I have shared in the past the struggle that I have been facing as it relates to my son, Jamir, and his school work or lack thereof. After setting him up for success this year with tutors, and extra study courses, and even a therapist, I expected that he would do much better than years past, and at first he was. Then I began to receive emails from his teachers stating that he was not completing assignments, goofing off in class and just being all around disruptive in his classes.
It felt like every other week my husband and I were having “Come to Jesus” moments with him. There was yelling, and tears, high blood pressure and moments where I reasoned with myself that going to jail for taking back the life I gave him may not be too bad, I could survive prison for a good cause. Then I would go in my secret place, the bathroom, run the water, and cry my eyes out. I would begin to tell myself that this was all my fault. I should have spent more time with him as a child, maybe if I would have gotten him involved with mentoring programs or read to him more, focused on math facts, he would be in such a better place. If my life had been more stable back then, he would be in a better place today. I condemned myself for things that happens in the past, which I have no control over in the present.
When I was single, and Jamir’s biological father would make a promise and then break it, I would say to him, “Jamir, don’t worry, it’s always just going to be you and me, Jamir and mommy, always”. I didn’t realize that even though he was only two years old, he listened to me and he held that promise in his heart for dear life.
About three weeks ago, Josh and I had another “Come to Jesus” moment with Jamir. This one was probably the worst one yet. You know one of those arguments when your so mad you just say what you really mean and could care less how people will feel when the tension dies down? Yeah, it was one of those, except Jamir was the one who had some things he needed to get off his chest and all we could do was sit and listen. He reminded Josh of the promise that I had made to him 13 years ago, before there was a Josh. He went on to say how I broke that promise, because not only did I marry Josh, but then we created Janai. He stated that he was appreciative to Josh for all that he has done for him, and he doesn’t wish that I would have stayed with his, biological father, he just wonders what life would be like if it would have just been he and I, mommy and Jamir, forever?
My heart broke. That’s all I can say. If your a mom then your heart is feeling right now, what I felt in that moment. There aren’t words that can adequately express how low I felt. How do you respond to that?
I immediately did what I did best, I retreated to my secret place and I began to beat myself up. I allowed the devil to begin to take residence in my mind. Then I got angry. I wanted to tell Jamir that he better not ever speak like that again. I literally wouldn’t speak to him for about three days.
Then, one day, two weeks ago, as I sat at my desk, replaying the conversation in my head, I heard God say, “Stop it. Stop it Sana.” He went on to tell me that it was time I completely gave Jamir over to him. He reminded me that he had sent a physical being to me months ago to assure me that Jamir would be okay, but how quickly I had forgotten the promise he made me. “Take your hands off of him and let him go.” “How am I going to do that God? What does that look like?” I went back in forth in my head all day, but by the time I got home, he had given me a plan. It was up to me to trust him. He never showed me what it would look like, he just told me to trust him.
On my way home I called my cousin. I needed someone to tell me that I wasn’t crazy. Someone who has been down the same path, but came out on the other side. Someone who knows how to get a prayer through. It’s important to surround yourself with some women of God who can have your back in the natural AND the spirit.
When I arrived home I explained to Josh the plan God gave me. He asked no questions just simply touched and agreed and we sat Jamir down to unfold the plan.
The first thing God made me realize, was that during this conversation it was going to be extremely important that I looked Jamir in his face. He needed to understand that what I was about to say was a choice between life or death.
I began to explain to him that the promise I made to him would never be broken, until the end of time, it would always be Him and I. I would always have his best interest at heart, but God knew there were things I would never be able to teach him, so he gifted us with Josh. Josh would be the one that would take him into manhood. I told him that there was a level of admiration, love and respect he needed to feel, and that would come from Janai. Only a little sister would be able to look up to you like you can save her from the world. In her words, “Jamir made me famous because I’m his little sister and he’s famous. Everyone knows him.”. I proceeded to him that what he would no longer be able to do from this day forward, is make me feel like I have failed him. I will no longer carry the title BAD MOM after my name like it’s a degree. I may have not been the best mom, but I certainly was not the worst. He may remember a lot of things I did wrong, but he will never remember not being well taken care of. I am not a failure as a mom, but I have failed to show him what the real world looks like. I have rewarded him even when he didn’t deserve it. Allowed him to think that he was entitled to game systems, name brand sneakers, IPhones and quality time hanging with his friends. I’ve advocated on his behalf to his teachers even when his behavior made me look like a fool. That day, his life become his own. That day, I remove my hands from beneath him and trusted that God would catch him before he hit rock bottom.
I would no longer ask him did he complete his homework, did he study for that test, did he take notes in class today, why didn’t he stay after for the extra help session I put in place for him, did he need help, ect, ect, ect. Nope, he would be responsible to do all of that for himself. He would need to decide whether he would walk that stage with the friends he grew up with or the ones that looked up to him. If he failed this year, I won’t skip paying an essential bill in order to come up with funds for summer school. He would now have the power to create his own destiny.
He cried like a baby, and for a split second, I wanted to take it all back, but I could hear the voice of the Lord say, “Will you trust me with the life I blessed you with?.
So what now? What do I do now? What do WE do now? I know I’m not alone. I know there are some moms out there who are weary. I know there are days when you want to lock your son in a room and throw away the key. Sometimes, we are tempted to let our circumstances tell us that our sons are the enemy, they are the one we are fighting. But instead, remember this:
Our sons are not our enemy. But there is an enemy.
That’s right. Our sons have a real enemy, one that wants to steal, kill and destroy them. Thankfully that enemy, according to the Word of God, has an opponent who’s a force to be reckoned with. You and Me and all moms who are willing to get on their knees and cry out for the hearts of their sons. James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (The Message).
The best way we can enter the battle for our sons is on our knees, so let’s start fighting for them right now. Here are some prayers we can use to fight for the heart of our sons:
1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).
2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).
3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).
4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him, and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).
5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
This new plan has had a few challenges. The progress is slooooowwww, BUT it’s progress. There are days when he chooses to take responsibility of his future, and most days he waits for me to do the work for him. Both days, I choose the same response, I choose to trust the plan and process that God has laid out before me.
Will you trust God today? Will you stop allowing the devil to live in the midst of your insecurities? Will you kneel beside me as we battle for the hearts of our sons?