If you’re concerned for your struggling teen

When our oldest son turned thirteen we wanted to do something special for him – something that would help him see himself through God’s eyes of love and mercy. So we asked a group of men, who know our son well, to write him a letter. We asked that they do two things.  First, we asked them to share what they see in him. We wanted them to speak words of life over our son. And we also asked them to share their wisdom about what God has taught them through both failure and success, and how life works best.

Our guy turned thirteen back in September. That was seven months ago. And most of the men sent their letters by his birthday. We were able to put together a black leather journal full of the most extraordinary letters. I was blown away by the way these men showed up for our son.  Grandfathers, uncles, cousins, mentors, youth workers, and close family friends wrote letters that took my breath away. On the hard days, this journal is something I will offer our son and ask him to just read one or two of the notes for encouragement.

But here’s the coolest part of the story. There was one family friend who hadn’t sent his letter. We knew how much this friend loved our son but he was waiting until the right time when he felt he had the right words to share with our son. Well, about two weeks ago that letter showed up in the mail. This family friend didn’t give us a head’s up. He just sent it.  And to say that it arrived on an important day in our son’s life would be an understatement.

Read this: Dear Mom and Dad: Don’t be a bystander 

I believe this is how God works. God is in the details. The smallest details. He knows us so intimately and He is so personal with us. God knew the exact words my son would need to read, on the precise day he would need to read them. And God came through for my son, just like He always does. And I am so grateful for this family friend who followed God’s nudge and wrote that letter when he did. God is in the details. The smallest details. He knows us so intimately and He is so personal with us. 

One of the hardest things for me, as a mom, is trusting that God not only knows what’s best for my kids but trusting that He will come through for them. I am so tempted to ask God to hand over the pen so I can write my child’s story. I foolishly think I know what’s best for them. And I want to write a happy story that will shield them from hardships and suffering- even though I know that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

My friend, I may not know what you’re up against this week. I don’t know what valleys you and your child might be walking through, but I am learning, over and over again, that we have a faithful and good God who will not fail our children. And He is inviting us to live in remembrance of who He is and what He is fully capable of accomplishing in the lives of our kids.

If circumstances suggest that God has laid down the pen on writing a beautiful story for your kids, and you’re eager to pick that pen up and finish the story, remember that “He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it.” (Phil 1:6) He is sovereign. He loves our children – which are ultimately HIS children- far more than we will ever comprehend. “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:28)

In light of this Good News, will you join me in rehearsing this truth this week: I can trust God with the children He has entrusted to me.

Now read this: One thing that will increase your success as a parent 

This post originally appeared on JeannieCunnion.com and was republished with permission. 

Jeannie Cunnion is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child and Mom Set Free, and a frequent speaker at women’s conferences and parenting events around the country. Her passion is encouraging women to live in the freedom for which Christ has set us free – a message her own heart needs to be reminded of daily. Jeannie and her husband Mike have four boys who range from teenager to toddler.


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