This post first appeared at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud. You’ll find a lot of wonderful and insightful posts there.
Last week, I told you about the belief I carried early in my years of parenting, that if I just did my job right, my kids would “skip that pesky rebellious stage and slide effortlessly into adulthood.” I shared with you some of the reasons I no longer believe that’s true or even possible. Here’s the conclusion of that post:
When my oldest chose drugs over our family, my husband and I let him walk away. But we didn’t forget him—not for a moment. No, we prayed and begged God to bring him home. At one point when I was praying, I felt the Lord’s words in my ears. “Do you trust me with your son?”
Did I trust him? Too many young people, many children of godly parents, get lost to drugs and alcohol—or simply lost to their own foolish choices. Some kids end up in prison, others end up homeless. Some run away and aren’t heard from for years. And some end up in the grave. There are no guarantees for any of us. Trusting God meant facing that my son could be lost to us for a time, or for good. But I knew I couldn’t fix it, and I believed God could. I was out of options.
I decided at that moment that I did trust Him with all my children. It was either trust Him or go mad with grief and fear.
My first-born’s story has been a testimony to God’s provision. The Lord brought my son home. He went to rehab, he got clean, and now he’s studying to be a missionary with Youth with a Mission.
God’s plan for my son was not my plan for him. My son rejected us and rejected God, but God never rejected him. God wooed him back, pulled him through, and turned him into this amazing, Spirit-filled young man with a burning passion for Christ. None of that would have happened apart from the rebellion that started it all.
So are we failures as parents, because our son landed in rehab? Or, are we good parents, because now he’s walking with God? Or, are we merely imperfect parents, doing our best—all anyone can be asked to do? God knows our faults and shortcomings, and He blessed us with these young people anyway. How they turn out is ultimately in His hands. No matter what happens, I will continue to trust Him with my children.