On My Knees
I woke up this morning at 2:14am.

My heart was so heavy-burdened for my 14yr old son who's struggling with a bunch of hard stuff right now. It's part of being a teenager. Part of the changes and challenges that come with it. Those feelings and doubts and questions that just come out of nowhere! It's so hard for them - and us who love them.

We had stayed up late talking with him. Actually he didn't do a lot of talking. A little grunt here and there. The glossy distant "you guys just don't get it" look in his eyes broke my heart. We were all tired so I asked if I could walk with him to his room.

I only stayed a few minutes. Just long enough to pray with him, asking God to be real to Joshua now and protect his heart and mind. Asking Him to help Joshua and us navigate through this new phase as he becomes the young man God created him to be. It was good for my heart, and even if he doesn't say anything now I know it's good for him too.

I fell asleep praying. Then I woke up at 2am with deep concern again that left my heart tossing and turning. I have to say that being a mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and being a mom of a teenage boy is maxing me out. This is my first child - my little man whose sweet brown eyes and gentle heart changed me forever just 14 years ago.

All I could do was pray last night. It's what I needed. It's all I have. Talking to God is my only hope and comfort in the middle of the night. Or all throughout my day when life brings struggles that are more than I can handle.

I can't talk my child out of how he's feeling. I can't just give him a promise from the Bible and hope it makes him happy again. I can't deny what he's going through or even figure it out for him. All I can do is pray. And listen. And pray some more. And love him. And pray some more.

I laid in my bed praying at 2am. After a few minutes, I felt God nudge my heart to go up to Josh's room and kneel beside his bed.

As I tiptoed quietly into his room the moonlight peeked through his window shades and I could see his head resting on his pillow. He was sound asleep.

I thought about that verse that says God inhabits the praise of His people as I knelt beside him. I started silently praising God for Who He is hoping He'd somehow completely inhabit that room and squeeze all the enemies junk out! I asked God to please send more angels to watch over my child as he slept and as he awoke. Then I prayed God's Word over Joshua - promises for courage and hope and strength and understanding for his seeking yet struggling heart. And I prayed the blood of Jesus over the doorposts of his room and our whole house commanding the enemy to back off and submit to God's authority over our family and home.

A peace came over me as I lifted my son up to God's able and caring hands. God's comfort and calm washed away my worries as I lifted my tired self off that floor. And then I tiptoed back downstairs, crawled back into my bed, and fell asleep.

I had left the battlefield and the front line in capable hands with Jesus.

This morning when I woke up I found my son cooking bacon in the kitchen and making himself a bacon/toast sandwhich like nothing had happened the night before. I gave him a verse with his name in it to stick in his pocket and carry with him to school. He smiled and said good-bye, and then headed out the door with his dad.

I have a feeling I'm gonna be parenting on my knees a lot for the next several years. I know there's no better place for me, but sometimes it's a hard place to be...


Blogger Kimberly said...

Being a mommy definitely is the hardest thing I have ever done, too! I don't know that you get many better opportunities for totally relying on the Lord. It's that or loose your mind somedays. ;)

I love that He had you go pray in your sons room. He had me do that one night for my oldest...right outside her bedroom door. And I know I really need to go and pray in my girls' rooms more often even when they aren't home...speaking blessings and praying scripture.

Praying for you, sweet friend. Your boys are BLESSED to have you for their mom. Truly they are. You know who your Source is and you also point them to Him continually.

Love to you,

Blogger Rachel B said...

Your prayer over your son, Joshua, brought tears to my eyes, Renee (and I'm not a crier). My little boy is only 2 years old, but I know the love I have for him. I can only imagine how that continues to multiply over the years (even though you can't imagine how you could ever, ever love them more than you do now). I can look into the future and see that this parenting thing doesn't get easier. :)

Your tiptoed entry into your sons room made me think of the children's book, "I'll Love You Forever." Looooove that book!

Even though your son isn't saying much now, he will thank you later. He really is blessed to have a praying mama.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Renee,

I am exactly where you are -- my boy Joshua Taylor being 13 1/2. It is truly a difficult time and I think it is especially hard on us as Mom's because they are pulling away -- at least my boy is.

Thank you for this transparency and this wonderful challenge to stay on my knees for my boy.

Now more than ever I understand this passage in Nehemiah:

"After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." Nehemiah 4:14

Blogger Lindsey said...

I'm not even a mom, but your transparency and obedience had me shedding more than a few tears.

Your son is so blessed to have parents that pray for him...both when he sees it and when he doesn't. Keep praying!

Praying for you even now that Josh will be strong and will cling to what he knows is true of His Father.

Blessings and prayes,

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." --Psalm 34:18

Blogger da momma said...

my son is 3.5 my daughter 1.5. I cant imagine what life will be like when they are in their teens...The world keeps getting scarier...and prayer is the only true, non changing thing. God never changes, He is also in control and waiting to hear from us. I have followed you for awhile..Thank you for your heart!

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

I will say a prayer for Joshua.

Blogger Sarah said...

You just never know when Romans 8:28 is going to pop up but it does on a lot of situations. Know that God is working good in this thing. He is using your experience to remind others to be fighting against the devil and his army. He is using your experience to remind me to be on my knees for my children as well. He will do so much more than you will ever know on earth through your story and what you are going through as a mother. Thank you for having the courage to share about your struggles and weakness. Bless you and your family.

Blogger Lysa TerKeurst said...

I love this post Renee--- so beautifully written- so vulnerable- so honest- and so, so, so stinkin' relatable.

I love the thought of God inhabiting your praises that filled Joshua's room and surely made their way into his heart.

So powerful. So inspiring.

Thank you~

Blogger Wendi said...

Thanks for that. I am right there with my step son. It is so hard. I am having an even harder time trying to love on someone who isn't mine and rejects me at times.

Blogger Leah DiPascal said...

What a beautiful post from the heart of a loving and concerned mom. Raising our first born sons, as they reach those difficult teen years, is so dang hard - I'm right there with ya!
Remember that scripture verse I mentioned to you last week? I've decided to memorize it. Here it is again for you, sweet friend.

Rise at night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him in prayer, pleading for your children. Lamentations 2:19

Blogger Julie Gillies said...

Oh, Renee, I can utterly relate. (By the way, I have a son named Joshua, too.)

Our 13 yr. old daughter was hit hard several weeks ago. She was simply not herself, and my heart ACHED so desperately. Being a mom makes us vulnerable like nothing else!

Like you, went to bed one night SO concerned. God specifically showed me in a dream how to pray. The next day my husband and I agreed in prayer together and BAM! she was back to normal. Praise God.

Teens have ups and downs, so I know there will be more times of concern. I will NEVER stop praying for my kids. (Not even my 29 yr. old son.) A mom's (prayer) work is never done.

Still praying for you, Renee. God gives me an absolute joy when I pray for you. *big smile*

Blogger Tracie Miles said...

I love your post! So moving, and so familiar. Whether girls or boys, they definitely need our prayers. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the Holy Spirit will intercede for me when my heart is struggling on what to pray about for my children. I wish I could delve into their little minds and hear what it is they need, but I trust God knows and will move within them as we pray. The desire for our children to be happy and pure and safe is nearly overwhelming, so putting them in Gods hands is the best place they can be. I loved how you said you left the troubles at the battline with Jesus holding down the front line. Thank you for your sweet heartfelt words.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee I am on my knees doing the same thing all the time for my wayward 13 yr old. He'll be 14 in a month and thinks he's 35. The rolling eyes and sullen glares are driving me crazy. But I pray with him, he goes to church, I pray for him all day long. I long for God to be real to him, too. He loves Jesus, and he's a good kid. These teenagers are going thru so much, more than we did at that age. All we can do is offer them up to God for protection and ask him to guide their hearts and feet. Thanks for this timely post. I need to know I'm not alone out there. :-) God Bless You.

Anonymous Dorothy said...

I raised two sons. My heart goes out to you. Keep the faith. God will answer your prayer. I had struggles with raising boys too. My sons are now 42 and 39, both christians, married to christians, with christian children (as much as they understand) one a minister. God is the answer.

Dorothy Miller

I know that posture; it's one that continues. As I send my 20 year old off to Bolivia this week, I imagine I'll be joining you on my knees.

God's peace is our promise as we do.

You're doing a good job, mom. Keep to it.


Anonymous Sheryllyn said...


As I lay with our sleeping daughter this morning (7.5 months old), I started praying for her and her future, something I haven't done enough of.

Then I read your post.

I know there will be times in the years ahead when I won't be able to pick her up and make it better, like I'm able to do now. Thanks for the reminder to give her to God and let Him be the one to give her that comfort.

Blogger Martha said...

Your blog such a blessing for me today. I totally understand those times on your knees at 2 a.m. We adopted 2 boys 10 years ago this month. They are now 12 & 14. The youngest is autistic and the oldest stuggles with dyslexsia. Stephen (the oldest) is having such a difficult time right now. Growing up, as if that's not enough in itself, coupled with the dyslexia and his brother's autism is just really difficult right now. Let's keep praying! I know God will see our children through.


Anonymous Dan said...

Thank you very Much Pastor because when my heart is low you lift me up! when I feel alone you make me feel like you are just by my side and seeing what am going through.
I would love to study the bible with you even though I don't have my own computer, I use the cyber cafe to surf, but I still would love. I love the word of God and I would like my brain to be washed with His word!
God bless you and may He nourish you with His word day and Night.

Nairobi Kenya.

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