I remember the evening we sat down with our four kids to tell them I had been diagnosed with cancer. The kids were scared. Steve was scared and quite frankly, I was scared! I remember praying silently, Lord, how do I model calm for my kids in this? How do I give them a sense that everything is going to be fine, when I’m not sure myself?
The answer I felt the Lord gave me was that the place where I would fight for my kids most effectively was on my knees. I couldn’t fake courage when I had none. I couldn’t fake sure answers when nothing felt sure. I had to take every worry and concern to prayer. On my knees, I learned to praise God that even in the crisis He would provide the calm my kids needed. During that season the Lord gave me three pictures of His character that provided deep comfort for me and ultimately for my kids.
God would be my kids’ refuge. (Psalm 46:1) A refuge is a place of protection. Visualizing, God as my kids’ refuge not only brought me peace but it gave focus to my prayers. As I praised God that He would be my kids’ protection, calm replaced the chaotic noise of anxiety in my soul. I realized that God was big enough to protect my kids from growing up without a Mom. And, if He did allow me to die He would protect and care for them. I prayed that my kids would really internalize the concept of God being their refuge and that they would begin to press into God for protection when they felt afraid. Gradually, God answered my prayers.
God would be my kids’ shelter. (Psalm 61:4) During seasons of chaos and crisis kids need a safe space where they can enjoy shelter from the emotional storm. As I began to praise God that He would be my kids’ shelter from the storm of cancer, I realized that I needed to try to keep our home as a sheltering space. Honestly, that was not always easy and I didn’t always succeed. Steve and I had many conversations about trying to keep the space of our home as “normal” as possible. We continued having family dinners together almost every night. We continued to help with homework. We set boundaries on when we were going to pick up the phone because we knew many were concerned for me and would be calling. But, we also knew our kids couldn’t handle hearing about cancer over and over again. So we set boundaries. Even though many days I felt exhausted, I tried to simply sit and listen to the kids. Rather than always doing for my kids, I learned to simply listen. By listening I was able to give them tangible shelter.
God would be my kids’ rock. (Psalm 18:2) I learned to put my kids’ names in the words of David, “The Lord is Keri’s rock. (Bethany’s rock, or JJ’s rock, or Stefanie’s rock) He is her fortress and deliverer.” By praying scripture over each of my kids’ hearts I had a tangible weapon to use against the fear the enemy was hurling at them. I was able to fight on their behalf. Did they always feel peaceful and free from fear? Absolutely not! But, today each of them press into God when they feel fear. Now, as adults they fight for their kids on their knees and I continue to fight for them, their spouses and my grandkids on my knees.
In each of our lives, crisis will hit. It may not be cancer. It might be other health issues, or divorce, or financial difficulty, or deployment. The important thing to remember is that by using these three pictures in your prayer time you have weapons to fight on behalf of your kids!
I’d love to hear what scriptures you pray on behalf of your kids! Leave a comment. I’ll be choosing one comment and give away a free copy of either The 30 Day Praise Challenge or The 30 Day Praise Challenge For Parents.