I wanted to create a protected world for my children. Don’t most mothers? It goes with the territory.
I did for awhile. The church we were attending had strong family values. It was a wonderful world that was truly sheltered in many ways. This isn’t a bad thing, when you are raising a family with a community rich in relationships. But ultimately, life hits.
And it did.
One lovely summer evening, my husband and 6 children were situated around the table, waiting for a steamy plate of home-made spaghetti. It was a scene I had always cherished – providing a meal and seeing the happy faces. A knock came at the door interrupting our dinner and ultimately, interrupting our lives for several years. We were being sued regarding a business decision and the months ensuing brought a cloud of discouragement upon my family. We didn’t have a clue such a thing would ever happen.
The months ahead placed me in unknown territory. I had to become strong for my children. I had to lead them by example. My faith would be put to the test of what it meant to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and pray for those who treated you unjustly.
Kids are resilient. Just as they get skinned knees when learning to ride a bike, they will get skinned hearts. Fixing a knee is quick and easy. Fixing a broken heart isn’t. But a kiss on that “boo boo” works for both.
Typically, moms are equipped to administer comfort to their children. There are times to seek professional help, depending on the circumstances. But it’s pretty amazing, the God-given ability moms (and dads) have with their children.
As my children watched my response, they followed my example. How we speak about our painful situations is everything. I am not suggesting we should hide our feelings of anger, sadness, disappointment, or frustration. Those feelings should be shared if appropriate, but where you go from there can make or break a situation. Even though it would be 10 years before resolution came with the family members involved, our home learned to endure the pain with integrity.
Don’t second-guess yourself in what you are capable of doing in helping your children through pain. Take heart in knowing you have what it takes to help them find their way.