It was a normal Saturday. Our teens were out doing their thing as my husband and I focused on house stuff – well and Netflix too. A great relaxing day. Then I texted one of my kids. Just checking in, mom stuff – you know. No answer. I brushed it off, no big deal.
Four hours later, I texted again. Still no answer. Another hour later – still no answer. That’s it – that was all my imagination needed to get off to the races. My anxiety started to rise. My heartbeat increased. My mind was going a thousand miles an hour.
What it they were kidnapped?
What if someone did something to them?
What if they are hurt and can’t call me?
What if they don’t want to talk to me?
What if they got a ticket and are in jail?
What if they are dead somewhere on the side of the road and can’t call?
Yeah, you know.
“Mom-xiety – when you don’t know what is going on and you panic.” – Diana Rasmussen
I busied myself most of the day. Then went to try to go to sleep. Texted again, still no answer. Well that was it – I was off to the races again. I couldn’t fall asleep. The pictures in my mind kept getting worse and worse.
Why do we always think the worst?
I was up every 2 hours last night, checking my phone. Not wanting to make a big deal, I didn’t call them or their friends. I thought about it though.
I could have hunted them down like an animal. I could have gotten in my car and went and made a fool of myself, I didn’t. I stayed home and worried. Yeah I prayed – “God you take care of them, so I don’t kill them for not getting back to me.”
I woke up early Sunday morning, 5:00 am. By 5:30 am I couldn’t take it anymore. I texted their friend. Still no answer. I was pacing the floor by this point. This Mom-xiety is awful! I hate that feeling of being out of control and not knowing what is going on. That’s the truth.
It was about 7 when I got a text from my child. All was well. They had gone boating and had not brought their phone. I didn’t know wheter to laugh or cry from releif! I didn’t lose it and bite their head off. They were out living life and having fun, and being responsible. I was the nutcase yesterday.
Some days I have it together, and other days I just lose it. I wish I wasn’t so up and down. Anxiety sucks. Yeah, I take meds. Yeah, I pray. But when your heart is pounding out of your chest and your brian is a tornado and you can’t breath – then what?
Do I have faith. Yes I do. Somedays, I guess I just forget to use it.
After working at the local High School this past year I was amazed at the number of fatherless children. Kids who didn’t ask to be left – it was thrust upon them by the poor choice of a man. In many cases the Dad had either left, was addicted to drugs or alcohol, was in jail, or had died.
1. 23.6% of US children (17.4 million) lived in father absent homes in 2014.
[US Census Bureau, 2015] Living arrangements of children under 18 years and marital status of parents, by age, sex, race, and hispanic origin and selected characteristics of the child for all children: 2014. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau.
2. In 2011, children living in female-headed homes with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6%. This is over four times the rate for children living in married couple families.
[Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). Information on poverty and income statistics: A summary of 2012 current population survey data. Retrieved from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.cfm]
Mom did her best to provide and protect. But speaking from experience, it’s not the same. We Moms get tired. Our incomes drop significantly. We live in poverty now. We work multiple jobs at multiple places just to make ends meet. Often the Dad leaves the picture – regardless of what the Court says. Yeah that child support he is supposed to pay – don’t count on it. Most fathers don’t pay. We blame ourselves for being so ”stupid”. We lost our homes, our marriages, and our self respect. Often women are totally responsible from that day forward for everything. Totally not fair – to the kids or the mom.
Some of us get lucky and get remarried. An understanding stepparent can make a positive influence in a child’s life – if they and the kids are open to it. Often we women do learn from our ‘mistakes’ so as not to repeat the same pattern. Life can and does get better with time. But having a blended family may bring its own set of challenges with it.
Regardless, we have a whole generation of children growing up as orphans. They feel unwanted, unworthy, and unloved. They feel it’s their fault that it happened. They think they could have changed it. They often give up on love, on life, and on themselves.
The effects of fatherlessness upon a child can include:
Loss of self esteem
Loss of respect for themselves and others
Increased anxiety and depression
Acting out including fighting, defiance, and rude behaviors
Loss of moral compass
Early alcohol or drug abuse
Overly promiscuous and early sexual involvement
Overly sensitive to rejection
Overly dramatic or super withdrawn
Possible suicidal tendencies
I have heard many stories from many teens out there. It takes its toll on them. Even though they had nothing to do with it, they may feel it is there fault. It is not. It was the Dad that made the bad choice to abandon his family. In the Army they used to shoot Deserters. Let us as the Family of God ‘adopt’ the fatherless. They need things. Let us show up with our checkbooks along with our prayers. Let us, the Body of Christ, heal the brokenhearted. They need us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I have found there is only one way to heal the hurt – Jesus. As I have come to know the Lord he has shown me real love – not sex. He has shown me unconditional love. The Lord has continually provided for me and my kids. He has never left me, even when others have. He has been faithful to me when others have not been. He has healed the hurt that was in my heart. He will do it for you too. God promised to adopt us into his family when we admit our sin – our trying to live life without Him, and turn to Him.
My Prayer for the Fatherless Children:
I pray for all of the fatherless children in this world and their moms who are trying to keep it together. Lord, shine a light in their hearts and cover them with your love. Heal their brokenness. Give them supernatural provision. Let them come to know You and how you have adopted them into your family. Let them know they are loved, wanted, respected, and cherished. Give them a new name and a new identity, in Jesus Name.
God’s Word for the Fatherless:
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless,
a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. – Psalm 68:3-6 NIV
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” 1John 3:1-2
My heart skipped a beat as I thought of what I could say
To take away the pain that brought you to that place
How I wish I could change the things that you’ve been through
I’m here today to sit and listen if you choose to share
I remember what it felt like
To be the girl with the scars
You are in my prayers each and every day
I ask God to shine His light
upon the darkness of your heart
Your story is not over
Things will change with a new start
I have carried you to Jesus
with my prayers to heal your heart
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5: 16-21 NIV
It’s the Holiday season. And not everyone is happy about it. Our teens struggle with this ever changing world and the pressures of life. And the internet is not always helpful when you add in teen hormones. Time and time again our children get bullied online. As a parent it is hard to keep up sometimes. They know of more apps than we even thought of. They can Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and all those that ‘disappear’ after the message is sent. So much online activity without us even knowing. And let’s face it, some kids are ruthless with their words.
Recently in our small town of 5000 we have had 2 students die. They have had grief counselors at the High School to talk about suicide. It breaks my heart that this happens. To be 19 years old and just give up hope and check out. Help us see Lord those kids that need help. Open our eyes and let us bring light into the darkness. we need to start talking about it. Too many kids are dying. Join me in praying for our teens today, wherever they are.
Here are some astounding facts about teens and suicide. According to the Jason Foundation:
Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2013 CDC WISQARS)
Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18. (2013 CDC WISQARS)
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED
Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs