The Parenting Files: Dealing with Loss and Pain

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Last week, right after a cold snap, we found this butterfly on our front porch.





























The frost had settled on his wings and it was obvious he wasn't going to make that long flight south.

Sure enough, a few hours later, despite the suns best efforts to dry off the frost, he had died.

The kids were heart-broken...and there might have been tears, a funeral, and a tiny cross grave marker. There is no such thing as "just a butterfly" to them.

(FTR: There is such a thing as "just a stinkbug" in our household.)

It might just be a butterfly right now, but deeper heartbreak is coming. I hear a lot of  parents talk about wanting to shield their kids from death or loss or experiencing pain...and I get the root of that sentiment. I truly do. No parent wants their child to encounter unhappiness. Yet, the reality is sadness, heartbreak, and distress are inevitable in their lives...either from outside sources or consequences for their own bad choices.

My goal is not to protect them from all pain. My job is to teach them in those heartbroken moments while they are still in my care the beautiful truth that God sees their pain and he is with them.


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? 
Yet not one of them falls to the ground outside of your father knowing it. 
Matthew 10:29

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalm 56:8




I have realized that if I am living in fear of my child experiencing pain, then I am not trusting in the sovereignty of my God. 

I don't need to jump in and try to fix it, I need to allow them the opportunity to feel their feelings and allow the Great Comforter to become real in their life. 

Because he is real. 

And that is the only thing that will be enough for them as they walk through this wonderful, terrible, joy and pain filled life.





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