Parenting in the Trenches

by | Aug 22, 2022 | what you can do

photo cred. pixabay

As loving, caring parents we try hard to do the best we can to raise our children well, but sometimes we find ourselves parenting in the trenches. Our children’s lives have not turned out as we thought they would. Everything has gone contrary to our well-made plans. Our loved ones have gone off the rails and we are left stuck in the mud, wondering where we went wrong? Our children are involved in activities we never thought possible. They struggle with issues we couldn’t have anticipated. That’s what happened to us with one of our children.

Before we knew it, we were up to our knees in mud and muck. We saw no way out. The bad kept coming.

Friend, how can we cope when that happens? What can we do?

When our hard journey began we had no idea what to do. Is that you?

Blogger, Rick Thomas, shared some thought-provoking comments in an article that I believe apply to us.

You Can’t Stop the Bad

“You can’t stop the bad stuff from happening to you as part of God’s story that He is writing for His glory…”

Did you hear that, dear parent? You can’t stop the bad.

You. Can’t.

God is the author of your story. Not you.

He’s in control. You are not.

Your story isn’t just for you.

It’s for His glory!

The Heavenly Jewel

We did our best to keep the bad away. We did everything we could think of to protect and rescue and save our beloved sons and daughters, but nothing worked. The end result–at least what we see today–feels wrong. Unfair.

What now? How do we cope with the heartbreak, the disappointment, the shame? Our challenge is to let go of the hopes and dreams we had for our child and lower our expectations. We need to learn how to accept what is and rest our hearts in God. Not to let all that’s happened–and is still happening–destroy us: our mental health, our other relationships, even our faith.

How is this Possible?

How is it possible for us to cope, accept what is, and rest our hearts in God? The following bullet points outline a healthy course of direction.

Garon Piceli

photo cred. Garon Piceli

  • Put God first. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
  • Seek Him by reading His Word, the Bible, and other personal growth books. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
  • Pray. Talk to Him like you would a good friend. It’s not your words that matter, but your heart. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (Ephesians 6:18a)
  • Go to the church of your choice and worship. We’re encouraged when we worship together. (Hebrews 10:25a) 
  • Look for someone to help. Show them kindness. You will reap a blessing in return. …let us do good to all people (Galatians 6:10) 
  • Ask God for help. When you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. (James 4:8 NASB)
  • See a counselor who can help you work through your feelings in a healthy way. Bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
  • Develop a supportive community–uplifting friends and support groups who encourage you toward contentment. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)

Philippians 4:12 helps me keep the right perspective:

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

What has helped you cope in the trenches of parenting? How have you not let this destroy you?

**Read more from Rick Thomas on his website.

**Words in italics are my added comments.  **all Scriptures are the NIV translation unless otherwise noted.