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Parental Sanity

March 22, 20246 min read

Parental Sanity

Maintaining your peace and spiritual health in the midst of the battles.

Raising a traumatized child is DIFFICULT!  It is emotionally, spiritually, and physically taxing. One mom told me how the experience made her feel like she now suffers from PTSD! I certainly have found myself curled up in the fetal position, shell-shocked, upon occasion as I’ve been raising my traumatized kids.

Raising a troubled child is a unique experience, and our society generally does not understand this and pours lots of judgment on parents.  We often heap lots of judgments on ourselves.  These kids know how to push buttons you never knew you had!  I often tell people that I thought I was a nice person until I adopted a traumatized child.  All kinds of ugliness came out of me!  Society’s judgments and our own insecurities and fears can cause us to isolate.  This is so damaging to families!  It is therefore very helpful to find a group of parents going through the same thing.  If you’re a foster/adopt parent, there are usually groups available for that.  Also many churches have small groups and/or a parenting ministry.  Whatever you do, don’t give in to isolating.  This is the enemy’s tactic - trying to get a sheep separated from the herd so it is easier to pick off. 

As parents, we need to “put the air mask on first” - before we can effectively help our children. If you are stressed, feeling bad about yourself, etc., your child will pick up on that.  Conversely, if you KNOW you are washed by the Blood of Jesus, and completely LOVED by Him, you will pass that on to your child as well.

I offer up some of the things that have worked for me to help sustain me through my most difficult times with my children.  These are techniques the Lord taught me, and they are suited to my personality. My highest recommendation always is to seek the Lord yourself and He will give you the help you need. Nevertheless, I hope these examples will inspire and help you.

Meditate on Psalms 23 and 91. He will give you rest.  He will restore your soul.  He will protect you.  He will guide you.  He will cause you to trample scorpions and snakes.  Like with our prayers for the children, “His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” So again, meditate on the promises He has given you personally.  The end of Psalm 23 says that “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”   We use the expression, “don’t dwell on that.”  This speaks to what we think about.  What you think about is where you live!  Live in the House of the Lord.  Dwell on Him, receive His thoughts.  Of course it’s ideal to have solitude to do this, but often as parents of troubled kids, we don’t get much of that.  It’s therefore important to learn to DWELL in the House of the Lord - even throughout your day and what can seem like chaos.  One of the leaders in Graham Cooke’s ministry says that she learned to say, “Holy Spirit, steady my heart, quiet my thoughts, so that I can get Your perspective on this” whenever difficult situations arose. I am trying to learn that habit as well.

Delight yourself in the Lord.  Take time every day to just unhook from the problems and focus on the Lord’s delight in you. There are a surprising number of Scriptures that talk about God’s delight in us!  Zeph 3:17 is one of my favorites.  I also focus on Song of Solomon - “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.  His desire is for me.”  And Isaiah 43:4b “You are precious in My sight.  You are honored, and I love you.”  Use these, or find other verses about His love for you (and delight in you) that speak to you, and spend time reciting them, meditating on them, delighting in them! (I often do this when I can’t sleep and it is usually very effective for me.  I sleep well and wake up in a good mood). Remember that God not only loves you, He also LIKES you!  I want to point out that often when I’m in a bad place (worried or angry or in despair), I don’t necessarily feel like God loves me, or likes me, as the case may be, but as I meditate on these verses, the reality of His Love and delight in me begins to take root in my soul and overcome the other negative emotions.  Don’t give up!

NO condemnation!  The famous verse on this is Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”  Hallelujah!  Lately I’ve been meditating on Colossians 1:15-22 especially 20-22,

 “…and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself.  He made peace with everything in Heaven and on Earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.  This includes you who were once far away from God.  You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions.  Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body.  As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.”

Meditate on that!  When you feel like a failure as a parent or as a human being in general, picture yourself standing in Abba Father’s presence, washed by the Blood of Jesus, holy and blameless,  This is what God’s Word says we are!  Combat the lies of the Enemy with that!

Praying Medic’s “Emotional Healing in 3 Easy Steps”. I find this technique both simple and effective for parents and children (if the child will participate in it).  These are:

1) Identify the painful emotion associated with a particular event (memory).

a) If the emotion is sinful [ie rage, jealousy, lust, etc], ask God to forgive you and receive His forgiveness.

2) Ask Jesus to take the painful emotion from you. [I usually act this out prophetically - ie hold my hands out and make the motions of giving it to Him].

3) Ask Him to heal the wound in your soul caused by it. [Often this includes receiving the positive opposite - ie. peace instead of anxiety, joy instead of sadness, etc.]

I love the simplicity of this.  I find I am often able to do this by myself, as painful things come to my mind, and that is effective.  Sometimes an issue is tougher though, in which case it is helpful to have someone do it with you. 

(Note - I highly recommend purchasing the little booklet, “Emotional Healing in 3 Easy Steps”, by Praying Medic.  It’s a quick, easy read, and so helpful!).

Blessing Your Spirit. These audio clips by Arthur Burk are free and I find them to indeed be a blessing to me.  I have them on my phone, so I am able to listen to them while I’m driving, for example. I know some women who listen to them while they sleep. (Dads - There are also Blessing Your Spirit for Sons available).

Receive Personal Inner Healing/Deliverance Session for yourself.  If your church does not offer this ministry, here are a couple of them online that are free:  

Christian Healing Ministries UPDATE - they are not offering online appointments at this time. In-person (Florida) appointments still available.

Orbis Ministries

Lorraine Martinson

Christ-follower, Married mother of 3 children, 2 of whom were adopted from foster care, with passion for the younger generation to come into healing and fullness.

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