I think one of the biggest lies that this world tells us is that we are the only one feeling a certain emotion or experiencing a certain circumstance. These thoughts make us feel alone and like we are on an island; which makes us want to shove our anxiety, pain and shame further down. Parents have called me countless times, feeling like they are at the end of their ropes and feeling like their student is the only one misbehaving, struggling or being dishonest. Every time I have one of these conversations, I hear the despair in these parent’s voices, hoping for something better for their kids; wishing they knew what they could do to make this situation change.
While I don’t have all the answers, I do know two things that I’ve watched help, time and time again. The first is to speak truth over yourself or your situations, and when you’re too weak to do it on your own, have someone else do it for you. Scripture talks about how the devil is on the prowl and that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Our thoughts are not off limits to spiritual warfare, so reminding yourself of God’s truth and speaking those life giving words out loud instantly starts lifting those burdens. Instead of saying “my son has been lying to me recently” and focusing on the probelm, speak truth over this situation by saying things like: “I believe that my son will start making right choices with his words. God has equipped me to love him and correct him during this season of his life. This is not my fault. I am a good mom! This world is broken and I need to give my son grace while he continues to learn and grow.”. When we are so focused on the problem, it leaves little room to speak God’s truth over your kids and yourself.
The second thing that I have also seen work is the power or prayer, and I’m not just saying that because I’m your students youth pastor. I think we sometimes look to prayer as a last result because we are trying to fix these things on our own. While we do have the power at times to make some changes and while you are called to speak up and correct your kids, God has the power to change their hearts AND their actions. When was the last time that you gave your feelings and circumstances to God and trusted that he was going to take care of them? How could the power of prayer lift those burdens off your own shoulders? Take a step back, take a deep breath, and send up a prayer to God. It doesn’t matter if your prayer is full of anger, full eyes of tears, or one simple word of “help”. God knows your heart before you even mutter a single word.
Remember that you aren’t alone. Remember that God is with you and the Asbury student staff is here for you as well! Every parent is facing some sort of similar feelings or circumstances, but God has the power to change them!