Today is the 4th of July. Thinking about what this holiday means caused me to ask myseslf: How can parents whose children are in bondage to drug or alcohol abuse, self-injury of all kinds, pornography, gender identity issues, gambling, suicide attempts, and mental illness find freedom? Can they?
What do these parents need to be set free from?
I have a few ideas for you. They come from my own personal experience as a parent who has lived in bondage because of my daughter’s troubles. I believe we need to be set free from agonizing emotions associated with our children. Devastated, we watch from the sidelines as our beloved off-spring slowly destroy themselves. At the same time, our own well-being is compromised. Robbed of sleep and of our sanity we’re in a never-ending battle with fear and worry, guilt and shame, depression, resentment, and grief.
Personally, finding my emotional freedom didn’t come from lecturing or trying to help my child more. Freedom didn’t come from learning more – although educating myself definitely reduced my anxiety and increased my empathy. Reading the Bible helped too – a ton. I do this every day as one of my vital lifelines. I’d be lost without that source of comfort, wisdom and guidance. But, my problem remained unchanged.
My freedom also didn’t come from trying to change or fix my daughter more. And it didn’t come from yelling more, crying more, or talking to a counselor more either. Although meeting with a counselor was a significant help in understanding myself and my daughter. I certainly needed their wisdom as I learned healthy ways to express and process my feelings on my painful journey.
Where Did My Real Freedom Come From?
My real freedom came from something else.
My real freedom came from yielding more.
Giving my daughter back to God more.
Trusting Him more.
Releasing her into his caring, loving hands more.
I needed to remember that while I loved her with all my heart, He loved her even more.
After all, God is the one who made her and gave her life. Yes, I was part of the process, but He’s the divine life-source.
When I say yield and surrender I don’t mean give up or not care.
I mean to let go of my need to control.
I mean to step back and let God step in.
I mean to stop over-helping, making my child too dependent on me.
I mean to focus on taking care of myself, allowing my daughter learn to do the same.
A Powerful Prayer – A Freedom Song
One day I discovered a powerful prayer that helped me yield and surrender my daughter to God more. The prayer became my Freedom Song. I learned about it from the Prayer for Prodigals ministry. The prayer is called “Declaration of Release.” The author is Sylvia Gunter with a ministry called The Father’s Business. Friends, I urge you to use her prayer as often as you need. Using it helped me give my daughter back to God. If Sylvia’s petition helped me find freedom, I believe her God-anointed prayer can help you too. Dear parent, let her words become your Freedom Song too on this 4th of July.
Because Jesus Christ is my Lord, I free you from my anxiety, fears, and control. I trust the Holy Spirit to lead you and show you the way that is right for you — the way of love, joy, and peace and all that salvation includes.
I place you at God’s throne of grace. I cannot force my will on you. I cannot live your life for you. I give you to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are a very special person. As much as I love you, God loves you more. Your life today is totally in His hands, and I trust Him with it.
In Jesus’ name…
I release you from my expectations,
I place you on open palms to the Lord,
I give you my blessings,
I let you go. Amen.
It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:13, 1:6 NIV).
Prayer Portions L 1991. 1992. 1995. Sylvia Gunter. P.O. Box 380333, Binningham, AL 35238 USA. All Rights Reserved.