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The Blessing of Raising a Difficult Child

By Sarah Ann from Faith Along the Way

As a veteran teacher, I just knew I would never parent the out-of-control child.  An expert at parenting before I was even a mom, I admit I was smug in my ability to raise children who were obedient, good citizens and who loved the Lord.

Boy, did God have other plans for me.

Now officially raising two children with special needs (Bubs was recently diagnosed with emotional issues), parenthood has not been the walk in the park I envisioned.

Our day to day life resembles chaos, and I never know who’s headed for a meltdown or when angry child cries will pierce the peace my soul craves.

I’ve spent a lot of recent days in tears, on my knees, and searching for strategies that will calm their anxious hearts {and mine!}.

Yet despite the chaos of our everyday lives, there are blessings of raising a difficult child that I would miss if I stayed paralyzed by our situation.

The Blessing of Raising a Difficult Child

The blessing of a deeper relationship with the Lord

Raising a difficult child can bring a mom to her knees, and have her seek comfort from the Lord in a new way.

The constant wrestling with wild behavior makes a heavy heart yearn for God’s peace.

The frustration of managing a child who’s out of control makes a woman beg the Lord for self-control and the ability to lavish grace on even the most stubborn heart.

The longing for wisdom spurs on the soul who is listening to God’s prompting and praying for direction.

As hard as those troubled moments can be, seeking God’s Word for wisdom will bring a person to a deeper relationship with the Lord.

God’s promises will dance off the page of Scripture and become alive with meaning in your life.

You’ll yearn for His presence in everyday moments and desire for Him to grow you in new ways.

You won’t settle for typical, earthly reactions to your child, but will be motivated to model the commands of God; self-control, patience, goodness, and kindness despite challenges and troubles.

And when those difficult days are more than your human heart can handle, God will be with you in the darkness as you wrestle with life and will comfort your brokenness.

Through the tears and the pain, you’ll see God refine you, repair you, and restore your character to mirror His love and mercy.

The blessing of true humility

Life for a mom of a difficult child can be hard.

There’s judgement around every corner; in the grocery store as he tantrums for a cookie, at school when she’s not academically on par, and at a birthday party when a child misbehaves.

Yet as much as that judgement scars, after awhile the sting fades, and a humble and contrite spirit begins to blossom.

Gone is the need to impress on social media with the latest family photo shoot.

Gone is the need to keep up with the neighbors and pretend your family has it all together.

Gone is the need to live vicariously through your children’s sports and accomplishments.

Instead, a fragile, humble heart awakens from slumber and finally sees the true meaning of life.

It’s then that a heart can be truly focused on what’s important, and the desire to put up smoke and mirrors for others fades.

You’ll find beauty in life’s simple pleasures; family, friends, and living with purpose for the One True God.

You’ll discover joy as your child makes progress on a skill that peers mastered years ago.

You’ll learn how to unconditionally love a child, despite struggles and issues.

And somewhere along the way, you’ll find that although your place in the world looks a little different than you ever imagined, there is beauty in this existence, too.

Blessing of Raising a Difficult Child

The blessing of community

It’s true that when the hard times come, you find out who your friends are and the character of those you thought you knew.

Friends may scatter like ashes; unwilling or unable to be sensitive to the needs of your difficult child.

Who’s left surrounding you once the dust of life settles, are your true friends, and community is such a blessing for both child and parent.

You appreciate those who accept your child as they are and are there to offer support when you need a pillar of strength.

You embrace those who invite your difficult child to parties and who love them unconditionally for who they are.

You are thankful for those true friends who model the love of Jesus and you vow to love others the same way.

While parenting the difficult child can be a bumpy ride filled with peaks and valleys, there is beauty on this scenic drive through life.  May you allow the King of Kings to guide your parenting journey with strength, courage, and peace, so you don’t miss the special ride He has planned for you.

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