Sometimes our children choose a path that seems to wind and twist and loop back on itself. It seems sometimes they prefer to walk right along the edge of the cliff, where the limestone crumbles away beneath their feet with every step they take. They teeter on the precipice – their arms outstretched, refusing to heed our calls to come back from the edge or to take a different path or to choose the road we highlighted for them on the map.

Our hearts beat fast and our hair turns gray and we wring our hands as we watch them tempt fate. They laugh at us, or wave us off, or maybe they don’t even turn to look in our direction. We toss and turn at night and then fall asleep at stop lights in broad daylight.

We write laments in journals. We submit prayer requests and we sign them, “Anonymous” because the story doesn’t just belong to us. We pray and give up praying. We cry and shout and whisper and grow silent, and our hearts sit heavy in our chests. We hold our breath.

I’m only telling my own story here. I’m offering it up in case there is another someone out there who has tried everything she can to fix it, or to make it right, or to call her child back from the edge. I just want to tell you, you are not alone.

And I want to tell you, God’s got this. He does. So go ahead and breathe.

I don’t say that lightly. It’s hard to breathe when every phone call makes your lungs stop cold. And if you remember to breathe today, by tomorrow you might forget again.

One day I sat breathless before God. My gut was twisted in a knot, and I couldn’t even look in His direction. My hands fell open in my lap and I whispered, “What am I supposed to do?”  And just as quickly as I asked the question, one word slipped its way into my heart: “Love.”

“I can do that,” I thought to myself. “I can love. But what else, God?”

“Just love,” He breathed into my heart. “I’ll do the rest. I’ve got this. All you have to do is love.”

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  1. 1

    Wow, I can totally identify. I wanted to pull my hair out, scream for attention as I felt the choices that child was making was sending my family over the cliff. I got the same answer….just to love. I wrestled, beseeched etc. But in the end I loved and God did the rest. Thanks for you eloquent words that resounded with me today.

    • 2

      This parenting thing is just as much about us as it is about our children, isn’t it? God certainly is capable of taking care of our children – and their parents. Thank you for sharing your heart here today, Stefanie.

  2. 3
    Cynthia says:

    I have just been dealing with similar thoughts. I’ve confessed my parental shortcomings to the Lord and pleaded that He intervene where I have failed. In my moment of overwhelming discouragement the words of a hymn came to mind… “softly and tenderly Jesus is calling”. He is tender towards me when I don’t measure up… I texted the words “I love you” and received an “I love you” in return. It’s a start…

    • 4

      Oh, it’s hard – so hard – to admit where I fall short. But I think He sees the white flag of surrender from a long way off…

  3. 5

    Thank you for writing this.

  4. 6

    I heard a pastor once say that to love is always the right thing to do. How that child makes us doubt ourselves, pushes our limits, drives us to our knees…right where we belong! Thank you for this post that spoke to my heart today.

    • 7

      “Love is always the right thing to do.” Now that’s something we could print up on fliers and then drop from an airplane that flies over the entire world.

  5. 8

    Thank you. I love how God uses posts from this amazing place to speak into my needs.

    Blessings on the journey~

  6. 10

    Although mine are still too little to make ‘standing on the edge’ decisions, I know that they aren’t far off. I’ve been trying to prepare my heart, and your words have given hope to those places where fear tries to take hold. Thank you:)

  7. 12

    ‘It’s hard to breathe when every phone call makes your lungs stop cold. ”

    This is MY story, too, Deidra. So much of what you wrote could easily have been written by me. I know the gut in knots feeling. I know the fear everytime the phone rings. I’m so angry that I when it rings and I see that it’s him, I can’t smile and think “how nice, my son is calling me”. Instead, I worry about what will come out of his mouth when I answer. Is he in trouble? Is he hurt? What now?

    I will keep you in my prayers, if you don’t mind doing the same for me. It’s a hard job, being a Mom. But it’s helpful to know God’s got this.

    • 13

      Joining in prayer with you.

    • 14

      I am absolutely praying with you, Chrissy. I know that road. It’s bumpy and there are potholes and lots of switchbacks. And it’s steep. But it’s not empty. There are others on the journey, and God walks beside every single one.

  8. 15

    I think as parents we are all learning this lesson right now. I am in the middle of loving my child when my flesh wants to get angry at the mistakes she is making.

    BUT

    God has instructed me to talk with her, love her through it, and forgive her. It has made the biggest difference in the world!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    • 16

      I don’t know about you, but for me sometimes it’s even harder to admit I’m actually angry – to be okay with admitting it. Admitting my anger – and embarrassment – is sometimes even more difficult than the worry.

  9. 17

    I can SO relate! You are right…He does have it and love is the right thing to do!

  10. 18

    Thank you for reminding me to breathe. And for reminding me that God’s got this.

  11. 19
    Lee Ann Smith says:

    Been there, still am in some ways. I learned to pray from a place of trust rather than fear. God really is able to take care of it all by Himself. And love means doing the hard thing – letting go.

    • 20

      It really is so hard to let go. But somehow I think even the letting go is an act of love. I think the hanging on comes from a different place.

  12. 21

    With tears in my eyes…thank you.

  13. 23

    To get to that place where you can release and simply love is a huge gift, a magnificent grace.

    This is an ongoing struggle for so many women … to have poured their lives into their children, to model Jesus for them, and to see them turn away.

    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2010/11/outta-there.html

  14. 25

    Beautiful, Deidra. And what a gift to your son that he has a praying, loving Mama who won’t ever give up on him. We walked a similar road with my brother and, oh, it aches. But I’ve seen firsthand that God can do what I thought was the impossible. Love you!

    • 26

      That God of ours? He does specialize in making the impossible possible. Thanks for the encouragement, Holley. You’re so good at that, you know?

  15. 27
    Kimberlyn says:

    Oh dear Deidra- You are telling my story. I have spent my son’s lifetime watching him temp the edge of the cliff. There were times when every word was spent and it was all that I could do to fall on HIM. So now I love… and hope. I know that my son belongs to HIM and his name is written in the palm of HIS hand. Thank you for reminding me that when I have tried every trick in the book (yes, some of us do go there) that God only requires me to love as much as he loves. Thank you

  16. 29

    It is funny I recognize the park trail in the photo!

    My family has been on a similar difficult path. As you beautifully state, you have to give it up to God and trust in HIM. Ours is beginning to work out once we let go and let God guide the way. We continue to pray for our boy and hope we are seeing the silver lining of the storm cloud we did live under for a while.

    Thank you for your words!

  17. 31

    Beautiful Deidra.

  18. 32

    The road you walk before me, it gives strength for the journey. I heard this too. To love when my emotions say to react differently. It has made a a world of difference . . . even though I have to keep reminding myself! Beautiful words as usual Deidra. So glad you God told you to write.

  19. 34
    Georgi says:

    Thank you for this reminder today. So many days of twisted gut and breath-holding, and too many tears to count. I, too, have been told to just love. But it still hurts and it’s still hard to breathe most days.

    Thank you for your eloquence, and your reminder that HE is enough.

  20. 36

    Beautifully written, and so true. We have had to walk this same painful path of watching some of our children choose their own way. And like you, what we have heard from God, is … to love, continually love, and trust Him to do the rest. Love keeps the door open. We have experienced the fruit of continually loving. It is so difficult, but possible by the grace and mercy of God. And He is the only one who can change hearts.

    • 37

      Thanks for this, Cherry.

      You know how sometimes you can hear something from God, and then – as time goes on or, oh, I don’t know, you write a blog post about it – you start to wonder if you heard correctly? Then, someone comes along and says they heard the same thing.

      Thank you…

  21. 38

    It seems to be the biggest test of our trust in Him…..to just love and depend on Him to call them back from that precarious spot on the edge of the crumbling cliff.

    Thank you, Deidra.

    • 39

      I so agree with you, Sheila. Just because our children are all grown up doesn’t mean God’s done with us. I know I had this crazy notion that I could just sit back on the couch eating popcorn and God would be satisfied. Ha! He always wants me to see just how much He loves me…just how much I can trust Him. I do love that about Him.

      • 40
        Mary Lou says:

        I’ve discovered He’s never through with us. He will be working on us till we breathe our last breath. My son has come back to the Lord and I find myself still praying in earnest for him and praying that he keeps making the right choices. He is making a few right now that I don’t believe are totally God honoring, but he is 37 and he will have to account to God, not me. I can pray for him and I can keep the lines of communication open and God can still use me. I do know that He has used my son in my life to teach me great things about Him and not so great things about me. This post was beautifully written. My heart does go out to those who are still watching their child walk on the crumbling edge. I do know that He loves them far more than we do and they do have a free will.

        • 41

          Wow. I am so blown away by this: “I do know that He has used my son in my life to teach me great things about Him and not so great things about me.”

          Isn’t that the truth about parenting? I’ve never heard it put so eloquently but being a mom (I have little ones) has shown me some really unattractive traits and habits in myself and some astoundingly amazing ones about God.

  22. 42
    Lauren says:

    Thank you so very much for writing this.

  23. 43

    These words are beautiful and true. Just love – that is all.

  24. 44

    oh how I needed to read this, not for my own children, but for other family members… bless you for this reminder.

    • 45

      Yes. It’s not just for our children. As Beth said up there, “Love is always the right thing to do.” Care to rent an airplane with me? :)

  25. 46
    Marilyn says:

    I so know your pain!! My daughter has been walking on that edge for 10 years now. Sometimes slipping and falling…..sometimes starting to climb out, but then eventually falling back down. It hurts…..and I totally have no control over her choices. I remind myself daily to keep turning it over to God. She is His daughter and He will take care of her. This is not in my time but His…….very difficult at times. LOVE

    • 47

      Ugh! That TIME thing! How many times have I wished God would just operate in MY timeframe!?!? But then I remember God is not the least bit concerned about time. And I need to be more like Him.

  26. 48

    Thank you–I needed to read this today–almost everyday it seems like. My wayward daughter is pregnant for the second time and she is still making such horrible choices. She hates all of us and cuses us out–my husband went home almost 8 years ago and she has been a mess ever since. Please-if you have time would you please pray for Natalie and her unborn daughter and her 3 year old Simone–really for all of us. All I do is pray–but I do not think God is hearing me. Thank you for letting me share–blessings–Barb

    • 49

      Barb, I am praying for all of you. Please remember God does hear every prayer and saves every tear of yours….and please don’t feel alone today, know that complete strangers are praying for you, your daughter and your sweet grandbabies!!

  27. 51

    Son #1 is supposed to be the one that toes the line, right? Wants to please the parents, follows directions…
    My Sunny sonshine is not this kind of child. He is deep like a river and winds his own course thru the banks. And when he made choices as an early teen that would raise the hair on the back of your neck, the kind of choices that make him a pariha, the world changes. His world changed, my world changed. But the command to love did not change.
    Some parents face a less strenuous course than I; no disabled kids, employment, everything-goes-their-way. I am the parent that is asked to a much steeper climb to ascend the mount of love. I stumble, fall, land flat on my face and cry out in anger, frustration, fear. What have I done to deserve a kid like this?
    And I think back to the moment I found out I was pregnant with this child. I remember thinking, “And now I will learn what it is to love.” When I gazed on his little newborn face for the first time and knew I would die for him. And I have, died, a million times. But somehow I thought for all the love, all the little deaths, all the ways I poured out my life for him, it would be returned with the reward of my son making the right choices. But their are no guarantees. No money back, no return policy.
    And I am asked to love again, again, again.
    So I sit in silence with the Lord. I am beyond words and grief. I am silent and I wait. Because sometimes when we see the edge of the cliff and the crumbling wall and it is our precarious child on the precipice, he is ready to fly into the sure Jesus. And Jesus is beckoning him.

    • 52

      Beth, right there with you. I keep thinking of when my son was little, and all the dreams I had for him. But there are no guarantees, and Jesus must be enough for me. And someday, I trust that Jesus will be enough for our sons as well. Thank you for sharing your heart, and helping me remember I am not alone.

      • 53

        Beth, you are not alone. And these sisters here? We are praying with you. We travel this road with you.

        “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure…” (Stuart Townsend)

    • 54

      Oh Beth,
      it is not about what you have done or not done, but I so know that feeling. . .
      God knows, He understands, He is loving you and your son. He longs for you both to rest in Him and He grieves with you.
      I am praying for you and your son right now.

  28. 55

    This spoke to me so profoundly today!! We’ve been struggling with our oldest son for a few years now. The last phone call was at 4:30 am to say he’d stolen a friend’s car. I really needed this, as we’ve been dealing with him sitting in jail for a month now. At least I know he’s safe there, and God has got this!! Thank you so much!

  29. 57

    Deidra,

    This is beautiful. And true.

    I wanted to share with you(from the prodigal child perspective), in hopes that it may encourage you? : To Parents of Prodigal Children: http://redeemingthedays.blogspot.com/2011/09/to-parents-of-prodigal-children.html

    If anyone is taking blame/feels guilt because their child is taking a path similar to the one they took: The Perfect Parent:
    http://redeemingthedays.blogspot.com/2009/12/perfect-parenting.html

    And maybe if you have a sibling who has walked away, and you are a firsthand witness to the agony it is causing… this may help you?
    To the Siblings of Prodigal Children:
    http://redeemingthedays.blogspot.com/2011/09/to-siblings-of-prodigal-children.html

    If you comment I may not be able to respond, as we cannot afford internet right now(what a first world, trouble, right? : D ) and I am dropping these links in quickly from my parents home… I just felt maybe these could help someone.

    Much love, sweet sisters!
    Elise

  30. 58
    Marianne says:

    It is sometimes hard to talk in Chirstian circles about a child that has walked away from family and God. Fear of judgement I suppose. God calls us to walk by faith, faith in His promises to work everything for the good. So we lay our burdens at His feet daily – and on the really bad days – even hourly. May God bless you for being transparent and encouraging us that we are not alone!

  31. 61

    This is such a difficult thing for anyone we love, especially for our children! My little ones are still very little, but already I have to remind myself that as great as my love is for them, God loves them even more. He wants them to know and love Him even more than we want this. And if God wants this, who will stand in His way?!

  32. 63

    His perfect timing in reading this post today, right now. Thank you. This mama’s heart has been broken in ways inconceivable…breathing seems a luxury…and yet the Father intercedes on my behalf and is my Life support.
    Yes. He does have it. All of it. Thankfully, He does.

  33. 65

    beautiful…so simple…so profound…isn’t it the answer to all the pain…Love…
    Blessings to you as you love the one who needs to know the Love of the Father….

  34. 67

    You will get many many comments from those who live this along with you. “Love him.” was the only instruction we got for our son also, even when others said we should kick him out do the “tough love” thing. But we loved him. He is doing great now and turning into a young man that we are immensely proud of and enjoy being around!
    Another thing God told my husband one day when he was lamenting over our son’s choices….”Do you want him to become more than you have become, to go higher than you did? To do so he will have to make different choices than you made won’t he?”
    Ok got it. :)

    • 68

      My goodness! What a good word your husband got from God! We just don’t see things the way God does, do we? So glad He gave your husband a glimpse…and thrilled you shared it here today.

  35. 69

    Deidra,

    This is my story too. I have shed countless tears.

    I know that I am not alone and this too is covered by God’s grace.

    So for now, I breathe deep breaths, I inhale, I exhale, and most of all I love unconditionally…

    Thank you so very much for sharing your heart

    Joan

    • 70

      It’s not natural for me to love unconditionally. I tend to want to make my love an “if-then” proposition. And so I, too, am grateful for grace…

  36. 71

    So remember the nights of crying and wondering what did I do wrong….but I also remember the reminder from God that I had dedicated this child to him as an infant…and how He loves her more than I and is seeking her heart. …. After a few years of turmoil my baby girl came back to Jesus and I saw such growth and change as she grew in her faith and love for Jesus and the forgiveness He brought. A few years later my baby girl (20 yrs old) went home to heaven to be with Jesus….no more sorrows…no more pain…Amazing how God has used this child and this situation to bring good, to bring lessons, to bring peace.

  37. 74

    So grateful for this beautiful solace today, Deidra. Thank you.

  38. 75
    Sharon O says:

    I love the ‘gut twisted in a knot’ line, oh I know that feeling when a crisis pregnancy took place, or a divorce or other worries deep within my heart. Just love … wonderful healing words. Thank you

  39. 76
    elizabeth says:

    Oh if you only knew. Thank you.

  40. 78

    Oh Deidra if you only knew. You are so not alone so many of us, Moms have our *guts twisted in knots!,* I think when it comes down to it Dads….share some of those knots as well. Simply because sharing what our kids to do with anyone but the kids Dad is just to hard. I know for me it has been.
    Your story and writing could be shared some how or some way with each parent out there . Your not alone in this.
    Keep on loving him Deidra. I have seen first hand what God has done…through my kids. Its not easy being a mom…but he is blessed to have you for His!! Just Love that is what is expected of us. xxx

  41. 80
    StacyG says:

    Beautiful!

  42. 81
    Priscilla says:

    Thank you for this post. It’s not that my misery/sorrow loves company; it’s that it helps to know there are countless other parents out there who UNDERSTAND all my feelings.

    My daughter has totally and viciously rejected me and everything I stand for. I kept hoping and praying she’d grow out of it. She’s now 40, and her self-imposed exile includes her husband and son. We are cut off from all of them.

    I have tried everything I can think of, with no success. I continue to love her and pray for her. That’s all I can do now. I know it’s up to God, and I know He’s “got this.” But . . . (The fact that I have a “but” means I’m not letting Him have it, doesn’t it?) I am impatient and so afraid. Thanks for reminding me God WILL work it out.

  43. 83

    For today when I am on my knees in prayer, thank you.

  44. 84

    This is so beautiful and so what I”ve been struggling with with strong willed and independent Child #1 (who will be 24 shortly). Last year we lived a year of hell as he was in college across the country and extremely depressed- when you mentioned about being hard to breathe because every phone call makes your lungs go cold. I’ve been there, lived that. And every text makes you want to jump on a plane and go rescue your child before he does something stupid or much, much worse. I have never been through such agony as I was last year at this time, fearing for my child’s very life, realizing the life I gave him was not the life he wanted any more.

    I distinctly remember the day when I thought my heart would burst due to fear and pain and being scared for his very life and I gave him over to God, saying, “God, I cannot be with him, but You can. Please parent and take care of my child.” It was a release of control. It was a huge step of trust for me. And in our story, God stepped in and did just as I asked. I realize that not all stories have that happy ending.

    We are blessed beyond miraculous to have our son whole and healthy now, and we as parents live life differently every day because of what we’ve been through and what we know he’s prone to. He still does things that make me want to rip my hair out, but they are tiny small in comparison to the troubles we had when we thought we might lose him.

    It’s good to know I”m not alone, and wasn’t alone, even during that time, because everyone else’s children seem on the right path when you know yours isn’t. Thanks for this support and this community where we can be real and can come to know our burdens are shared.

    • 85

      Oh my goodness, Beth. Thank you so much for sharing your story here. You will bless many with these words. You will.

      • 86

        Deidra- I can see you struck a huge chord with women/mothers as I checked back this morning and saw the comments up to 100. It’s so good, so refreshing, so God-like to be real and open and vulnerable. Thank you so much for taking that step and sharing your heart, which allows the rest of us to breath a sigh of relief and say, “oh good. It’s ok to tell my story and to know I haven’t failed as a mom. Someone else is going through this too.”

        Someone had to go first. Thank you for doing that.

  45. 87

    Oh, Deidra – this is so beautifully done. And SO necessary. We can do all that is in our power to do to raise up whole, healthy, godly kids – and still, we must, must MUST release them to God’s care. And it is not our story to tell as they become adults. Thank you for this encouragement to the long line of grieving parents out here who pray and wonder. They are not alone. God is there – and you’ve opened the door for them to say to one another, “Hey, I’m here, too!” Just beautiful. Thank you, thank you.

  46. 89

    Your words absolutely took my breath away. Those moments when you read something that could be spilling from your own heart, those moments that you are reminded you aren’t alone, those moments you recall that there are others walking the road with you, those moments that you are reminded that God has this, just LOVE. This absolutely brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

    • 90

      Thank you, Clover. For this comment. For sharing your heart. For walking the road in community.

      • 91

        Clover- your comment brought tears to my eyes, because I could have written your comment myself, verbatim. We so need each other and this community is such a great place to be!

        • 92

          And for community like this I give thanks to God for his grace and for bringing women, sisters of Christ together to share our love, and support each other in our struggles, lifting one another unto the Lord.

  47. 93

    “I’ve got this.” Thank you for the soundbite, and the reminder that He truly does have our backs.

  48. 95

    Your words absolutely took my breath away. Those moments when you read something that could be spilling from your own heart, those moments that you are reminded you aren’t alone, those moments you recall that there are others walking the road with you, those moments that you are reminded that God has this, just LOVE. This absolutely brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  49. 96

    Your descriptive words could have come from my own journal….and it is so encouraging to “talk” to others who are going through the same journey….I went for years and bottled my words up inside…..so many….who tried to understand….but could not because they had not been there…

    When I first started blogging 3 years ago, I found a treasured community of online sisters going through the same thing….God used them to minister to me….and in turn I have tried to help others….but more importantly….I learned to listen….and to trust the Lord’s promises about my child….

    My heavenly Father spoke to my heart nearly 3 years ago that “each step away brings him closer home”…..and I have held on to this promise each time my boy wanders….and know…that one day….the front door will open….and he will be HOME…..

    I am bookmarking your post, by the way…..

    • 97

      Wow. I’m blown away by the words God has shared about this with you wonderful women. And so grateful that you would pass along the encouragement. “…each step away brings him closer to home…” Well. That is just beautiful.

      Thank you.

  50. 98

    Wow! JUST WOW!! You know what this says to me in so many words. Your words are like salve to my soul. Thank you, my friend…a million thanks.

  51. 100

    The timing of your message couldn’t have been better. My beautiful, smart, 20 year old daughter who was homeschooled left this morning to move to another state and move in with her boyfriend. I feel as though I can’t breathe…and am crying out to the Lord to bring her home. I feel as though I must have blown it in every way….how could I allow this to happen? But I will love and I will trust God to love her as well. Thank you for reminding me when I really want to hate and be really, really mean instead.

    • 101

      I know what that feels like – wanting to be really, really mean (not just one really). I’m getting the feeling we really can trust God together for our children. And while He’s working things out in their hearts, let’s hold each other up, and ask for help, and celebrate the victories, and keep walking this road together. That could really (really) be amazing!

  52. 102

    I so hear the pain of the many mothers here. As a grandmother now my list of prayer requests grows as well. I walk and continue to walk the path of prayer for my children especially the “one”. There have been years of watching her lie, be hurt, abused, torn apart physically and emotionally. She is tough, sensitive and so many times unreachable. BUT I am so thankful that I have the God of all creation on our side. He loves her so tenderly and woes her back. He has promised so many times she will be a blazing torch to the nations. Is62. I hold on to each one regardless of the facts- I know the truth. The story is not over yet. Mothers, grandmothers hold fast to the promises of God. They are the truth. Fight for our children and grandchildren. Do not accept what you see as inevitable. Jer 30 promises us the work of our hands (as mothers) will be rewarded.

    • 103

      You know something? For a long time I was the “one.” But my mother prayed for me. And God was listening. You’re right. The story isn’t over yet.

  53. 104

    It´s very comforting knowing that we are not alone, but most of all, that our Father looks after our children even if we believe that they are totally lost, without any direction. Thanks for sharing this.

  54. 106

    Oh friend – daughter *and* mother extraordinaire – you love so well. Praying to our Father with you, to the One who holds our prayers and your boy, too…

    Love you always and forever.

  55. 107

    Beautiful, Deidra! Just love, just grace, just Jesus Christ! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  56. 108

    Oh I am so with you! When I asked in desperation “what am I supposed to do?”, the line from a worship song/scripture played over and over in my head…

    “It’s your kindness Lord that leads me to repentance.”
    (Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:4)

    That’s it, I just continue to LOVE-like you said and show kindness in the name of the Lord in the face of rebellion. And God will do the rest. Now that song runs though my head often as I parent. Although it’s not always easy! Lol.

    Thanks for this reminder! Many blessings to you and your family.
    Sherri

  57. 109

    The “what am I supposed to do?” question. There was one horrid afternoon in particular when I had to ask Him that. I felt as if I was suffocating and had to literally run outside onto our back porch, fall to my knees and was racked with sobs. What He told me to do was what I didn’t want to have to do – call my husband home from work, and try to get help for a 6 foot 23-year old who didn’t want any. (How do you get someone bigger than you in the car? You can’t. That’s the scary part.) We got him to the family doctor that day, but little did I realize I’d soon also be scoping out our hospital’s emergency crisis center where I ended up with him just a few weeks later. It was the toughest, saddest thing we’ve ever had to go through (but yet the help that was received was the beginning of hope and healing for our son). I never, ever in a million years thought my mothering role would have scripted into it anything like i was experiencing. God gives us the strength to do what we think is the impossible, and sometimes even doing the right thing seems like the toughest choice there is.

    Coldplay’s line often resounds in my mind, “Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.”

  58. 111

    Thank you so much for your post. It is exactly what I needed to be reminded of today.

  59. 112
    Marcia says:

    Thank you for your words. I do feel like I am the only one struggling with this at times.

  60. 113
    Anonymous says:

    I’m there right now with both sons. “Just love?” That’s a hard one when you have to decide on consequences as well–consequences that seem to say that you don’t love.

    • 114

      But…the mere fact that there are consequences means you DO love. My husband has often told our children, “It would be easier just to let this go. Look the other way. Not give it a second thought or take the time to deal with it. That would be the simpler route and take less time. But it’s because we love you that we’re going to address this and not let it slide by.” Consequences show that you love the other person enough to stick with it and follow through and that you’re not giving up on them.

  61. 115

    Thank you for this post. It doesnt’ make me feel better but it is comforting ot know others are going through the same thing. Your sentence about your heart stopping when the phone rings is so me. So much fear of the consequences. But, we do have to leave it in God’s hands and just trust.

  62. 116

    Got a son walking a far off from the Lord and we have chosen to love him just as God loved us to Him….GREAT POST…. tons of us parents out here who are grieving for their children. God’s mercy has never been more real to me in regards to our son…He loves him so much more then we do…thanks for the post.

  63. 117

    Thanks for sharing. Just what I needed to hear this morning! Yep. Great reminder that God’s got it.

  64. 118

    This gives me goosebumps and speaks TRUTH loud and clear. God has this. My son is 9 months old and I am praying already for the questions he’ll face, the doubts he’ll have and the road he’ll chose to walk down. Beautiful words. Bless you. Thank you.

  65. 119

    I wish I had time to read through every single comment! I am so here with you all. When my oldest daughter was teetering on the edge I got the same message, LOVE! I quite riding her and when she asked my opinion I tried to answer with, “the bible says…”, so as not to be spouting my opinions all the time. It was a long road, but God is faithful and she is now a mommy and she and her husband were baptized together a couple of months ago! Funny thing is that when my daughter was the one we were on our knees for I consoled with myself with the thought that my son was such a good kid. Shortly after our daughter turned herself right we started having trouble with our “good” son! Now I console myself with the thought that at least God only gave us one child at a time to agonize over! He is so very faithful in all circumstances. We have 8 more coming behind these two, and I pray no matter where life takes each one of them that I will remain in my Father’s gracious and steadfast arms!

  66. 120

    Beautifully written, inspiration for all mothers who have children who may not always follow the path we perceive as the safer path.

  67. 121

    Thanks for this post and to all who have shared here.
    I can relate to much.
    I remember the grief, loss, bewilderment when our first child went astray. He was looked up to at chuch and we even had to tell other parents not to let their children go where our son went. what he was doing was not safe.
    We worked hard to understand what it meant to love first. We saw that Jesus did not wait until we were nice and clean and well behaved before He loved us. He has always loved us and welcomed us to Him. But what does love look like?
    Sometimes love has meant saying no and not bailing out anymore, sometimes love has meant big sums of money
    Sometimes love has meant listening to every imaginable thing pour out of some ones mouth without judgement or pushing them away, sometimes love has meant saying no, you may not swear at me.
    Loving means being on their side, fighting for them, praying for them, giving them back to Him who loves them far more than we ever can.
    Our beloved prodicals are still out there, still being called to the One who loves and knows and we trust Him (mostly)

  68. 122

    Thank you for sharing this message !

    May God continue to bless you.

  69. 123
    Margie says:

    Thank. You for sharing , I have been there I know the feeling of helplessness. I can say tha God is in control, it is very true just continue to just love, he will take of the rest, and your child will eventually see and come back home realizing they were on the wrong path.

  70. 124

    I never thought this would happen to one of my kids but it did. …your story is my story……..everything you said, I have lived. I thought my family would never be the same again. It is so hard to see your children take this road. All you can do is pray and know that God has it all under control……..although this is difficult at times. My son has turned his life around thanks to all who have prayed for him. Continuing to show that love is so important, although at times it may be difficult for some. We are supposed to love the way God loved us and that’s unconditionally. If there’s anyone who needs to talk about a situation similiar to what was posted, I feel God has pulled us through this for that purpose……if I can be an ear to someone or if I could give some encouraging words to someone that needs to hear them I would like to do so.

  71. 125

    Thank you, Deidra, for the courage to post this. My eyes are welled up, I can almost feel my breath taken away…things are a little better now, but it’s so hard to let go and let God, relax, breath and love…yes, as a mom I sure can love, but I always feel it’s not enough and I need to “fix” it…
    Thank you to everyone who can relate and tell their story…it sure helps to know you’re not alone and that you weren’t a bad parent…

  72. 126

    Can’t believe it’s me living this. I know I’m not alone, but it was never in my worst nightmares going to be me. She’s breaking our hearts. And God’s heart. Praying for a Christmas miracle.

  73. 127

    I keep coming back and reading this every couple of weeks- I’ve recently passed it on to a friend, and as of last night I needed it for myself yet again. Thanks for having written this- it has meant so much to me. I’m trying to “just breathe and let God have this”. It’s so hard sometimes but it’s the only thing to do.

  74. 128

    Thank you so much for this. I am living this now. I worry and fret and forget that God is in control. My two children who were raised in the church and became believers are walking their own paths now and it breaks my heart.

    • 129

      It’s a hard thing to do – watching your child go off on his or her own in a direction you didn’t even know was out there. We are good at loving them. Really good at that. I’m praying for you, Becky.

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