Parenting with a broken heart

Parenting small children is a hard job. I never knew parenting an adult child would be even harder. Here’s a little of what I’ve been going through:

For the first time in my life, I can finally understand what James was referring to when he said,

Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of  your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” – James 1: 2-4 ESV

In the past couple of years, I have felt God’s presence like never before.  Even with a broken heart, I have felt what it truly means to have the “joy of the Lord”.


I have always felt that my job as a mother was the most important job that I’ve been given on this earth.  While I’ve certainly not done a perfect job, I felt like my adult son was in a good place with his faith. From the time he was little, he had a close relationship with the Lord. I thought because we had made it safely through the difficult teen years, that his relationship with Christ would help him to avoid some of the same mistakes that I, and many others, make as young adults.

As Christian parents, seeing our children question their faith or struggle to make their faith their own can be very difficult to watch.  But God has recently reminded me that Dillan is not really mine anyway.  He belongs to the Lord.  Not only did God create him for a purpose, He loves him even more than I do.  And that’s a love that’s hard for me to comprehend!  That love has not changed throughout all of this….and it never will.

If you told me a long time ago that I would be able to survive the hurt and fear that I have felt these last few years, I would not have believed you. I would have certainly believed the opposite…that I would have died of a broken heart. I know that sounds drastic to many of you. I hear people say all the time that we, as parents, are not responsible for the actions of our children. I know that as well, but when you have experienced so much heart ache and pain as a young adult yourself, you shutter to think that your own children might take a wrong road in life.   And when the decisions your adult children are making are against what you believe is moral and just according to God’s Word, it makes it even harder to deal with.

But even now as I face the fear of the unknown, knowing that I have no control over what happens, my soul is at peace. I find myself still laughing and smiling most of the time. And in those moments when darkness is looming overhead, threatening to overtake me, Jesus hears my prayers and holds me in His arms to bare what I cannot bare alone.

During these moments, there is one song that repeatedly comes to mind.  The lyrics to this song describe how I feel more than I ever could.  It’s a beautiful song that reminds me not to worry or fear the unknown. God is in complete control and He will bring about good from all that Satan has done to cause harm and pain. I have hope in Christ and His Word that there will be “beauty for ashes” and “joy for mourning”. I am praying constantly for God to watch over my son and keep him safe. I pray that He will remind him of his great love for him. I pray that He would bring forth all that scripture that was held in his heart as a little boy and reinforce in him who he is in Christ. For when we know who we are in Christ, we are not persuaded by the world.

If you are a fellow believer and feel compelled to pray for my family, I can assure you that your prayers are greatly appreciated. I believe in the power of prayer from God’s people to heal and restore, and I’d love to pray for you as well.  Feel free to reply in the comments or email me if you have any prayer requests of your own.

Here’s a link to the video of this beautiful song by Casting Crowns that I was referring to if you’ve never  heard it or would like to listen to the words again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjNZf878ISQ

Blessings to each of you………..

4 thoughts on “Parenting with a broken heart

  1. I , too, am and was the mother of a prodigal son. Over six years of heartache and I know exactly how you feel. He missed his sister’s wedding and many family events during that time. He only kept in touch with his three grandparents. I went to counseling and many days of grief and hurt as did my daughter and husband. I knew it was up to my son to find his way when he wanted to or could. Nearly two years ago, my mother-in-law was in her last days and both of my children came to see her in her final hours. My husband told my son that this was a time to honor their Nana and we would present ourselves as a family to her. I know she was holding on to see them. I truly believe it was her prayers and years of discussion with my son that made that time possible. After sitting with her for a time, the four of us went to a late dinner together and it was as close to our family times we shared before. I was so nervous about seeing him for the first time. The next morning, she passed peacefully with all of us holding her hand and guiding her into God’s arms. She was a beautiful Christian woman who I treasured like my own mother and I thank God and her for bringing us together again. It is not the same bond and I tread lightly at times but at least he’s open to talking on the phone and visiting about twice a year since. I don’t know your story or reasons and it doesn’t matter. I also thought I was the only one who went through this but quickly learned others suffer as well. Just know that prayers do get answered, God does watch over you and him and one day there will be a miracle meeting. I always pray that it will continue and we don’t go through those difficult times any more. Thank you for sharing and linking that beautiful post and song. I will pray for you and your family. Hugs, Karen

    1. Karen,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps to know that I’m not in this alone. Praying God’s blessings on you and your family.

  2. Oh Lynn, first of all, let me say how beautiful and poignant is your writing. I can feel the deep hurt and also the overriding peace that Jesus has gifted you! As a mom of five boys, I SO understand the fear and worry that tempts to overtake us as we wonder how they will “ turn out” and what their life will look like! I will be remembering you and Dillon in prayer! God is able! He is NOT out of God’s reach and I am trusting with you that he will return to what he knows in his deepest heart is right!! Love you, friend!

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