The Brokenheartedness that Parenting Is

This is my life quote:

“The brokenhearted are indeed the bravest among us—they dared to love, and they dared to forgive.”
–Dr. Brene Brown, Rising Strong

I found the quote as I’m a fangirl of Dr. Brene’ Brown and her research. But as soon as I read this, I knew this is how I’ve been living my entire life.

I have a broken heart. I do feel brave. And these are actually connected.

Parents, you are brave even as your teen smashes your heart. Or even as you are filled with so much fear over your teen. This is the ebb-and-flow of parenting. You get to feel both. 

Yes, feel. We adults all too often have learned coping mechanisms to numb the broken-heartedness parenting brings. We spend, stay busy, stay connected all the time, have addictions, run, are depressed, exploit food, have porn habits, and bully so we don’t feel this pain.  But the pain is still there. None of these coping mechanisms changes that fact. 

In Rising Strong Dr. Brown made this statement, “My faith calls me to practice love over fear.” (P. 210.)

What about you? Do you practice love over fear? If you do, you will feel brokenhearted. Fear is at the root of what keeps you numb. Love gives you the bravery to feel and be vulnerable. We can do this because “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

Here is the crazy truth about fear. Fear does not bring control to your world— even though it feels like it does. Some parents even wear their fear like a badge. The helicopter leash is taut and short because of fear and it is justified because “I don’t let my kids be out like that, I’m not that kind of a parent.” And still you find yourself crying and in fear because of your teen.

Fear is at the root of the endless running tape in our heads.  The tape that says “I am a failure as a parent.”

Soon shame becomes our friend because we can never do enough to stop this tape.

We can never do enough. There is a lie in that sentence. There are so many great biblical truths we should be standing on in our lives but these truths are shut out because fear is justified because it makes us feel like we are in control. The lie of that wears you out.

This is the truth. “The brokenhearted are indeed the bravest among us—they dared to love, and they dared to forgive.” Broken you will always dare to love your teen. Broken you will always forgive your teen. Dr. Brene’ Brown’s research then finds you to be the bravest.

This is from another favorite book of mine. Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

“Who knows why God allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important enough because God allows His heart to break too.”

Do not be afraid of your broken heart. Do not let shame lie to you and keep you feeling inadequate, keep you from finding your circle, keep you from the vulnerability that raising a teen is. God is close to you. And God loves your child even more than you. He holds the big picture of your teen’s life while at the same time walking beside every small part of your teen’s life. The brave have learned to trust in these God truths that never change. 

I can’t spare you of your broken heart. I can remind you of these truths and walk with you. If you know my story, you know I know this to be true.

(If anything in this article triggered you to want more, there are loads of articles on this in the Fear and Broken-Hearted Bravery article categories.)