Little Rock, AR
Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV).
When you spend most of your childhood in the Bible Belt as I did, it’s not unusual to have an adult in your life throw out this bible verse – Ephesians 6:1-2: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother.” You hear this often especially when you are labeled as “the problematic child with behavioral issues.” But sometimes these adults ignore the rest of that scripture, where just below that line reads: “Fathers, do not anger your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Many of us, like myself, eventually stray from our parents and the church, and abandon the lord when we get into our teen years. An epidemic is happening today due to the adults in many children’s lives who are not leading by example. Some love to say: “Do as I say; not as I do.” I found myself struggling years down the road with my self-esteem, relationships, faith in God, education, and the will to live, because of the irresponsibility of the adults in my life; I even coined the term “Hypo-Christian.”
It wasn’t until later in my teenage years that I actually developed a relationship with the Lord, by myself, out of pure desperation. Not having that stable foundation set me up for failure. This is why I know how extremely important it is in the developmental years for children to have a support system with trust, love, and guidance without judgment. Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Later I understood that although no adult in my life had provided that foundation for me, I could trust the Lord and that He was the epitome of love, trust, and guidance, as well as forgiveness. Matthew 18;12-14: “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and search for the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
The Lord works in mysterious ways and that, I know, is true. In my case, going to residential treatment facilities and eventually foster care opened my eyes to a whole new world and gave me the instruction of a non-toxic family dynamic. It was God’s grace that sustained my life and allowed me to write this message to you all today. I got my chance at having a family. It wasn’t the one I was born into, but a family in Christ who showed me love through their actions. I use that experience to shape how I want to live my life moving forward as a mother, giving my son his only responsibility of being a child.