My son came to me, recently. “Hey Mom, remember when…?”
He proceeded to tell me story after story of the things he has done and I had no knowledge of. Some scared me. Some scared the hell out of me. My son is 15.
He’s not old enough to have a secret life.
My heart broke. The life I thought we had all lived, was still living, was a lie.
It has been almost two years now of being properly treated for the Pyrrole Disorder.
I don’t know if he was feeling guilty. I don’t know why he felt this was the time to reveal to me a hidden life I knew nothing about.
Maybe he wanted to share with me who he really is, or maybe who he really was. Maybe he finally felt free from his disorder that held him captive. Maybe he was shedding his skin to be transformed into the man he was designed to be. Maybe…I just don’t know.
Whatever his reason, I hope it served him well.
But I’ll tell you what his revelation did for me.
At one time, I was a single mom of four children, who never planned on having any children.
When his older brother was born, I had only practiced changing diapers on a friend’s child. I did not know how to care for a baby. I didn’t know their needs or wants. But I did the best I could.
Everyday, I did the best I could.
And I prayed.
God help me with this baby.
By the time I was pregnant with my third, I was doing this motherhood thing on my own. Thinking I had a clue about babies, but now I was doing it all on my own, and they’re getting older. I don’t know anything about raising kids.
I was the oldest of two. I tried to keep my nose clean. My parents never had to spank me. A look would pierce my heart. Having to face any authority made me cry. I felt guilty for everything and often said sorry for things I didn’t do.
Never had I ever felt confident with kids, but by the time my fourth child came, and again I was alone, I knew I could do it. That I would be fine.
If I took my kids to church, I taught them right from wrong, if I tried to play defense to the bad influences out in the world… and I prayed; then I would be blessed with good kids. I would raise these kids how God has led me to raise these kids, and they will become the men and woman, he intends them to be. He will equip me. He will qualify me. He will lead me.
And as I sat and listened to story after story of what my son was telling, of the life I never knew of, of the boy I thought I knew, but even before the age of 15, was wearing a mask to hide who he really was, I felt smaller and smaller.
Hear me on this, everything I previously thought was true.
If I took my kids to church, I taught them right from wrong, if I tried to play defense to the bad influences out in the world… and I prayed; then I would be blessed with good kids. I would raise these kids how God has led me to raise these kids, and they will become the men and woman, he intends them to be. He will equip me. He will qualify me. He will lead me. But it’s not because of me, but because of HIM.
My heart cried out to Jesus, “Thank you, Jesus, for protecting my son.” At that moment a new reality hit me and my soul hit the floor.
All the books I had read about parenting, all the friends I sought advice from, all the workshops I had attended…they had all given me this false belief that I was in some sort of control. That, in the end, who my children eventually turn out to be, had in part, had something to do with my influence on them.
But let me be clear. My son should or could be dead or at the very least, impaired. But he’s not, and it’s not because of me.
In that moment of revelation, I learned the single, most effective and beneficial thing I had ever done for him, or any of my children, was that I prayed.
Dear Heavenly Father, protect my kids. Watch over my kids. Guide my kids. Help my kids. And various other requests I had made for my kids.
It was in that moment I realized I have absolutely no control of the world or the people in it. Including the children I have poured so much into.
That at the end of the day, when everything is said and done, regardless of what I have taught him, shown him, modeled to him; when my child is faced with a life altering, life threatening event, it is Jesus who has his back. It is Jesus who has his eye on him.
It is Jesus who knows him.
My heart breaks at learning I didn’t know my son. But it heals again, when I realize that the one who is everywhere and knows everything, answers my prayers; even when I don’t know it, and even when I don’t understand what I’m praying for.
I don’t know anymore if my sole purpose to raise these kids in a way, so that they will become the men and woman, God intends them to be.
I think now, my sole purpose was and is, just to pray for them.
God, you know the evil of this world. You know a darker side than I do. How silly of me to think I, someone who never has smoked pot, did any drugs, never cheated on a test, nor snuck out of my home, didn’t lift something from a store, or ever received an F in a class, could possibly understand or know how to raise one child, much less six of them in this place you never intended us to live in.
Lord, even though I am just now coming to understand the magnitude of your authority, I thank you for never changing, always being there; even if I don’t know it, understand it, or believe it.
I lay my children at your feet and ask that you watch over them. And if my only job here on earth is to pray for them without ceasing, then Lord, please continue to give me the strength to keep raising them up to you, not for you.
My prayer is no longer a hope that you will find favor in them, but the knowledge of truth that you already do.