When You Feel Helpless to Help Your Child

post headerI struggled to support her head as she lurched forward, her little stomach emptying itself of the food she’d just eaten.

We were having a family dinner date at one of our favorite local restaurants. And we had just gone through the conversation with the waitress about making sure there was absolutely no MSG in what we were ordering. Sadly, the answer to the question was now evident in the beautiful flowerbed in front of the diner.

For those of you who don’t know the everyday ins and outs of our family, our daughter Kailee suffers from occasional migraines. Now sometimes we can curtail these lovely episodes. And other times, all we can do is hold our daughter while she hurts and cries.

But the headaches are not the reason I’m addressing this (although we do love to hear from others who understand this battle and/or have wise ideas on things which might help minimize migraines, especially in children).

The reason behind the writing is this. There are so many parts of parenthood that leave us feeling helpless. Powerless to support and assist our children in whatever seems to be coming against them. As much as we may want to, we cannot protect our children from all of life’s prickles and stings. And although constructing a bubble around them sounds awfully tempting, it’s not always the wisest parenting move.

Sometimes the adversary is sickness. You find yourself standing by your child’s bed like an astute hawk, watching a high fever or nasty chest cold take its toll on your lil’ sweetie. For others, it’s a little more intense. Cancer. Diabetes. Or a debilitating emotional or physical disorder.

Sometimes it’s a bully. Someone who for the love won’t leave your child (or children) alone. Cutting into their souls with mean words and cruel actions.

Maybe you feel trapped in the shadows watching an older child make a choice you know will hurt them in the future. You grapple with what you should or shouldn’t say (or do), knowing their path could lead them into dangerous waters. Or maybe it’s watching the aftermath of a nasty heartbreak knowing you cannot fix it fully.

If only you could make the world a better safer place for your child.

But is that what they really need? Or what we need?

Whatever the circumstance, these are the crucial situations that bring us to our knees. Where we cry out to our Father from depths of our souls:

post verseAt times, these prayers bring about bold answers and dramatic changes. Other days it feels like the doors of heaven are closed to our prayerful pleas. Unaffected. Unmoving. Silent.

Now I’m not saying I have all the answers in regard to this, because I don’t. I’m struggling right along with you, yearning to seek the face of my Father in this, even though I don’t always understand.

The crazy thing is, when I talk with my daughter about it, she doesn’t seem bothered or angry (like her mama). She usually just smiles sweetly and says, “It’s really okay, mom.” And every time she does, my heart overflows with thankfulness. Because even though we may not have all the root causes or possible headache triggers figured out, my girl trusts her heavenly Father. She knows He loves her and is taking care of her. Because that’s what she reads in her little hot pink Bible that sits on her cream colored nightstand right next to her bed.

My hope is that we will be able to lay down these anxieties, fears, and feelings of helplessness, handing them over to the One who can handle them best. Because quite frankly, it’s exhausting trying to carry them all on our own.

His big ol’ God-sized arms are enormous enough to hold all of our worries and all of our feelings of helplessness. And His love is wide enough and substantial enough to cover it ALL. Everything. The whole shebang. Even the really tough stuff.

So go ahead and rest, dear sweet mama. He’s got it all under control.

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Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.
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About Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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