NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR THAT CHILD
3 minute read
“Mrs. Goforth, this is officer Joy. We have your son in the back of our squad car....”
I thought it was a prank call.
At the time I didn’t realize our town had an officer with the last name “Joy”. I started laughing, until he cut me off to tell me what my son had been up to~
jumping off a barge into the Pigeon River. Apparently he had gotten permission to do so earlier in the day, but he had NOT gotten permission to go back at night with his friends.
This wasn’t the first time Michael had “befriended” the police.
*A few years earlier he climbed on top of our shed and shot a BB gun toward some trouble makers on Devil’s night. He thought he was protecting us. The police were knocking on our door a few minutes later. He was 7.
*On a family trip, he left a convenience store at 9pm because he couldn’t find us. He started walking toward the highway and the police picked him up. He was 9.
*He rode a moped on his senior trip without a helmet. The police stopped him, despite his protests that everyone else was doing it.
*He snuck out at night and put an 8’ fiberglass rabbit in the middle of Main Street. A police chase ensued. Tasers were involved and the trouble makers ran into our church to hide out. (Yes, my husband is the pastor of that church).
None of these things were terrible, life altering mistakes.
They began in innocence.
Slowly mischief was added, a little bit at a time and each time, my heart was pricked a little more.
Our children’s actions can do that to us. And then, as mothers we worry. I was worried I was a terrible mother and I was worried about the direction my son seemed to be heading.
When you write a weekly blog that all your children read, when you live in a small town and all those children live in that same town AND grew up in that same town, it makes it difficult to share past experiences and heartache you may have gone through in raising said children. At the same time I cannot pretend our life was a wonderful bed of roses, or that we were perfect parents and they were perfect children.
I wasn’t. They weren’t.
I had struggles and heart ache just like every other parent. This mom had more sleepless nights~filled with tears~than she cares to recall.
But God is faithful.
That isn’t cliche. It isn’t a cute phrase.
It’s a truth I know from the depths of my heart, and have witnessed in each of their lives.
The very first time we were called into the school office due to my son’s misbehavior, my mama heart wanted to blame everyone else. The teacher for not controlling her class, and the mischievous little boys he was interacting with. But that day God showed me that Michael wasn’t sweet and innocent either. He played just as much a part as the other boys involved, and this mom began praying even harder.
I prayed specific prayers. I begged God to watch over my children and help them make Godly choices. I asked God ALL DAY LONG to keep His angels around my babies like a fortress, and to hold them under the shadow of His wings.
So, from the moment I started praying earnestly on Michael’s behalf did his life dramatically change? Did he become the perfect little boy who grew into the Godly preacher he is today?
Obviously, after reading the beginning of this story you know the answer~he did not.
But, this mom never gave up on begging God and to this day, even though they are grown and married~ she’s still begging.
Don’t ever stop going to God on your children’s behalf. Jesus Himself goes to God our Father on our behalf. If Christ, our ultimate example, does that for me~ then I will continue to do that for my own children until my last breath.
Don’t give up mom. No matter how discouraging their choices and actions might be~Wait on the Lord. God is faithful. If you will keep asking~ He will answer and in time it will be true joy, and not an officer, calling to your heart.
John 16:24- ...ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Psalm 27:14- Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 91:4,11, Psalm 34:7, Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 1:14