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The Sacred Struggle: When Your Child Questions Their Faith, Episodes 115-116

CLICK HERE to listen to Part 1, episode 115
CLICK HERE to listen to Part 2, episode 116

What's coming for the next two weeks: Guest Host, Podcaster Jan Burt!!!

Special Thanks to our guest host this week, Nina Baldwin of the YouTube Channel "Every Day Blessings" EverydayBlessings.netEveryday Blessings YouTube Channel

"In all honesty I was tired of running from God. It’s hard work to run away from God because you’re running away from love and joy and hope. You don’t realize, until you’re away from all of those, the deep cavern that is inside of you without God filling it. So I came to this place of surrender and it was really GRACE. I was finally willing to admit that I was lonely and that I was hopeless… to admit that I couldn’t do this anymore on my own and I didn’t want to..."
Victoria Dahilig, Episode 115 This quote

Parents, one thing I feel very strongly is that how we help our younger children discover God is a very different parenting plan from when our teens and adult children wrestle with their faith. "Who is God?" and "Who am I in relationship to Him?" Are critical questions. As intentional parents, we can't have a "one size fits all ages" approach to this heart issue. We need to handle it differently at different stages of life. In Part 2, episode 116, as we conclude this interview with Tori and introduce her next songs in her sacred struggle, we’ll also talk about the Parent’s Action Plan - steps for helping your kids make their faith their own - different steps for different stages of childhood. (The Parent Action Plan begins at 25:44 in the episode).

“God doesn’t eliminate the difficulties and trials for our children, but He does walk with them through these times. He is right there with them at every moment of every step, going in front, going beside, going behind, carrying them. He is totally surrounding our kids and we can trust Him."
val harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM, episode 115

What's so sacred about struggling? We don't realize it is sacred until later. Later we see all the ways that God weaves together our mistakes and poor choices, our moments of doubt and brokenness, followed by Him redeeming us from the pit, and it is that redemption that turns our scars into something beautiful. And then, then we see that the time of struggling was just as sacred as the time of redemption. This week you hear the rest of the story that we began last week - the story of God making our scars beautiful.

Featured in this podcast mini-series are three original songs written and performed by our guest, Victoria Dahilig, a Christian youth and ministry director, and my oldest child. These songs are the story of her sacred journey back to God after a time of running from and questioning Him. You heard the first song in the collection at the end of part 1, Running from God, Finding Grace, episode 115.

This week, in Part 2, which we're calling Your Child's Sacred Struggle: Questioning God, Finding Grace, you'll hear two more songs.

She wrote all of these songs as her journey unfolded. They're like a poetic play-by-play from inside the heart of a teenager in the midst of her sacred struggle of making her faith her own. God gave her these songs to help her process what she was experiencing which, in turn, helped her to restore back to Him.

At some point in every life, it becomes time for the sacred struggle of making your faith your own. For some of our children, there's not much struggle, but for many teens or even adults, it can include a time of brokenness, feeling alone in the darkness, unsettled or uncertain. The first song you hear this week, entitled "Whisper," was written and recorded in the midst of her struggling 13 years ago, thus you hear a teenage voice performing. The other two songs were recordings made in my studio but were written and originally recorded in 2009.

Quotes from episode 116:

I was in a place of despair and hopelessness and I felt so unworthy of his grace at that point. God began to show me the gospel and His grace like never before. He was showing me that He redeems all kinds of people. There are so many people who feel unworthy of His grace, but he pursues us and shows us that His grace is bigger than that and that it covers all of it. This song is God’s response to us –to the broken, to the needy, to the people most undeserving of grace, which is all of us. We are all equal in being undeserving of His grace. But God’s response to that brokenness is to offer grace and faithfulness and steadfast love. The first song, Welcome Me, was a raw desperate prayer of a broken person and this second song is God’s response to the broken." - podcast guest Victoria Dahilig, Christian Youth and Ministry Director

"If our relationship isn’t strong with our children, if they can’t come to us about anything, if they don’t feel that we are approachable, that we will be reasonable, that even if we disagree with them that we’ll be honoring in our perspective of them, if we don’t do these things, they simply won’t allow us to walk with them spiritually.In an act of self-preservation, our child will protect their heart from us as they will reserve that vulnerable place for the people who hear them and see them and listen to them." - val harrison, the Practically Speaking MOM

"He is pursuing every one of your children just as he has pursued mine. He designed them, created them. Who they are reflects His glory and their story can be the story of His love. The real point of this two-week theme is HOPE for those in despair to say that God has not abandoned you. He is there working on your behalf, pursuing you and rescuing you IF you choose to be rescued. He is faithful and does not walk a way from us but He is also respectful and honoring and doesn’t force you to love Him back. My hope is that this series will motivate you to be more intentional in your child’s spiritual journey, that it will encourage you if you are lost in a dense forest of despair yourself or if you know that someone you love is there, this can give you direction in how to pray for them and how to understand where they’re at as you get a better view of their struggle, and then I pray that this is also a motivation to re-evaluate your family’s life, what spiritual journey you are fostering in your children, being willing to adjust course and re-make your priorities to make room for your child’s vitally important walk with God."

val harrison, the Practically Speaking MOM

What is our part as parents in helping our children along their journey of making their faith their own?

I want to give you five action steps that apply to all of the ages and then the last three action steps are specific to older children, closer to the teen years or later.

1. Pray and pray some more. Recognize that the warrior stance for our children happens on our knees before the One who loves them even more than we do but who also knows them better than we do. We want to intercede for them but we also want God’s direction to us. We need Him to lead us. Prayer also gives us His perspective, His vantage point – it’s a much less stress, less worried, more balanced, big picture view and it is the most hopeful view of all. Don’t skip the prayer step In fact, this step one of prayer is key to step #2

2. Role Model a healthy relationship with God. Let your children see you pray, seek, read. Then as they get a little older, begin to share with them how you are currently wrestling with God yourself.

🤍Tell them what you’re pray