know God well, but a candle and a Disney movie hardly seems like the way to remedy this problem. My heart weeps for my own pain, but it bleeds for them. Four precious babes under 7 years old…who need more than a Disney movie and a candle. The babysitter is paid and the day presses on with dinner and all the usual motions. The world seems to spin violently out of focus. I realize my need for the quiet and begin to tuck in their little souls. But their hearts are hurting and sleep won’t come. She cries, he cries. I cry. Moments turn into hours as we snuggle in the pain.
A hush finally falls over the room, yet I can still hear her whimper. It’s the aftershock of a hard cry. The kind of cry that sends fists flying, feet stomping, and anger ranging. It’s no stranger in our home. Even after all these years, the pain and injustice cuts deep and their little hearts can not fathom the why. I hold her close, thankful that I have the opportunity. I bask in the chance to speak truth into her heart and comfort into her pain, all the while clinging to the hope that can only be found in the Redeemer. A smile cracks and she whispers, “He’s taking care of us mommy, isn’t He?” I nod with a confident smile. “Yes, baby.”
How, then, do we parent a hurting child?
Join me starting October 15, 2012 for a 10 day series for every parent! We will walk through many different ways to help your children deal with the circumstances that life hands them. Whether the pain is temporary or long-suffering, we will point them to God’s promises in the hurting.
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Parenting a hurting child series:
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