Walking with God When Parenting Is Really Hard
Welcome to Day 11 of our #GodlyAdventure! Ready for some parenting encouragement? Allow me to introduce you to my friend Jaime Wiebel.
When I was in college my roommate and I always joked that being school teachers was going to be our backup plan. We were working at getting degrees until we were able to do what we really wanted to do. What we really wanted was to be stay-at-home-moms.
But then my plans didn’t go as I thought, and when I finally did become a mom it was harder than I could have ever imagined.
My little kids who I thought were just perfect, weren’t. The parenting skills that I thought I was born with lacked love, compassion, patience, kindness, and on lots of days, much-needed grace.
One of the hardest things I have ever done is parent. In parenting, some of the hardest things I have had to overcome were the false illusions that everything would turn out the way I had imagined, wanted, or dreamt up as a child.
The reality of parenting has often been my most shattering moments. I have experienced great joys but also great losses and hardships.Growing up I had the false illusion parenting was going to be an easy job.
I always assumed that I was going to be great at it all the time. After all, I love kids.
In reality, not trusting God through parenting also left me with the illusion that it was more than I could bear. When I first became a parent, I wasn’t walking with the Lord. I found myself not trusting anyone to have my child, even my own husband.
The burdens and fears overtook me and left me with sleepless nights.
The gap I had created between God and myself, left me feeling alone and overwhelmed.
The overwhelming weight of kids getting hurt, becoming ill, or even not surviving their own childhood, terrified me. So I took to the unrealistic assumption that I could control everything myself.
His Yoke Is Easy His Burden is Light
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
The problem with taking everything on ourselves seems obvious. But giving it to the One whose burden is light doesn’t seem so obvious. We are trained to pride ourselves on our independence and I prided myself greatly on this trait.
In fact, my pride is what got in the way of me giving my fears and burdens to anyone. It brought me to many breaking points and behaviors that I greatly regretted. I was hurting my relationship with my child and my husband. And it completely kept me out of a relationship with God.
But a great loss became my final breaking point. The point where God not only brought me to my knees but began carving out my pride.
We were in our 21st week of pregnancy and found out we lost twins. It was a blow to my pride. I thought I had laid out perfect plans. I thought I had taken all the right measures and thought the doctors could have seen it coming.
But the reality is we don’t hold life or death and the number of breaths we take and realizing that took all control out of my hands.
For the first time in my life, I learned to really rely on God. For the first time in my life, I learned the importance of relinquishing control. Because God had bigger plans for my life, then the one I was leading, He was willing to draw me back into Himself.
Parenting Doesn’t Have to Feel Hopeless or Lonely
Parenting can sometimes feel lonesome. I became a stay-at-home mom shortly after having our first child. Most of my day was spent with someone to talk to but no one to respond.
Quite honestly, it became lonely. I began feeling isolated and had felt like I was the only one going through things.
But the reality was, I was not alone.
I had a good Father that I was completely ignoring. My own withdraw was causing the distance in our relationship.
We have the good good Father as our guide. Giving my life back to Christ was the best thing for my parenting. I began looking to Christ as an example of what a parent should look like.
It started by seeing the mercies He had shown me in my life. I began wondering how I deserved to be in His graces. It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t.
He didn’t love me because I was lovely. He didn’t love me because I was kind, humble, gracious, compassionate, or caring. Because I had really gotten to the point where I was far from those things.
He loved me because HE IS LOVE. God was merciful to me because He is kind and compassionate. He showed me grace because He abounds in giving His children good and perfect gifts.
This Changes Everything
Because I am loved, I am able to love. 1 John 4:19 says we love because He first loved us.
Once we see and know His love, we are able to love more like Him. A love that is not based on the conditions of our behaviors or the extent of our mess ups. His love is an unconditional love that loves us even when He knows us.
I have to be honest, I love my kids dearly, but like everyone, they can be unlovely. They can be like me, completely rebellious sinners.
But I don’t love them because they are perfect. I don’t love them because just because they are my flesh and blood. I love them because God has given me a heart of flesh to love on others in a way that is extraordinary.
His love for me allows me to understand the need to love others. His power of love for me in spite of my ugliness allows me to see my children as beautiful people created in His image even when their image looks bleak.
He has shown me and taught me to love in a way that I couldn’t do on my own. The power to love my children is not my own. It is truly a gift from above.His power of love for me in spite of my ugliness allows me to see my children as beautiful people created in His image even when their image looks bleak.
Grace and Love When Parenting
As a parent, there are days I get mad at my children for something, and I want to stay angry for a bit. But God gently reminds me in those moments how often He has so quickly forgiven me. His gentle reminders of how He was the one to restore our relationship allows me to see the importance of giving that to my children.
Friends, I have to tell you these things aren’t always easy. If you are a parent you know that. But inviting God into our parenting means we open a door to give grace and love when parenting is tough.
How does God help you in your parenting?
You can find Jaime regularly blogging at Seeking God with Jaime Wiebel. She loves helping friends make the connection between the Bible and real-life application. You can also find Jaime writing weekly devotions for Seeking God Daily on Facebook. When not writing Jaime loves spending time with her husband and three amazing kids. She also loves when she has time to sit down with friends and learn what God has for us as we share life together.Check out the giveaways for week 3 of the Walking with God online event!
Did you enter the giveaway yet?
- Week 3 – Walking with God Through Relationships Giveaway: one grand prize of the Grace and Love: When Parenting Is Really Hard kit, a copy of Christmas Peace for Busy Moms, a 6 oz jar of 100% natural Mexican Vanilla Extract, a Marriage Prayer Printable, and a digital copy of Time to Pray: A Prayer Walk through Psalm 103; four secondary winners of the Grace and Love: When Parenting Is Really Hard kit, a 6 oz jar of 100% natural Mexican Vanilla Extract, a Marriage Prayer Printable, and a digital copy of Time to Pray: A Prayer Walk through Psalm 103.
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I can really relate to this line, Jaime: “I always assumed that I was going to be great at it all the time. After all, I love kids.” How I was in for a wakeup call! lol Thanks for this encouragement. Walking with God through it all has kept me sane. 😉
Thank you, Kelly, for the opportunity to share here! Parenting is tough and just this morning, I thought about how many times, I probably fail at it. But God. When I invite Him into my home and into my family’s life, I know that He can do all things, in spite of me. Thank you again for the opportunity to join you and your friends here as we Walk with God! Blessings!
Jaime you are such an encouragement.
Yesterday was super hard at my house so I found this post very timely today!
Meghan, I am glad to hear that this was of encouragement. You are not alone. We have all been there. When I reach to God, I can love my kids better. I am able to offer grace, knowing I get it far more than I deserve. He is the perfect example of good parenting and I need that on days I want to throw in the towel. Blessings, friend!
I wholeheartedly agree, Jaime! I constantly draw on the Father’s love in order to love my children, my husband, my family, friends, and especially anyone who acts like my enemy (which could be all the above!) Lol! But I don’t know what I would do without His love flowing in and through me, Jaime! You are right on that one!
And thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you lost your twins! What a heartbreaking blow to your tender mama’s heart! But I’m so glad God blessed you with other children to love and enjoy. Great post! I’ll be pinning and sharing with my son and DIL who had their first child recently!
Jaime – Yes, parenting is not at all what I thought it would be. The highs are incredible but the lows are painful. Yet, I am so glad God chose me to be children’s parent. Thank you for sharing your journey.
Jaime, it is sad that it often takes great losses for us to allow God into our difficult places. But I’m so thankful that He doesn’t give up on us.
On a lighter note, last night we’re were having dinner with our granddaughter and her fiance. They are getting married today and, like you, she looks forward to being a wife and mother. There was a child acting up at another table and I thought about saying to them, “here’s my best piece of parenting advice … don’t ever say my child will NEVER do that! LOL. But I decided to save it for later. 🙂 We all think we know how to parent until we’re parents, don’t we!
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