I recently learned about another young person who took his own life.
Somehow this news never ceases to shock this mama’s heart. If I’m completely honest, I sometimes worry about my own boys. Will they one day feel so hopeless that ending their lives feels like the very best option?
My heart weeps with mamas whose children have taken control of their pain to a devastating end. I get pain. I’ve had times when I—briefly—considered suicide as the best option for ending the pain.
But my boys? In a culture where suicide seems to grow in popularity, will they ever feel so hopeless—so unloved—as to believe the only way to deal with it is to end it all?
The truth is, it’s very possible they’ve already contemplated this option.
How I yearn to make them see that ending their lives is never the way to solve a problem. We’ve talked about this, and at their early-teen/pre-teen ages, they agree with me.
But what about when the emotions overwhelm them? When they get picked on, bullied, one too many times at school? What about when the hormones are raging, and that one evil voice persuades them that suicide the only way to end the pain?
We—all of us—walk in and out of pain through our lives. Most of us decide to persevere through it. Many of us bear the scars, but we also hold to hope tightly enough to walk with a limp on some days.
But what if my boys, or some of their friends, decide walking through the pain isn’t worth it?
This is where I struggle.
This is where God gently reminds me that these children He gave me? They aren’t really mine. They are His gift to Hubby and me. We do our best to raise them well, to teach them about Jesus, to encourage them to fall in love with Him, and to believe that He loves them like crazy.
But they aren’t really ours. We have the privilege of parenting them. Our boys belong to God. They are His possession, His delight, His treasures.
He knows them better than I ever will. God knows the struggles they don’t share with us. He knows the hurts they bear. Children don’t always know how to grapple with the reality that sometimes love releases a child because it has to.
What’s a mama to do with the fear of the What If?
All I can do is this:
- Remember that our boys belong to God first and foremost. They are a gift to Hubby and me. We get to love them, to raise them and to guide them into adulthood, but we don’t get to determine every choice they make.
- Love them with all that I am. I learn so much from each of them, and I seek to love them well. In the end they must choose to embrace the truth that they are loved.
- Pray fervently for them. I can’t control the choices they make. But I can pray for them. God knows how to move in their hearts and their lives in ways I can’t even imagine. And, He is the peace-giver for worried mamas.
- Trust God to guide them, to be what I cannot be for them. He loves our boys even more than I do. I must believe this and trust God to work in those unseen places in their hearts. I must choose to trust that God knows their hearts and works in them.
Does this mean He will keep them from making devastating choices?
Ultimately our guys are going to choose their own paths.
The best things I can do are to make sure they know they are loved and that they know God loves them. I can give them my wisdom, as they accept it. Then I have to come to a place of releasing them. And trusting God to hold us all in the palm of His hand.
What about you? How do you handle the deepest fears of your heart? How do you deal with the fears that leave you feeling helpless?