Writing this blog has proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated. Parenting a prodigal child is one of the most painful, yet God-drawing experiences you can have. On the one side you have the heartache of a child running from their faith and making choices that are against everything you’ve ever taught. Yet on the other side you have the nearness of God, as you cling to the only One who truly gets it…who understands your fears and collects all of your tears.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. (Psalm 73:25).
He is all we have when we’re at the end of our rope. When we’re at the end of ourselves. When we’re at the end of hope. It’s a place you don’t want to be—just because of the circumstances—yet it’s the very place you yearn for because the connection is so intimate. Who else can relate to the love a parent has for a child than God the Father?
We’ve run from our heavenly Father. We’ve made choices that have grieved Him. He has longed to see us return. He has earnestly sought us. Yes, He truly does get the pain of parenting a prodigal child.
So what does one do with that pain? We can hold onto it. However, I will tell you that the pain doesn’t lessen. It grows, leading to other issues…such as anger, depression and bitterness. But when you release it, the pain dulls. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t ever truly go away. It’s hard to not hurt when your child is following the ways of this world. Yet you somehow find peace in the midst of pain. You find rest. You find grace.
Releasing the pain is freeing—as if prison doors have been opened and chains have been broken. Yet this can only happen when we release our pain to God the Father. The One who created your child and longs even more than we do to see him return.