I use affiliate links in some blog posts. If you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for your support.Every day this week I’m focusing on raising teenagers, and today I’m delighted to have fellow author Gail Gritts join us. Gail is a mum of 5 – now all grown-up – and has a powerful testimony of how two of her children hit rock-bottom. Read on… When the mother bird pushes her fledglings out of the nest, she takes a terrible risk. They might not fly! They might fall to their death! She has no assurance. She just knows it is time for them to leave. Human mothers take a similar risk. We might not push our children from a height to see if they hit the bottom alive, but we let them go outside the safe walls of home and into the cold, hard world while we pray we have instilled in them the strength and wisdom they need to navigate. Sometimes they fly, sometimes they flop. I’ve not found a sure-fire way to determine the outcome. My five fledglings have flown from home. Some of them landed safely, but not without a few bumps and scrapes. Two bombed out big time. As I watched their struggle, I kept them before the Lord in prayer, spoke words of comfort, assurance, and mild instruction. I felt my heart sinking with each story, and yet, I knew they were in the hands of a good, good Father, a parent much better than I, so I entrusted them to Him. Did I lose hope? Yes, sometimes, but the heavenly Parent was there by my side as well. He kept introducing me to others who gave testimony of running away from the Lord only to be called back, of making poor life decisions and seeing God heal. Their stories restored my faith, helping me to hand my worry back to God.
What kept me sane?Well, I made myself a few boundaries.
- When I worried, I moved instantly into prayer. They had come to my mind for a purpose; a spiritual prompt, if you will. I needed to be faithful and obedient in prayer, not worry.
- I gave them to the Lord when they were small, and I considered them to be His. I believed He was at work in their lives, even if they didn’t.
- I resolved not to say, or do things I would regret or that would injure their spirits or push them away. I held my tongue and extended grace.
- I kept the home fires burning and the door open. They knew I did not approve of their decisions, but they knew home was waiting for them. Let me add here that this is the reason we need to be so attentive in how we raise our children and the atmosphere of our homes. Children grow up to go away from home, that is the nature of things, but a child that is struggling has a harder time returning if their childhood memories and experiences were negative.
- I loved them anyway. We are all sinners. My worry, anger, and frustration were just as much a sin as their life choices. I knew God would forgive me; I had to believe God would forgive them as well, so love was the choice I made.
- When I had to speak directly about a situation, I bathed my words in prayer and controlled my emotions. At the same time, I spoke directly and scripturally, not necessarily quoting Scripture at them, but pointing them to principles from God’s word and planting hope in their hearts.