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The Hardest Job of All

Lately, I have been a workaholic juggling two full-time jobs in marketing and as an author, speaker and book coach, but recently made the decision to leave the former (day job) to strive toward the latter (dream job) and see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel (more balance in my life). Reflecting on this I thought back to when I had two other full-time jobs – working in marketing and parenting. I am living in the light at the end of the tunnel now as my three kids and two step-kids are grown and luckily leading healthy, productive lives. We’ve been called the Brady Bunch and recently when we were all gathered (scrunched) around the dinner table I felt truly blessed to have this large blended family.
There have been times along the way raising my kids, however, when I have not been grateful, but felt worried, guilty, sad, stressed, doubtful and burned out. And yet somehow the grace of God got me through the tough times – just as He has done over the past few thousand years. There are many stories of parental struggle in the Bible. The original parents, Adam and Eve, lost not only one but two children when Cain killed Abel and then was banished “East of Eden” (the story on which my new book, The Jealous Son, is based.) Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son (though his faith spared the child.) Jacob lost his beloved son Joseph when the boy’s brothers left him for dead in the desert. David lost his baby son born of Bathsheba and not only grieved for him but felt the guilt of having brought on the boy’s death by his own sin. And of course Mary grieved over the murder of her son, Jesus.
Just like these Biblical parents of old, all parents have to cope with a variety of struggles – sacrifice, hardship, loss and all of the feelings that come with these. Moms and dads hurt and suffer when their children hurt and suffer. In writing my new novel, which re-imagines the story of Cain and Abel, I drew on the guilt, loss and grief I experienced when I had a miscarriage – and also talked in depth to two friends who lost a child. How did they cope with that kind of loss? Both are women of strong faith and ultimately relied on God to pull them through just like the saints of old did.
I was once told by a friend in struggling with my son who was fighting the demon of addiction that as long as I tried my best to raise him safely into adulthood I had done all I can do. He also said “your children have a God and you’re not it.” I believe we need to remember that our children really do belong to God and that they are merely on loan to us for a time here on earth. Proverbs instructs us to “start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they shall not turn from it.” (Prov. 22:6) The great hope for all of us parents is that In the end, no matter what, our children will all hopefully return “home” to Him.
I pray that we can count our blessings as parents and let go of the rest…and that we can hold firm to our faith that in the end, we did the best we could and that God will hold all our children in the palm of His hand and lead them home to Him.
For more information on my latest novel, The Jealous Son, a modern murder mystery based on Cain and Abel, or to purchase the book visit my Website “Books” page, order on Amazon Kindle (avail. now), Pre-order the Paperback – or check your local library or bookstore!
To find out about upcoming book signings and get an autographed copy visit: News and Events

Michele Chynoweth

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