Pondering the Long and Hard Seasons of Parenting

by | May 31, 2021 | what you can do

photo cred. unsplash

Welcome today’s guest blogger, one of our teammates, Beth Denhof.

Several years ago, after a hard season in my marriage, I sat with a good friend and mentor as I staggered through yet another hard season with my daughter’s mental health and substance use challenges. I was struggling with the battle between knowing God is good and trusting that He is, yet questioning why He hadn’t taken action to answer my prayers. I wondered why my emotions and heart were in a different place than my thoughts.

I was also frustrated with myself and believed my emotional state was a burden to my friends (because after all, I was pretty sick of myself and my emotions in this long season). Instead of turning to them for support, as I might usually do as an extrovert, I now preferred solitude.

Reflecting on my struggles, a friend said something I never forgot: “God knows that you need the pause between your head and your emotions in this time because He knows the immense pain and joy that is in store for you. If all the emotions came at once without you struggling through them, you wouldn’t be able to handle them. He’s allowing you to desire solitude. He’s preparing you to keep leaning on Him as He molds and shapes you for something you can’t see today, so that you can tell others about your great God.”

What if…?

photo cred. McGoldrick

The impact and truth of her comment momentarily took my breath away, but then I took a deep breath and realized that my strength comes in trusting God while I await the revealing of His plan in His timing. Interestingly, it was in this long season that the seeds of starting a Hope for Hurting Parents support group began to grow.

Now when the hard and long seasons rear up in this walk (because they just do), I’m reminded to ask myself,

What if this difficult season is actually a GIFT from God that I don’t see yet? What if this is God hammering and chiseling me to be who He wants me to be? What if God is setting me apart again in order to prepare me to do more of His kingdom work? In this set apart time, how is God giving me special wisdom for my next assignment? What if this hard season of feeling so alone is actually what I need to develop a deeper sense of compassion for others, and a time to find more intimacy with Him?”

Questions to Ask Yourself

Dear friends, I know these long seasons of struggle are hard and exhausting. But how is God reshaping and calling YOU?

photo cred. Dena Yohe

“When God seems busy elsewhere or even purposefully unmoving, the truth is He is at work, maybe doing something entirely beyond what we are thinking.” – Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited

“There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to realize that being set aside is actually God’s call for her to be set apart.” – Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited

Bible verses: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” ​​(Esther​ ​4:14​b ESV).

 Recommended book: Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst

Learn more about our wonderful teammate Beth Denhof on our website.

** What do you think? Have you seen God reshape and call you to something new as a result of the long and hard journey with your child? Have you been able to see your struggle as a gift from God? We’d love to hear your comments.