“I’d give anything to be inside his head for ONE second!”
Those were the words I heard my friend say one day about her son, who like many of our kids, just isn’t a talker. Like, at all. Most of the time, she really has no clue what he is thinking, or what’s really going on in his life. And it drives her CRAZY.
And then there are our kids who tell us everything. Maybe more than we really even care to know at times. Stuff that sometimes, we wish we hadn’t heard – drama in relationships, hurts from friends, struggles at school – information that awakens the momma bear inside us; tempting us to lash out in defense of our precious cubs. And this information they share, whether solicited or unsolicited, cuts like a knife right through our hearts – because when our children suffer, we suffer too.
But no matter what kind of child we have, when it comes to the inner thoughts of their mind and heart, there’s one reality they all share in common…
Lies. Lies about what defines them, what gives them worth, what makes them beautiful. Lies they hear inside their heads that they aren’t even necessarily conscious of, but battle –
And sadly, lies that all too often, swirl seductively around in secret.
After months of prayer and preparation, I am beyond excited to release the first of what I call “Going Deeper Prayer Pages” – free, downloadable, printable prayer pages – designed to fit your Mother’s Prayer Companion (MPC). And if you don’t have the MPC, no worries. These pages can be used in any half size three ring binder, or you can tuck them into your Bible or journal.
I was inspired to begin writing these prayers after a situation I experienced with my 15 year old daughter Clare. It was an eye-opening moment of my motherhood – one that has forever altered its course. A moment when I realized I needed to equip myself as a mom to “go deeper” in prayer for my children and help them to fight against those lies – the secret thoughts they don’t tell me.
This first “Going Deeper” prayer page is a collection of scriptures that speak along the theme of what we commonly refer to as “self-image”. But I long for my children to have so much more than just a positive self-image. I desperately want them to know their true identity – in Christ.
Clare has given me permission to share this story, knowing she is not alone – and hoping that God will use it to encourage and empower you as a mom and your children as well.
It was an ordinary day in the Klement house. I was in my bathroom putting on make-up, when suddenly in walks Clare, just as she had countless times before. Only this time, she stepped onto the small, white digital scale setting on the floor next to my husband’s sink. As soon as she stepped off she exclaimed in horror, “Mom! I have never weighed ___ pounds before!” Her outcry was a startling first for me. I had never heard Clare say anything that specific about her weight before. And while the number she reported was so totally normal to me, I knew that fact so totally didn’t matter – to her.
I felt a pit in my stomach as I looked over at her distraught face. “Oh, Clare!” was all I could muster, still in shock. My heart raced as I searched for the right words to say, knowing time was of the essence and the words that followed were paramount. Thankfully I didn’t freak out on her, even though I was freaking out inside. A sense of calm came over me, though I was still so unsure of what to say. I pulled her in by the shoulders and fixed my gaze intently into her eyes.
I cannot tell you verbatim what I said next. I can tell you, however, that I prayed an absolutely necessary “Lord, help me” before I opened my mouth.
First, I validated her feelings. I knew I didn’t want her to feel ashamed or wrong for the way she felt. I told her I understood how disappointing it must have been for her to see a higher number on the scale than she has seen in the past. Then, I spoke rationally. I reminded her of the simple truth that she is still growing and developing into a woman. Our bodies change. We get curvier. I reminded her how hard she had been conditioning in softball – more intense workouts than she had even done before, building muscle and changing her body shape and size.
But I knew that no matter what I said, the lies inside her head were screaming much louder than my voice of truth. I was absolutely 100% positive that there were secret thoughts she was thinking; lies she was buying into about her beauty and worth – as she falsely equated the sum of that worth with her weight in pounds – as if her value had anything to do with some silly number on a scale.
I remembered a quote I had read on Maura Byrne’s website madeinhisimage.org…
“The definition of beautiful doesn’t require the word skinny.”
How sad that for so many countless kids – both girls and guys – skinny is their only definition of beautiful.
In that exchange with Clare, I became acutely aware of the reality of the battle waging – not only at that moment, but the battle that is waged every day against our children’s (and our husband and our own) self-image; their understanding of their true identity – their priceless value and worth – in Christ.
I felt so helpless. I knew the truth, but how, oh how, could I convince my precious daughter of these truths about what makes her lovable, beautiful and worthy?
Suddenly this surge of a warrior spirit rose up within me, one I can only attribute to the sheer power of the Holy Spirit. I knew Clare did not necessarily even know what she was fighting, let alone how to fight back.
But I did.
I know the truth about this precious child of mine. And the time had come for me to start intentionally engaging in the battle for her. I could fight. I could go deeper in prayer for her – deeper than I had ever gone before – using the most powerful weapon I have to help her know in the depths of her being her true identity in Christ – how much He loves her and how very lovable she is. And I could also start teaching her how to use that weapon as well – the holy and inspired Word of God.
In my next blog, I’ll share the rest of the story – the inspiration God gave me that day for a simple, concrete, and fun way to affirm Clare with His unconditional love for her.
Something you can do for your kids too.
For now, I leave you with this question – which one of your children is struggling most with their self-image right now?
Maybe it’s your husband. Or maybe even you.
I encourage you to print this prayer and START PRAYING IT. Keep it simple, and start with one person. Just start.
Today is Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent.
This season of Lent challenges us to go DEEPER and be more INTENTIONAL in PRAYER… In today’s readings we hear these urgings from the Lord,
“Return to me with your whole heart…” (Joel 2:12)
“In an acceptable time I heard you…” (1 Corinthians 6:2)
And then He announces, “Behold, now is an acceptable time…” Now. Now is the acceptable time – to engage in the battle that your child, your husband, or you are fighting. As you launch into this Lenten season, let these Scriptures be your weapons as you fight on your knees for them – that they might know how deeply loved and priceless they are!
And while it is you waging war against those secret thoughts and destructive lies, it is really the Lord who will fight for you in the lives of your precious family!
“For the Lord your God is going with you. He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory!” (Deuteronomy 20:4)