When Mom Can’t Fix it


As I walked into our home’s entry way, I looked over at Micah and asked, “How did your day go?”

I had just returned from a two-day conference, and hadn’t seen Micah before I had departed for my class early that  morning.

He looked over at me and said, “It was a day of disappointment.”

He proceeded to share with me three specific events that had occurred to cause his sadness that day.

As he relayed the day’s happenings, there was one event in particular that felt like a sucker punch. You know the kind. It’s a high-velocity punch that is thrust into the soft underbelly of a person that causes him to have a sudden expulsion of air from his mouth – leaving him vulnerable and uncertain – and laid flat.

That’s what happened to Micah.

We were under the impression that something was going to occur. In fact, the central reason we made the decision to go for this opportunity was because of the continuing, beneficial relationship that had formed in the past two years for Micah.  The truth of the matter is that Micah did not have to do it. He voluntarily chose to participate based upon the relational benefits.

When Micah received word that he would not be given this particular opportunity, but was awarded something different, he became heartsick. It wasn’t a harmful or negative thing. It just wasn’t what he had hoped for or expected.


As I listened to the laments of my boy, honestly, it’s in such situations that I would like to make it all better. Yet, there are times, more often than not these days, where my mom-make-it-all-better-super powers are impotent.

Comfort and care?

Sure, I can do that.

However, I do not have the ability to influence events or situations to work in my son’s immediate favor anymore. I used to be able to do that – when Micah was an infant, toddler, and preschooler. When Micah was downcast, a hug and a kiss and a mom-can-help-you-if-you-need-it word would miraculously do the trick.

My kid is nearly 17 years old now.

His life is more complicated and interwoven with things that are beyond those early-years-super-power capabilities. And as I survey his future, it only looks more complex as Micah will be making more and more decisions for his life – school-wise, relationally, professionally, and geographically.

Last year, Micah made the decision to participate in an opportunity based upon incomplete information. He did the best he could with what he knew at the time. And at that time, we were told it was fairly certain a particular outcome would result.

Now, in 2017, it hadn’t.

So, what do you do, when you see that your nearly 17 year-old son’s legitimate and worthwhile desire has exploded in his face?

In this case, I attempted to advocate. But, as I said, those long ago super powers don’t have much oomph these days.

We learned that the opportunity that had been promised was completely gone now.

There was no hope – at this particular time – of seeing his dream come true.

What did we do in response?

We both cried.

Yep, we did.

For the sake of confidentiality, I cannot say all that much about the what’s, where’s, who’s, why’s and how’s of the situation. Plus, my kid is almost 17 years old now. This story is his for the most part – I’m a character in his story, of course – but it is Micah who needs to tell the tale his way when and if he wants to – if ever.

No, my take from it all is how do I instill an abiding hope in my kid when his life blows up?

Because this isn’t the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last time when his hopes and dreams are dashed to smithereens.

Everyone experiences crushing disappointment.

And it’s just not okay to say, “Get over it, Micah. Move on. There’s a reason for this…. Or yada-yada-yada….” when Micah is hurting.

For a while now, my heart has been aware of the growing despair and lack of hope in this world of both friend and stranger. Recently, I decided that I would begin a word study on hope and dedicate much of 2017 to being a person who communicated hope to those who would read my blog, InsteadBless.

With Micah’s recent heartache, there seems like no time like the present to dive into it.

Hope, that is.

I’ve recorded 159 hope verses from the Old and New Testament to study this year. A big surprise for me is that many of the verses listed come from the book of Job. Job, as you may know, was a man who could have written the definitive textbook on heartache, disappointment and adversity. In fact, there is an entire book of the Bible devoted to what happened to Job and how he responded.

Interwoven in this book, are words of hope – directed to and from the man who experienced more personal loss and tragedy than any one human should have to endure.

But there it is.


Job says early in his story,

“Oh, that I might have my request,
that God would grant what I hope for….”
New International Version, 6:18

Our Micah could utter the exact same words. Every.Single.One.

But like Job, Micah’s request will not be granted as he had wished. And just like Job, it will be how he responds to this disappointment that will make all the difference.

So, what’s my job?

Like I said, I cannot fix it. Not this time. My old mom-super-powers are out of service.

However, I can enlist an altogether different set of mom-super-powers that involve listening, loving, encouraging, and praying. And I can go forward with him towards this new and different opportunity that we hadn’t expected that is Micah’s for the taking.

And we shall.

We begin soon.

We set our sights before us and cast our cares upon our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we walk forward.

I embrace these words:

May the God of hope fill you with peace as you trust in Him, so that, you may overflow with the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

New International Version, Romans 15:13

I won’t be fixing my son’s future to make it turn out the way he wants it to, but I will be walking with him to discover the joy in the adventure along the way! And that’s what an empowering vision of hope is all about.

And that’s the power of hope I desire to instill in my son – mom-super-powers or not.

For those of you who know us, would you pray for Micah Man as he embraces and leans into this new opportunity?

Have you, my mama-friends, ever felt like me –  that it is or was time to decommission your mom super-powers in order to empower your kids?



Image retrieved from Super Moms

3 thoughts on “When Mom Can’t Fix it

  1. Heather, I loved this! I so relate on so many levels. I remember doing a word study on hope too some years back. I love how you describe the gut reaction when your child’s dreams are dashed in front of you. How do we walk with them through the valley of disappointment and shattered dreams? How do we encourage them or others to trust that God is with them and has other plans that they can not even imagine yet? My kids are runners and there is an image that inspires them and comes to mind from the film Chariots of Fire, are you familiar with it? Future missionary to China, Eric Liddell is knocked over in an important race – the music intensifies, and he with unabashed faith gets back up and pushes through to miraculously win the race – you see he “feels God’s pleasure when he runs”. Even if he hadn’t of won that race, he would have still been an example of overcoming strength. I love that you validates his feelings and simply cried with him – identifying his pain and loss. That is healing in itself. Your acknowledging that it is his story for him to tell is so empowering too. Too many of us moms are tempted to identify too closely to our children’s unfolding story. I struggle with that. Perhaps our best stance is to remain as cheerleaders and prayer warriors. They will battle against many foes, like disappointment, limitations, rejections, etc. in this life which I call boot-camp for eternity, but God is with them and He loves them more than even we do. What images, stories, films, music, or art inspires you and your family to “keep calm and carry on”? Love you, sister!

    1. Hey Renee,

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! Eric Liddell is one of Micah’s heroes! The kid has written essays on him, done a speech, and re-read his biography I don’t know how many times. Great analogy!

      I’ve been so proud of how Micah has accepted the loss and moved on in his way. We’ve seen a lot of growth in Micah this past year and it is my prayer that he will continue to mature – handling future disappointments with courage.

      Regarding keeping calm and carrying on, the thing that helps us the most is talking it through and rallying to each other’s cause. I’ll have to think on what stories or images….however, for me, I have a great testimony on lions that has stayed with me for 20+ years – so for me – a lion is a symbol of courage, strength, and that Jesus is with me.

      Thanks for stopping by and writing. I really appreciate the time you took!

      Talk soon, heather

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