What happened? Suddenly the child that we dreamed about, have loved so deeply, and had so much hope for is moving in a direction that we never anticipated. When and where did things go off track? What did we do wrong?
Every family has bumps in the road as they are raising their kids. At first I thought that was what was happening. Just another bump as my daughter entered her teenage years. Surely this “phase” would pass and we would be headed in the right direction again soon. I just had to make just a few minor adjustments to the way I believed things should be and soon enough everything would be fine again. That’s what I thought, but that wasn’t the reality.
I was dazed and confused for quite a while before I realized that this was going to be the new normal for our family. Added to my hurt, anxiety, fear, disappointment and all of the other emotions I had, was confusion. I was confused about what was going on. I was confused about the fact that my child didn’t seem to care about me or respect me anymore. I was confused about how to handle her defiance. I was confused about how to relate to my friends and family members who had seemingly perfect kids. All of a sudden everything in my life was turned upside down and I was unsure of myself and anything else that I had felt confident about before.
Merriam-Webster defines confused as “disoriented with regard to one’s sense of time, place, or identity”. That was me!
I finally came to the realization that I couldn’t continue to live like this. I had to figure out a way to break free of my confusion and get off of the roller coaster of emotions. That’s when I turned to God. And I discovered that He had been there all along, just waiting for me to look to Him for clarity, comfort and peace. I started seeking Him through scripture and prayer. I held onto Bible verses like, Jeremiah 29:11, that says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I found comfort and hope by being reminded that God had a plan for my life – a good plan. I was encouraged by 1 Peter 5:10 that says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” I believed that promise that my life would be restored and I would be made strong again.
As I focused on Jesus and what God’s Word says about how much I am loved I began to find relief from my confusion and pain. I was slowly able to disembark from the roller coaster and find joy and fulfillment in my life again, despite what my child was doing or not doing.
If you are confused and in pain due to your child’s choices and actions, turn your focus to the One who loves both you and your child more than you can imagine. Seek Him through scripture and prayer. He is holding out His hand to you right now and He can and will restore you and give you peace and joy again.