Unexpected tears during a graveside chat

I stood by my friend’s grave on a warm winter day. I could hear the birds twittering in the trees and the faint roar of the cars from the nearby road. She has been gone for ten years and I visit annually to bring fresh flowers and to update her on the children that she did not see grow up. I shared with her how that little six year old girl is now a 16 year old woman with a boyfriend.   I told with her that the bright eight year old boy with autism was now 18. And as I shared with her the amazing news he was now driving and that he attends college on a scholarship, it was as if I untapped a well of emotion.  Unexpected tears burst forth.  I sobbed at her graveside as I shared how God had done the miraculous with that sweet autistic boy.


I was surprised by the emotion that came out with my words. Why these unexpected tears flowing today at my friend’s graveside?

The tears flow from the grief and pain and worry of having a special needs child. I’ve known for 13 years that my son has autism but my heart still hurts every day.  There are joys, sure, but there are also sorrows.

There are hidden places in every mother’s heart that are full of tears and pain.  We stuff our hurting into closets in our hearts and push the doors shut with all of our might.  Then, something happens that pops that strained door open and waves of emotion roll over us uncontrollably.  Feelings that we had safely tucked away are still there and need to be acknowledged.

We are brokenhearted over how our children are bullied.
We worry when our children struggle in school.
We are concerned when our children are obese.
We grieve our children’s bad choices.
We are overcome by devastating, life-altering diagnoses.
We grieve when our children die.
We worry about how to provide for the growing baby in our bellies.
We are overwhelmed just by being a mother.

Being a mother is hard and it can be a battle just to have stable emotions.  We deal with worry, fear, grief, and being overwhelmed with it all.  In this place of struggle and worry, God says to lean not on our own understanding.  He tells us to be still and know that He is God.  He loves and cares for our children more than we ever could.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

Can you trust God with all of your heart about your children?
Can you trust Him as you give them another insulin shot?
Can you trust Him as you soothe your daughter who has been bullied?
Can you trust Him as your son struggles with his homework?
Can you trust when you don’t know if your son can ever hold on a job?
Can you trust Him with the baby in your belly that has Down Syndrome?
Can you trust Him with the many issues that came with your adopted child?

I’m doing my best to trust God with my son’s life. I haven’t done it perfectly and there’s been many a night where I’ve lain awake in bed worrying about his future. But I know one thing to be true – God has been faithful to my son.  My son has had to work harder than most children.  He has had to fight against all the odds.  He has had more doctor and therapist appointments than my friend’s children.

But today, my son can drive.
My son has a job.
My son goes to college.
Even on a scholarship.

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As I look around the cemetery with the sun shining down on my face I know in my heart that God will be faithful to you and your child too. He says that the plans for our children are good and that our children have a bright hope and a future. We are called to trust Him, knowing that He loves our children more than we ever could. As I admire the birds of the air that God loves and cares for, I’m reminded that God will care for my children, too.

Let’s trust God to do great things in the lives of our children. Let’s surrender them and their futures to him, knowing that He is faithful.  We can do this, girls.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep.




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