I texted my friend that I needed to cancel our dinner plans. My teenage daughter had been crying for hours, and I didn’t want to leave her. Nothing I had tried had helped console her. I sat down on the floor outside her bedroom door because she didn’t want me to come in.
I started to feel like maybe this would never end. So many nights had ended this way for her, and I didn’t want this overwhelming heartache to continue to be the pattern for her future. She had been so brave and tried so hard, but then every time another painful thing happened, her heart hurt so badly that there was nothing I could do to protect her from it.
Maybe she’ll always feel pain so deeply. Maybe I’ll never be able to help her through it. I knew enough to know that this isn’t just some teenage issue that she’ll grow out of. This is a wound in her heart that needs healing from God.
I’ve told her before during past incidents that I believe a breakthrough is coming for her.
“What’s a breakthrough?” She asked.
I explained that when we go through difficult things, we can pray for God to help us to break through the obstacles and burdens that are causing us heartache. Like if there is a wall in front of us that is holding us back, God can help us to break through that wall. God may not take the pain away immediately, but He is still working on our behalf. We just have to wait and keep praying. He will give us a breakthrough. We won’t always have to carry this much pain.
“Well, then, yes, that’s what I need,” she said so simply.
But outside her bedroom door on this night several months ago, I could still hear her crying. And I started begging God on her behalf. “God, she has prayed to You. She has asked for Your help. Won’t You answer her prayer? Won’t You comfort her heart?”
I try never to promise my daughter anything unless I know for sure that I can deliver on that promise. I had promised her that God will give her a breakthrough. But on this night, after this struggle, I began to wonder if I was wrong to make that promise to her. I had tried teaching her truth about God, but maybe my words didn’t help.
Then as I was sitting on the floor by her bedroom, my phone beeped with a new text message. It was from my friend Kayla. She and her husband were good friends with my brother Dave, but I hadn’t talked to Kayla much at all in the past few years. Yet she texted me to say that God had put my girls and me on her heart that evening. She wanted to know if there was anything she could pray for us.
I recognized that this was God’s way of encouraging me. I texted Kayla back and explained the situation—how my daughter was hurting so badly tonight and how I was starting to doubt if her breakthrough was ever coming.
Kayla told me that she had been shopping in Kohl’s when she suddenly had an overwhelming impression to pray for me and my girls. That’s why she texted me. She took a few minutes to pray for us again, and then she texted me what God had spoken to her. She said that she could feel God’s heart for my daughter, how precious she is to Him. She said that God wants to heal her completely—that it is His will to heal all her wounds. She said she felt God tell her that He has a mighty plan for my daughter’s life, and He has assigned an angel to protect her. She feels a breakthrough coming…a deep healing. Satan will not get the victory in her life!
This next part might sound weird to you, but Kayla said that God gave her a vision of me, and it looked like a river was coming out of my mouth. She believed that God was showing her that my words were a source of life and healing for my girls.
I started crying as I read all of Kayla’s texts. I was amazed that God cared so much about our situation, that He saw our tears and pain in our little house and prompted Kayla as she was shopping in Kohl’s to reach out to us.
Every doubt and worry I had been feeling that night was addressed in Kayla’s encouragement to me, and I was blown away by God’s personal involvement in what we were going through.
This happened awhile back, but God brought this memory to my mind as I was driving home from work yesterday. I decided to write it out in hopes that it would encourage someone else to know that God sees your situation. If you are praying, He is certainly listening and working on your behalf.
“Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Mary works at Brookville Road Community Church, where she leads children's ministry and women's ministry. She is the author of She Won't Shrink Back: A Story of Building & Believing.