“Oh Lord, my heart is breaking. I cannot even think about the weight of what is going on in the world right now because of the sinking weight of what has transpired in my own life, in my own family.
How can you do what you perceive to be all the right things and then things go terribly wrong? As a professional, how can I diagnose and treat and help so many others to see the light, but see such pain and heartache in my own children and feel powerless to effect change?
Where have I gone wrong? Have I failed you? How did we get here? Oh, how I wish I could go back and have a do-over, only knowing what I know now.
Yet in the whisper of my mind, I hear, “That’s a lie. You haven’t failed and you aren’t a failure. I have given to each free will, and each will test and try it. But I have promised that when you raise your child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it. Reject those lies and stand on my truth.””
~ ~ ~
When you birth a child, a part of your heart is both expanded and leaves you. Your love grows, and yet because of that, when they make choices you might not make or take a path that lacks wisdom, it also means your heart at least quivers, if not breaks. If we could but envelop them in bubble wrap until they are mature and grown, our parental hearts would rest easier.
We long for our children to experience the good things in life, even better than we do or did. It hurts to see them fall and make mistakes. We’ve raised them with all the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge we have, and yet they are free to make their own choices. Choices to follow their own desires, or surrender their heart to the ways you have taught, and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Developmentally, all children go through a “separation and individuation” process where they try out their own ideas, their own preferences, their own desires. Some will flourish and cause them to grow, others will falter and cause them to fall. As we watch, always hoping for the best, we must trust. We must trust the heart of The Father, who knows them best and loves them even more than we do. It is His desire that no one would perish…not even one.
As parents, we feel it when our children stumble and make a painful decision. We bear the responsibility for training them and raising them in the fear of the Lord. Yet they are ultimately accountable to God for their own decisions and the path they choose when they leave our household and become adults.
This becomes an exercise in faith. When we let go, we trust that what we have taught them and the work of the Holy Spirit will be sufficient in time. All we can do is trust at that point that God’s promises are true and that He will continue to work to bring them back to Him.
When we let go, we put our children in the hands of a Father who has His own children who have been rebellious, and whose redemption has cost Him dearly. He knows the pain a parent goes through, and His heart breaks with us. He will do what it takes to draw His children back to Him, even if it means letting them fall flat on their backs, which is often the best position to see Him most clearly.
One thing is for sure, just as we as parents named our children when they were born, and recorded their names on their birth certificate to indicate their significance in this world, God recorded their names in the Lamb’s book of life, and has them tattooed on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). Just as you can’t stop thinking about them, neither can He. Leave them in His capable, loving care.
Even with our children, because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
Our new shop! Just in time for Christmas.
Now is your chance to share the Hope that Prevails. Check out the new shop with handmade, hand-stamped Hope Prevails necklaces, bracelets, bookmarks and stationery sets.