I Can't Heal Her Heart


I was rocking Honeybee the other night and as we rocked, she told me how broken her heart is.  She said that her heart had been filling up with love, but then I missed some days of rocking and it all emptied out.  Her heart broke into a million pieces.  As we rocked I told her that I understood how hard it was for her to have me gone and that I was sorry I had to be away from her, but we needed to work on helping her learn to hold onto the love in her heart.

She continued to express her disappointment in me and all at  once, a bit of truth pierced my thoughts.  I looked in her eyes and said,

Honeybee, my love is going to disappoint you.  It will never be perfect, no matter how much I try.  I will make mistakes and even let you down.

She looked surprised.

Do you know that there is only one person who can give you perfect love?  That person is Jesus.  Not only that, He is the only one who can heal your heart.

I can’t heal your heart, Daddy can’t heal your heart, Mrs. Gray can’t heal your heart — only Jesus.  We can all help and do our part, and we will do our best, but only Jesus can heal your heart.

In that moment, a weight lifted off of me.  I have been striving so hard, working so hard, and thinking so much about how to help my children.  I have been carrying the weight of their brokenness in my heart and mind and it was taking a toll.

But I can’t heal their hearts on my own; I’m just part of the team.  The Great Healer is Jesus. He alone knows my children’s stories and their wounds.  He alone has the power to touch their deepest hurts.

Let’s not carry more than we are meant to bear – let’s lay down the brokenness of our children, ourselves, and our families, and trust the One who loves us to bring healing.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

40 Comments

  1. Cassc
    January 17, 2011

    Isn't it amazing how we can "know" something but not really understand it? Was Honeybee able to understand what you were telling her? What an important lesson for you both!

    Reply
  2. Mary
    January 17, 2011

    Amen! We just have our loaves and fish, right? Such an encouragement to this mama in Texas! Thank you Lisa.

    Reply
    1. Jillian
      January 17, 2011

      "We just have our loaves and fish" So true! We just have to offer what we have and be faithful. Amen!

      Reply
  3. Chantelle
    January 17, 2011

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    Reply
  4. carla
    January 17, 2011

    Yes, yes, yes!!! You have put into words what God has been showing me over this past year. It has been so freeing to realize that I can never be all that these children need, actually not even close to what they really need, which is Jesus. He is the Healer, He is the one who brought these children into our families and we can only be what He is calling us to be, "mothers". I'm so glad that you have realized this because I know you have went the extra 1000 miles to help your children and it has put a strain on you and your family. Remember, "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30

    Reply
  5. Melissa
    January 17, 2011

    Thank you for this post. I needed this reminder! Your blog has been such an encouragement to me!

    Reply
  6. Tisha
    January 17, 2011

    Hi Lisa,
    I have been reading for a little over a month and keep meaning to post a comment. My husband and I adopted twin girls from Ethiopia in 2009 and one of them have some attachment issues. The thing that gets me through is knowing that the Lord is the only one who can heal her heart. We can do the best that we can, but we can't do it all alone. I love your blog and your heart. You are an amazing mother!

    Reply
  7. Karen
    January 17, 2011

    Lisa, I can't believe you posted this today. I just came to the exact same realization this morning. As I was doing a Bible study lesson, it spoke about things that we hang on to and forget to hand over to God. It encouraged us to take one thing from our day that we normally try to control and just pass it over to Jesus. In that moment, I realized that I needed to pass over my daughter's hurts to Jesus and let Him heal her. I can't do it. Jesus can use me to aid in her healing but I cannot do it on my own. I can rock with her all I want to (which I do continue to do every single day) but without God, her hurts can't heal. My therapeutic parenting on it's own just isn't enough. God is enough.

    Thank you so much for this post.

    k

    Reply
  8. Andrea
    January 17, 2011

    Bless you Lisa! You are always trying.. Why can't all children have a mommy like you..

    Reply
  9. Heather
    January 17, 2011

    I agree with you totally. When I lose that perspective, that Jesus alone is the healer of broken and wounded hearts, I begin to feel overwhelmed at the impossible task I feel I have. It is only when I remember this, that I feel that huge weight lifted. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  10. coffeemom
    January 17, 2011

    Ooh, perfect timing and perfect reminder!! Whew. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Mary
    January 17, 2011

    That is so hugely freeing as a mom, isn't it? To remember that we do not carry that burden ourselves…
    Love,
    Mary

    Reply
  12. Ashley
    January 17, 2011

    Ah, thank you. I've been feeling very heavy under the "expectation" to heal my boys hearts. I needed this today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
  13. Shonni
    January 17, 2011

    Amen Lisa

    Reply
  14. Teresa
    January 17, 2011

    Wow! Very powerful.

    Reply
  15. Angela
    January 17, 2011

    You are so right!! We are the parents but we can’t do it all!!

    Reply
  16. kristen
    January 17, 2011

    I am the servant, not the Source.

    I have that quote on my pantry door where i see it eleventy billion times a day, thank God.

    great post, and reminder, Lisa.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      January 17, 2011

      Kristen, I need that painted on the wall of my kitchen. Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Heidi
        January 17, 2011

        Lisa, If you look up "Vinal Wall Lettering" on Etsy.com – I am sure you can have someone print that saying for you! 🙂

        Reply
      2. Tisha
        January 18, 2011

        I'm printing that for my refrigerator right now. Thanks.

        These are such important words Lisa. Thank you.

        Reply
  17. pastormacsann
    January 17, 2011

    That burden is a crushing weight, only He is strong enough to carry it. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you.

    Reply
  18. kerry
    January 17, 2011

    this is so true and just what i needed to hear. I too have been bearing the burden of "fixing" or "healing" our daughter. Thank you for reminding me that she is Jesus' .

    Reply
  19. nancileamarie
    January 17, 2011

    Amen!

    Reply
  20. Dawn
    January 17, 2011

    Love this!!! 🙂

    Reply
  21. One Thankful Mom
    January 17, 2011

    Thanks!

    Reply
  22. claudia
    January 18, 2011

    Perfect timing for me too. Thanks.

    Reply
  23. Elizabeth
    January 18, 2011

    Yes, yes, yes! My other moment of relief came when I realized that I carried much fear for my child… fear that I wouldn't be able to parent him as I should, fear for how his future would be, fear he would never heal, etc. But suddenly the promise "Perfect love casts out fear" made sense. And it wasn't my love for my child that was casting out my fear for him (that wasn't working), but Jesus' love for both of us. With His love, I have no need to fear.

    Reply
  24. Jodie Howerton
    January 18, 2011

    Wow, this is so powerful, Lisa. Absolutely amazing.

    Reply
  25. Kayla
    January 18, 2011

    I am awfully speechless as I read this. It's a beautiful spiritual truth that flies in the face of the way we like to "do" relationships.

    Reply
  26. learningpatience
    January 18, 2011

    Truth well spoken there, my friend!

    Reply
  27. Hannah Tucker
    January 18, 2011

    The eternal truth of your realization inspired me to write these lyrics. They're not much, but I thought I'd just share them with you, to the glory of God.

    She cries shrilly,
    Awakening her mommy
    From her light, restless dreaming:
    "Want MY mama!"
    Her wails floor "mommy";
    She cannot heal her.

    God, I can't do this;
    I cannot piece her back together;
    Can't make sense of the terror.
    God, I can't heal her,
    'Cause I'm broken myself:
    Heal Your children, Father!

    "How?" she mumbles,
    Trying to hold back the sobs
    Her friend wants her to release:
    "Didn't mean to!"
    Her friend looks down, defeated;
    She cannot heal her.

    God, I can't do this;
    I cannot piece her back together;
    Can't make sense of the terror.
    God, I can't heal her,
    'Cause I'm broken myself:
    Heal Your children, Father!

    "Why?" she whispers,
    Her voice startling her husband
    Out of his dreary stupor:
    "Why OUR baby?"
    Her groans tear at his heart;
    He cannot heal her.

    God, I can't do this;
    I cannot piece her back together;
    Can't make sense of the terror.
    God, I can't heal her,
    'Cause I'm broken myself:
    Heal Your children, Father!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      January 18, 2011

      Wow, Hannah, thank you.

      Reply
  28. Jennifer Anderson
    January 18, 2011

    Lisa, from Gods heart through your lips to all of us out there. THank you for being his vessel for the reminders we all so desperately need!

    Reply
  29. dawn
    January 18, 2011

    Funny I was thinking the exact same thing today. Rocking seems to have triggered an intense, anxious attachment in my little girlie. She doesn't want me to leave. Ever. Ever. Tomorrow we will have a talk about Jesus being the only One who can heal all her emptiness. She is very much like your Honeybee, "emptied" very easily. 🙁

    Reply
  30. Mary Andrews
    January 19, 2011

    Lisa, you are so profound in your wisdom. I am awed. Love you, Mom

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      January 19, 2011

      Thank you, Mom. Love you too.

      Reply
  31. Marilyn
    January 20, 2011

    A most excellent post. A friend's link sent me here.

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulMom
      January 20, 2011

      Thank you, Marilyn. I'm glad you found your way to my blog and hope to get to know you.

      Reply
  32. Mamitaj
    January 21, 2011

    Amen. That does take the burden off, doesn't it?

    Reply
  33. Leica
    January 29, 2011

    Thanks for that!

    Reply

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