One parenting thing I’ve never really gotten is that we’re only allowed to say positive things about our kids. Look, I’m not a parenting Grinch but I just find it really irritating how we have to pretend everything is wonderful all the time and our kids are the actual spawn of angels.
I seriously want to update my Facebook status with, “My sweet little Michael managed to get suspended again! We think he’ll grow up to use his giant brain well in the fast food industry!”
Seriously though, I don’t post often about it but we’ve faced many challenges as parents of our oldest child, Michael. Michael is gifted with very high intelligence and he’s a tall, good looking kid (of course, I am his mother so….) but man oh man it’s not been easy. Michael has Aspergers. Michael is extremely stubborn. Michael is very smart but thinks he is smarter than everyone else, including his school principal and every other adult he encounters.
Many, many nights my husband and I have stayed up late just talking like- we don’t know what to do with this kid. We’re doing our best but it isn’t good enough. A lot of hand wringing and calls from the principal and I’ve decided that Jesus is basically the only hope here.
I often pray, “Lord, I need you to get through to him. I need you to touch his heart. We can discipline and talk til we are blue in the face but only you can change his heart.”
I got up early a couple mornings ago, with a sore throat. It as 5:30 so I had plenty of time to pray and I did. I prayed for Michael. That day ended up being a really great one for him. His special ed. teacher actually emailed me with all caps and plenty of exclamation points on what a great day he’d had.
No, it’s not always that startling effective. I’ve been praying for Michael for years and we are still dependent on God daily. Which, of course, isn’t a bad thing.
It’s also a huge relief for me. As parents, we tend to feel this enormous responsibility for how our kids turn out. Which we should, in a way. But there’s only so much we can do. We do our best but there are always so many other factors at play (like, hello- the child’s free will!). Our kids need Jesus. They need us praying for them everyday. They need to know the Word.
Ultimately we are entrusted with these precious gifts but they belong to God.
I thank God that though Michael struggles, I know God is in control. I know God loves him. I know so much more rests in God’s hand than on my shoulders.