It’s through a much different lens that I see Peyton now. Just a year ago, her dad and I hugged her goodbye as she started her brief inpatient stay on the adolescent psychiatric ward for a suicide attempt. She had failed in an overdose, and she needed help that we couldn’t give her.
It’s been a long road of therapy appointments, medication management, and the battle of wills as our family settled into a different kind of normal that now presented itself. After she came home, my days typically ended with me wondering if I’d hovered too much or didn’t hover enough. I questioned whether I gave her too much freedom that day or not as much as she needed. Did I hug her the right number of times? Did she remember that I loved her? Did she still have thoughts of suicide?
Every day was an endless list of questions in my head. And to be honest, it was probably an endless list of questions in Peyton’s head, too. But she was using new skills to tell us when she was struggling and utilizing coping techniques when she became anxious.
She was working hard to fix herself on her own and has made several adult choices along the way to include moving out and making her own decisions without the confines of parental rules and regulations. She’s not going wild, so don’t fret about that!
How does that look for a mom and a Christian?
As a mom at first, it meant DEVASTATION! I want to protect her at all cost. I saw her in the most vulnerable position last year trying to choose death over life. I want to guarantee the people she’s friends with are good and strong, loving and dependable. I want to know she’s eating more than McDonald’s every day and that she’s taking her medication and attending her therapy.
As a Christian mom, it meant DEVASTATION! I want her to be in church. I want her to turn her heart back to God and allow Him to help heal her. I want her in her Bible and trusting that God hasn’t left her alone. I want her to remember the joy of the Lord she had before!
But what about as a CHRISTIAN? Let’s take away the emotion behind being this sweet girl’s mother. The Lord tells me in Psalm 127:3a, “Behold children are a gift of the Lord.” She is a gift to me, but the Lord gave her to me as a gift, so He sees and knows her worth. She is not lost on Him. He values her as the gift that she is.
Philippians 1:6 says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Jesus Christ.” He’s not done with her. Just because Peyton chooses to try and “fix” herself doesn’t mean that He’s given up on her. He’s not dumping her on the wayside because she believes she can do it on her own. He began a good work in her and I’m am assured that it will be completed.
When I take away the emotion and fear as a mother, I’m left with trusting a Savior to be there when I can’t. I’m left with trusting a Holy Spirit to nudge her heart. I’m left with trusting a Father to never leave her or forsake her.
And that’s tough. Any mother, friend, aunt, grandparent, etc who’s been in this situation knows that God has given us a desire to protect our friends and loved ones in something like this. But He’s also given us the tools to understand that it’s HIS job to take the burden, not ours.
So here I am….letting go. I’m trusting God will do the job that I’m inadequate for. She’s His child. He loves her even more than I do.