My heart was encouraged by today’s guest blog post, and I hope yours will be too! Leslie McLeod is an artist and co-owner of a tech company with her husband. She has two grown children and shares with us today on how to help your hurting child. Please check out the links below to connect with Leslie.
Mark 9:23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
It started when she was in first grade and her teacher tried to help our daughter hold it together in a classroom full of boisterous, noisy children. In junior high, she began missing class when the migraines would come on. Within a few years, her extreme sensitivity had made her world a source of throbbing, unrelenting pain, leading to depression, withdrawal, and a flourishing fantasy life where she could feel safe and in control.
My daughter loved us and loved Jesus. But she lacked the coping skills to navigate a life that was too much: sounds too loud, lights too bright, emotional energy from the people around her too invasive.
At times, she experienced pain that was almost physical in its acuity, doubling over, crying out for relief. I didn’t understand what was hurting her; I didn’t know how to help. All I could do was hold her and pray until it gradually subsided.
When your child is suffering, whether physically or emotionally, you would do anything to take that burden from her and place it on your own shoulders.
You beg God to intervene, to fix the problem. Sometimes, He does. Sometimes, in the mystery of His love, the answer is “no” or “not yet.”
Have you experienced that kind of heartbreak?
In the books of Matthew and Mark, we read of a desperate father who watched his son being tormented by a particularly vicious kind of demon since he was a little boy, thrown into the flames and into the water with seizures—unable to speak and now covered with scars. The father heard about Jesus’ miracles and brought the boy, but the Healer was away. The disciples were unable to help, and when Jesus returned, were in a heated argument with the teachers of the law.
In His kindness, He asked the father about his boy, who responded, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” Did you notice that? “Help us,” said the man. Not just the boy: the parent, too, was suffering.
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” And the man confessed “I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief.”
In other words, I trust You; please help strengthen my weak faith.
Silenced by their own weak faith, the disciples stood by as Jesus banished the demon with a word, rescuing the boy and rescuing the dad at the same time.
What we believe about Jesus—what we really believe—comes to the forefront when we are wrestling with our child’s pain.
Do we try the worldly solutions and then come to Him when all else fails? Do we beg and barter? Do we become angry, demanding why, accusing Him of being incapable or uncaring?
Or do we crumple up at the foot of the cross and give our beloved child to the One who suffered to show the depths of His love? Can we trust and believe that the God who created her understands her need, understands our tears, and holds them in the palm of His wounded hand? If not, we can whisper the
prayer that He promises to answer: help me in my unbelief, Lord.
However He decides to act, we can rest in the knowledge that the Almighty God who sees each struggling sparrow also loves and holds us close. He created our child with intention and delight—what better way can we help than by living out our faith in Him?
About the Author
Living near the Southern California coast, Leslie’s artistic leanings balance her role as co-owner of a tech company with her husband. She picks up her pen again after a hiatus to raise their two children and develop a passion for painting. Having lost her parents a few years ago, she is writing a book to help other women walk through that painful season without the added burden of unresolved relational regret. Leslie also writes articles, poetry, and a blog. She loves to share the voice of her soul’s Beloved.
You can connect with Leslie on her website at www.lamcleod.com
Or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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