Tonight my son broke my heart–not because he was mean or did something hurtful, but because his heart was hurting.
It has been two months since our moving truck and minivan pulled out of the farm driveway for the last time. We left those we love, those who know us well, and what we were most comfortable doing. My husband and I knew and believed that God was drawing us to our new life in Nebraska. We have been blessed in untold ways since we stepped out in faith.
Our oldest son was well established at his old high school; surrounded by good friends, involved in sports, clubs, etc. and now he is struggling. He is sad, silent, and even angry. Tonight he broke down. I sat with him on the couch in silence, allowing him to just hurt and “let it out” without trying to fix it or dismiss it.
My heart knows that in time he will see the good things about this move, but right now he is still hanging on to what we left behind. I am left with the hard position of hurting with him and for him, but knowing that sending him back to live with extended family or saying, “Gosh, this was a mistake, let’s all move back,” isn’t the right decision either.
Instead, I put my arms around him and prayed that God would meet him in his hurt. I prayed for my son to turn to God and allow Him in as well.
Sometimes the hardest thing a parent can do is listen, allowing the child to feel the hurt, but not let the child be alone in the hurt. I sat awhile thinking about God and how He sits with us in our hurt. There are times God takes the hurt away, but in my experience, He most often sits with me in my hurt. It’s as if God knows that my hurt has a bigger purpose. Much like bad-tasting medicine is needed to bring relief, so too, the pain brings the growth that is needed.
After a while, my son wiped his cheeks and got ready for bed. I let him know I was praying for him and that others were too. I also told him that I’d be glad to listen or to arrange a meeting with someone else so he could talk about how he is feeling.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 is where I am camping out tonight. My heart hurts, but I know that God heals. That is my prayer for my son. It is my prayer for others who are in pain now, too.