by Heidi St. John

[Editor’s Note: We are excited to have Heidi St. John joining us as a keynote speaker at CHEA’s Parenting & Homeschool Conference, July 13-15 in Downey.

This article is just a preview of the encouragement and advice she has to share with us this year. Registration for CHEA’s Parenting & Homeschool Conference is now open.]

Every season of motherhood offers new challenges and new chances for us to grow in our trust in God. When our children first come to us, our prayers are often for strength—strength to stay up one. more. night. with a sick child. Strength for the toddler-taming years. Strength to meet the physical demands of having little ones at your feet while juggling a home and a marriage and your responsibilities.

It’s tempting to feel like we’re in control when our kids are little. After all, we set the schedule, right? As our children grow, we still need to trust God, but the tone of our prayers changes. Things feel a little less in our control (because they are!), and we need wisdom. We need to trust that God will give us the right combination of grace and discipline to get to the root of heart issues rather than just concentrating on external behavior.

In the teen years and beyond, the season changes yet again. There are new challenges, new fears, and new opportunities to release our children so they can pursue God’s amazing plans for them. And we have even less control. I’ve poured out my heart to God many times as my children have stood at the precipice of adulthood because I realize even more acutely that the trajectory-setting decisions they’re making now are theirs alone.

In many ways, the teen years are the final stage of the parenting process. You go from clay (so to speak) to kiln, where the clay is set and ready to be baked and glazed. No wonder so many mothers of teens have that “glazed” look in their eyes!

It’s humbling to realize that your years of greatest influence and physical presence are coming to an end. But exciting years lie ahead, because the power of your prayers is just beginning to be realized! When mothers begin the season of launching their arrows into the world, an entire new kind of trust is required: trust that God hears and answers our prayers.

During this season, there are a few areas that are totally in your control. You get to choose to be surrendered to God. You get to choose to spend time in His Word. You get to choose to pray for your children. God’s love for His children is fierce. It’s tenacious. It’s powerful. It’s real. And when you pray for your children, heaven is moved into action.

Precious mom, did you know that there’s power in your prayers? There is! God says that when we bring our problems, sorrows, fears, and burdens to Him, He promises to help us pray with power: “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words” (Romans 8:26).

Did you catch that? The Holy Spirit prays for us. Now there’s something every mom needs—the Holy Spirit Himself going to God on our behalf. God is literally saying that the Holy Spirit will pray for us when we are weak. Whether you’re struggling with unbelief, doubt, fear, or sickness, His promise is the same. God wants to meet you right where you are. The key is to spend time with Him and learn to live in His presence. That’s when we experience His peace.

When it’s all said and done, a MomStrong mom doesn’t trust in her own abilities; she trusts in a strong, sovereign God.

Precious mom, I know how hard it is to trust the Lord’s plan when it unfolds so differently from the agenda we’ve so carefully mapped out. But in God’s hands, the trials that threaten to bring us down are the very things that can build our trust in Him.

You don’t have to be perfect in this journey of faith; you just have to be honest. So join me in crying out to the Lord, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” The stakes are high—for yourself and for your children. When was the last time your children saw you on your knees before the Lord? Do they know from the way you live your life that God is trustworthy? Do they see you trusting God? Becoming MomStrong means that we learn to let go of the wheel because we would rather have God be in control than our own flesh. If you struggle with unbelief, if you wonder if it’s safe to leave your children’s struggles (and your own) in His hands, it’s all right. God understands. It’s in His heart to:

Trust me. Better yet, Trust Him! He’ll meet you right where you are.

Adapted from Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith by Heidi St. John.

About Heidi

As a popular author and speaker, Heidi St. John has been speaking on marriage, family, and cultural issues for over 15 years. She has a passion to encourage moms and set them free to boldly become who God has created them to be. Heidi has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and four grandchildren! They have homeschooled some of their kids all the way through high school and are finishing up with a couple at home. Heidi is the author of seven books, with a new book releasing this fall titled MomStrong 365: A Daily Devotional to Encourage and Empower Everyday Moms.

Join Heidi at MomStrong International, an online ministry where thousands of women come together for weekly Bible Studies, Scripture writing, online and in-real-life fellowship.

This article was originally published on Heidi’s blog on March 22, 2020. Republished with permission.