Over the past few days, I've been fairly open about my situation here on my blog. I have been amazed at how the numbers rocketed with readers. I've also been amazed at the wonderful and prayerful responses I have had.
One response was a reminder for us to pray for our children, their futures, and their marriages. A response I very much appreciated. And I've thought a lot about that statement over the past few days. I agree wholeheartedly on that statement, concept, and action.
However, I wanted to take it one step further.
When praying for our children and their future decisions, also pray for their safety.
I had/have a praying mother. She spent countless nights awake through the night praying for me. She prayed for me when I was a baby, colic and screaming. She prayed for me as a toddler, an adolescent, as a teenager. She prayed and prayed and prayed. She told me that the only way she could sleep some nights (when I was running wild) was to mentally wrap me up in a blanket and hand me to God.
So why weren't her prayers answered?
Why wasn't God manipulating me to make better choices?
Because He gave me free will.
While her prayers may have seem to go unanswered, they were in fact being heard and something was being done about them. Even though God was allowing me to make a mess of my own life~by my own choice and against His quiet pleading in my heart, He kept me safe.
I cannot begin to tell you of the situations I would find myself in. I could have been beaten, abducted, killed, or worse. Even though I made really bad choices, I was kept safe. A hedge had been placed around me by the prayers of my mother.
Then through my marriage, she knew it was horribly rough. And I believe it was her prayers that kept the abuse to a minimum. It was also her prayers that helped me be the wife I needed to be to maintain a resemblance of peace for the children. It was her prayers that kept the children from being abused by their father. It was her prayers that helped keep food on the table even when 'R' wouldn't bring home money. It was her prayers that kept me safe when I was on the run from him. It was her prayers that helped me stay strong over the past 3 years and still.
So when you pray for your children, even if they are small, pray that God will:
1) Grant them the wisdom and courage to make wise decisions.
2) Protect them when (not if, but when) they make an unwise choice.
3) Allow them to bring beauty from the ashes of their mistakes, big and small.
We need to trust God and His goodness, but we need to be realistic and realize our children have the same free will that we do. They will mess up. Pray that God will help them through tough times but also that He will keep them in the hallow of His hands.
My mom may have wondered where God was and why He wasn't listening to her. Truth was I wasn't listening to God. Thankfully, He lovingly waited for me to listen to His call and kept me safe while He waited.
If you have a child who has strayed, don't give up hope. God does hear your prayers...it may seem as though all hope is lost. Just know that God is working behind the scenes of your prayers.