When nightfall comes, it’s only human naturefor the body to want to wind down. And as the hours creep into late night, fatigue is a natural response telling the body it needs to sleep.
So there’s really something very unnatural and quite unraveling to be up in the middle of the night—especially if it’s waiting for a child to come home. Nighttime has the tendency to magnify problems as the darkness invades the soul.
I remember the first time I pulled an all-nighter --waiting at the window—and there would be many more to come. All of them associated with worry about my son. He was using drugs.
It doesn’t matter how old or how complicated a child’s situation becomes being a parent is a lifelong occupation. There is no turn off switch. Just when you think your heart cannot be stretched any further, it morphs into a deeper capacity to endure and to hope.
So there were many nights, where I sat at my kitchen window, which faces the street, watching the sparse headlights approaching in the distance, feeling my heart beat faster, hoping the oncoming car would slow down and be the one to pull into my driveway.
And when the minutes ticked into hours, the anxiety transferred into anger and then resentment. None of it was spiritual. None of it took into consideration a bigger picture of a Sovereign God who is in complete control of our lives. And none of it ended in prayer.
Waiting by the window became a formidable exercise for me during those initial tumultuous years. However, as time moved on, the way I waited began to change. I accepted a much- needed perspective adjustment; I began taking all of my frustration, sorrow, and fear to God. I began to pray.
My story didn’t end the way I planned for it to end: The irresponsible phase over; my son overcomes.
No. It ended in his death.
But it was during those hard, difficult times that I experienced a transformative spiritual growth where God was strengthening me, holding my hand, and molding my heart.
I began to realize—through prayer--that He was always right there by the window with me. And one of the main lessons I learned was that all the worry in the world did not change my circumstances.
It is prayer that changes things. Prayer disrupts the seen and unseen for eternal purposes. And regardless of the outcome, I learned the prayer that Jesus Himself cried out to His own Father, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” And that is where I place my hope.
Andrea Maher is the former editor-in chief of PARENT ABC’s, a monthly magazine dedicated to helping parents navigate the everyday concerns of family life. She is the author of the newly released book, SLAMMED: Overcoming Tragedy in the Wave of Grief, A Survival Guide She has been married to her husband, John, for 40 years and are the parents of four sons, and enjoy their six grandchildren in Cape May, New Jersey where they reside. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.