I wish my kids would never experience heartache. I wish my kids would never suffer. I wish I could shield my kids from pain and rejection and loneliness. But the reality is, two of my children joined our family because of some of the deepest pain I can imagine. We learned early on that we couldn’t keep pain away.
Kai’s sobs as we walked out of his foster home, Asher’s tears from feeling rejected, Charlie’s cries from struggling with the changes Ella brought to our family, Ella’s weeping when she doesn’t feel safe. I remember it. I see it. But as a mom, I still wish it away.
Most recently, when Kai went through his surgery and hospitalizations, he felt the pain of significant emotional and physical suffering. No matter what I tried, there wasn’t much I could do to make him feel better. I held him for hours, praying, telling him he would be okay, but none of that soothed the depth of his pain. Not only could I not keep him from his pain, I couldn’t make it better either. My heart broke as I so desperately wanted to be enough to fix his hurt. But I was reminded in the days following that, this isn’t about me. None of parenting is about me. In the adoption world, we learn that from day one. Our agencies did such a great job preparing us for this reality. I know in my head that love isn’t enough to remove pain. I have even shared here that our goal isn’t to try to erase hard beginnings. Yet, I felt that desire creep into my heart. I wanted my love and presence to be enough for him. I don’t mean to say that it meant nothing to him. In fact, I think what we experienced together brought healing and strengthened our attachment. But the reality was and is that I am not enough. None of us are enough.
God is the only one who is enough in any and all pain our children experience. There’s no greater one we can trust with the hearts and experiences of our children. Pray for God to protect them from pain and hurt, that’s okay. But also entrust your children to our good and gracious Father. Trust Him with their pain and brokenness and hurt. Humble yourself before the Lord, you are not your child’s god. Only God is God. Watch as God uses the pain we would have wanted them to avoid to bring healing, sensitivity, joy and depth of character that we could never force into being.
Isn’t this the truth in our own lives? Often, times of suffering produce in us the greatest endurance, character, peace and joy. God does the same things in our kids. Don’t shield them from what God wants to use to make His glory and His goodness shine like the sun.