Slightly Obsessed #239: A Parent’s Pain, a Father’s Heart

And he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.

– Luke 15:20

Hello. My name is Pam Thorson. I am a parent.

A parenting book entitled, Parenting Is Hard and Then You Die was released in 2019. After forty-six years of parenthood, I, along with millions of others, can relate to that title. But no one warned me when I became a parent for the first time. I have truly loved being a mom. I didn’t realize, though, how much of my heart it would take and break.

Being parents makes us vulnerable in ways nothing else can. Everything good and bad that happens to your children happens to you. Your life is never your own again. They can complete you and reduce you to ashes (sometimes in the same day), because your children are literally a part of you.

Last year, the popular rapper Toby Mac lost his 21-year-old son Truett. We who have followed Toby’s music over the years have been devastated by his loss and have seen his soul-scouring grief. Those of us who have lost or nearly lost our own children understand the pain. It is a fellowship of suffering to which no one wants to belong.

It is also our reminder of another father, our Father in heaven.

God made Himself vulnerable to this same pain when He made us His children. He didn’t need to do that. He could have lived in eternity just fine without us. But He didn’t want to live without us.

We matter to Him, in a deep, soul-shaking way.

He emptied heaven to pay for our redemption. His heart is broken when we reject Him; He watches the road for our return. He hurts for us and with us. No one knows our pain like He does.

You may feel like your life doesn’t matter to anyone. You may feel worthless. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Watch Toby Mac’s video. See the pain in his eyes. Feel his tears. In his grief you will see the reflection of our heavenly Father’s broken heart for us. A parent wants nothing more than to have his child whole and happy and in a healthy relationship with him.

One day it will be too late to turn back. It will be too late to say, “I love you.” The Father will stop watching the road for your return. Go running to His arms, to His safety. Today.

I promise you; He is waiting.


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