By: Cynthia Yanof
I’ve been praying the last few days about what the Lord would have me write this week. How he would want me to write words that have meaning, not just words for the sake of words. There’s no shortage of articles published each day. I’ve prayed that our words at Christian Parenting will be useful and impactful, not just accessible.
Parenting is a huge blessing filled with joy like no other. But there are times when it’s also really, really tough. I have been reminded of this the last few days.
I got a call from someone yesterday asking me for a suggestion on a counselor for her son. She ended our call thanking me and saying the walk can be lonely when your kids are struggling.
I had a friend call me today in tears with concerns about the future of her child and overwhelmed with what the days to come might bring. Having no answers, I just cried with her for a few minutes and then we prayed together.
Even as I glanced at Facebook a few minutes ago, I saw a post by a friend talking about ADHD and how this diagnosis sometimes leaves her daughter misunderstood.
Wherever you are today in your parenting journey, you have hope. Maybe things are going well and your kids are plugging along with no major glitches. Awesome! But maybe you’re struggling like my friends the last few days, and you feel lonely or isolated.
We want you to be encouraged wherever you are on the road because the Lord has placed each of us intentionally on this journey and he is faithful to walk us through it.
I have a sign in my office that says, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.” It’s a reference based on the story of Esther, and specifically Esther 4:14. (You totally need to read the whole chapter if you don’t remember the story.) Basically, Mordecai challenges Esther to do something brave and dangerous, knowing the Lord very likely created her for that time. Arguably, Esther’s whole life’s purpose came down to a single moment, changing the course of her people for all eternity.
This sign speaks to me because it’s a reminder I’m here at this time, this day, this year, this culture—for a reason. I’m not here by chance. I was created for now! God’s purpose and plans are for me today! And obedience to any single God-given mission can change the course of my life and that of my family.
The same goes for you.
The Lord could have spoken us into existence at any time in the history of man. But he chose now. He could have placed us in any country, any family unit, with any kids—but he chose your people. Why? Because he knows we can do it with him. We are equipped and capable in parenting, in marriage, in ministry, and anywhere in our lives where we have given the Lord authority.
Every time I look at this sign, I’m challenged not to waste a minute. If we lived our lives truly believing that we were created for this exact moment, how would our thinking change? How would you live differently? How would you parent differently? How would you relate to those around you differently?
Don’t give up in the hard places with your kids, thinking it’s too late for a different outcome. Don’t look at the culture and throw up your hands, thinking it’s useless trying to make a difference. Be confident even if you are facing uncertainty or some potentially dark days. Remember that the Lord has strategically placed us where we are with great purpose and his perfect timing.
He knows we have the potential to make an Esther-sized difference in the lives of our families and those around us.
Parenting can be hard. Be willing to walk the road with others struggling. Lose the need to have everything look perfect and instead show compassion and empathy. Be relentless in loving those around you so that nobody feels lonely or isolated on your watch.
We may not be called to full-time vocational ministry, but the Lord has us here to minister to others. Jesus spent his early ministry serving others and being obedient as he went about his days. He didn’t set aside a week in the spring to do his mission work. Or deem every Saturday service day. He went about his days meeting the needs of those people he came into contact with, faithfully.
Most importantly, be encouraged even in the hard places each day, knowing that “perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.”