School sports have begun which means… try-outs! The hard work, sweat, and (maybe even) tears are now put to the test.
The anxiety of, “Did I do enough?” or “Will I be chosen?”
The self-doubt and constant nag of, “What if?” can be paralyzing, causing restless sleep and agitated spirits throughout the home. The tension in the energy that is surrounding our child can be strong and intense.
As a parent of this child, we tread lightly around them. We attempt to make life at home a little bit smoother and easier because we know and see the turmoil our child is endearing.
After four long days, we send them off to
hear the news- did they make “the cut”?
We drop to our knees and beg God to make this happen! Going back-and-forth asking Him for a good outcome, and seeking wisdom and insight as to what to say if the results are not near as favorable.
By the time that child walks back through the door we are exhausted from our own stress and worry for what they have just heard. We try to read their face, their stride up the driveway, and what they are thinking. All the while, quickly preparing our speech. We are ready.
For some of us, there will be dancing in the kitchen, celebration meals, and intentional calls made to loved ones announcing the great news. Phew! You conquered another try-out week.
For others of us, there is no dancing or celebrating. Instead, there are tears, questions of value and worth, and even anger. Dinner is moved to the back of the stove, and the ringer on the phone is turned to silent. (God, we talked about this, how could you allow this to happen?)
My heart aches especially for YOU today. I am praying for YOU to have the words to say, in the right time, and to know when you just need to be present.
When our children are young (before high school) they need our words and advice, but what do they need now, when they know it all? How do we respond?
After all, if we say:
~ “God has a different plan” What our child thinks is,
“So, this is God putting me through this- I don’t like Him for hurting me!” (God is confusing to them)
~ “The coach just doesn’t see talent!” What our child thinks is,
“You’ve been telling me to win favor with my coach all season and now you’re saying my coach isn’t good enough?” (You are confusing to them)
~ “You have so many other great talents, you can’t let this get you down!” What our child really hears us say is, “You don’t think I’m good enough either!” (You validate their confusion)
As parents, it’s in our nature to want to “fix” our children’s problems. To protect them from the pain. To have the perfect answer to an imperfect situation. We go from having all the answers (before the teenage years), to having none of the answers in what seems like overnight.
How do we parent our teenage child if we can’t “fix” their problems?
You just be there.
It’s OK for them not to be OK. You’ve done a great job giving them all the answers in the past, but now it’s time to just be there. Don’t talk, just listen. After you let them know how sorry you are, be quiet. Be present. Be ready to listen. Mostly, just be there.
God tells us that in this world there will be pain and suffering (John 16:33) but joy comes in the mo(u)rning (Psalm 30:5). We trust the process.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, watched as her Son was mocked, beaten, and hung to die as an innocent man. However, she was not able to change any of it. Instead, she sat (probably laid all sprawled out) and was just there. Loving him through it, and silently praying to God to take this burden of pain from her child.
That’s what we do. We hurt for our child…Yes!
But we won’t always have words to take the pain away.
We be with them. Love them through it and ask God to take their burden away. Without spoken words.
When your child is young, teach them to see things as God sees them. When your child is older, just be there, because you have taught them well.
I’m praying for you today!
Together we are building Kingdom Kids.