Choosing Obedience (pt 2) with Ps Jenny

Ehan in ICU
Last week I shared about a conversation I was seeking to have with my boy Ethan when he was 6 regarding some of the difficulties I had faced when he was born. Check out part one of this blog here.

For some reason I actually thought it would be up to me to create space for this conversation. Like any relationship, it is important not to just assume opportunities like this will fall in your lap and yet if we seek to control it or make it happen we can end up doing more damage than good. This was not about me nor was it about me trying to fix something. This needed me to simply let the Holy Spirit lead me and trusting him to do what he wanted to do with E. I knew I would need to look for opportunities to initiate such a conversation but at the same time I needed to be aware of the Holy Spirit working things out and making sure I wasn’t forcing something. Margaret had already told us that the next time Ethan was emotional rather than encourage him to get over it quickly and to reassure him, she suggested we let him explore his emotions and give him space to feel them and let that vulnerability create such an opportunity. As a parent we want our kids to feel

Ready to go home.

happy and at peace but at what cost? In the process of comfort and reassurance we can rush past the opportunity for them to process their emotions well. I am so quick to want them to move on and get over whatever it is they are dealing with that I can miss what is going on in their heart.

Just two weeks later (way earlier than I had expected it to happen), we were up in Echuca and Ethan had been outside playing tennis with Steve and Brooke. For some reason he came inside and the others were still outside. He was extremely teary and upset but irrational. This was the behaviour we were concerned about so I was aware this may be my opportunity. I needed to take my time and create space so that is what I did. Right there I could have encouraged him to wipe his eyes and head back outside to play but I chose a new path. I can’t remember how the conversation started but I was intentional in leading into telling him his story. Ethan has always loved hearing about his story. Each child’s birth is rich with wonder and love of our creator God and E as always had a heap of questions but this was different. I began to let him explore our side of the story and what we had gone through to have him and how that had effected us. I had never really shared about my emotions and what Steve and I had felt when everything went wrong. I also let him explore what he would have felt when everything went wrong. I shared at length the stress and concern we had had for him and how people were praying for him.

What shook me the most about this conversation is that Ethan began to weep. Not just a few tears but deep sobs. Within minutes we were both blubbering. The part I loved the most was when I got to say sorry. How often do we say sorry for the things we never intentionally did to hurt wound, or burden another. We had never intended for him to feel our pain and worry and it was never God’s intentions for him to carry the concern and weight of emotions that he had on that day and had been carrying ever since. Here was an amazing opportunity for Ethan to forgive us for what we hadn’t been able to do for him. This simple story of forgiveness showed Ethan how easy it is to forgive others and also how important it is to be sorry when he unintentially hurts others. As he willingly forgave us he cried for 40 minutes. I know there was a deep work of God that took place in Ethan that day that I could never have done on my own. The Holy Spirit used that conversation to help unlock Ethan emotionally and give him a key to freedom. I realised that I had taught him the power of forgiveness by being humble enough to ask for it.

The effect on Ethan’s behaviour was profound. His emotions found balance almost immediately and his behaviour was so much more what we knew to be our boy. I love that we both learnt that day how important it is to provide someone with the opportunity to forgive. He had no idea he needed to forgive us for stuff. My willingness to show humility and obedience provided space for him to experience God in a way he never had before. So often our issues of un-forgiveness are for the things others have neglected to be or do, for the disappointment they have caused unintentionally rather than the things they have done intentionally. I wish I had learnt how to forgive and deal with disappointment at such a young age.

Let humility and obedience lead you. It could lead to you to freedom and even better…to someone else’sfreedom.


3 thoughts on “Choosing Obedience (pt 2) with Ps Jenny

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  1. One of the hardest things to do is to admit to our children our mistakes. thanks for sharing such a heartfelt honest story with us, jenny. it is also against the grain to see her children suffer emotionally, to be sad or angry. so true that we just want our children to be on an even keel. but we do have to express those feelings and sometimes feel the pain to work toward healing. how great is our God and his Comforter who leads us through these special times., heather

  2. Poignant and a beautiful outcome with lasting perspectives. Thanks Jenny and thank God our Father who provides us the opportunities to use those kingdom tools of love, trust, humility, obedience and forgiveness.

  3. Thank you Jenny for sharing your parenting through the Holy Spirit with me as even as the mother of adult children who has apologised for past actions that I know were negative for my children, I still when they are in pain want to fix it and if there are tears feel that I am not doing something right.

    I ask the Holy Spirit to enter my heart to not try and fix things but to listen not just hear and to say I don’t have all the answers for my own life without God so how could I possibly know what’s right for you. As a mother I don’t have to have all the answers even though at times I put this pressure on myself. I can ask God for the right words, the right decisions and the right time to act upon these.

    I have learnt that when I stopped my son from being afraid, sad or what society perceived as negative emotions for a boy that he would learn to change these feelings into something that was acceptable – false happiness or anger. I also learnt that when I stopped my daughter from being angry but sad and fearful were ok that I stopped her developing emotions that were a gift from God. I think that tears are a way that God’s lets us know we need comfort. Not necessarily from others but at times from ourselves. People say to me that I am lucky that I am able to express my emotions through tears and yet I see sometimes as childish and a harshness within says “stop being so childish”. My Heavenly Father never said stop crying or I will give you something to cry for. My Heavenly Father says my child I have given you these tears on this day to help you grow and discover what is inside your heart and help you heal. Today as I write this I can accept the tears that fall from my eyes and know that I am loved.

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