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  • Writer's pictureShannon Bryant

The Pulling

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

When I was a little girl, I remember my grandmother saying, “When your children are small, they pull on your leg, when they get older, they pull on your heart.” Back then I had no idea what my grandmother was conveying but her words stuck with me throughout the years, specifically as I started rearing my own children.

My grandmother’s tenderhearted words of endearing and enduring love and wisdom poured out from a mother’s heart who had experienced the different seasons of parenting echoed in my mind as my children grew into teenagers, and now adults. It was then that I started to really comprehend what my grandma was saying.

I remember the days when my daughters were little, so full of energy, packed with so many questions, and full of enthusiasm. I realize now that this was the season of" pulling on my leg". The phrase "pulling on my leg" as I understand means that when my children were smaller, they depended on me in a more physical sense to communicate their wants and needs. From asking for their favorite box of cereal in the grocery store to repeatedly asking for the latest toy that they saw on a t.v. commercial, to wanting the extra cookie at snack time, to pulling my hand at the local park to go from the swings to slides. These are what I now know as and what my grandmother referred to as “pull on your leg”’. I liken it to a little child pulling/tugging on a parent’s pant leg to get their attention/point them to/communicate to a parent what they desire or need. I often reflect on how did I keep up with my kids. This season was very fulfilling but it exerted more physically.

My oldest daughter and I. The early days!

On the flip side, there is the adolescence to teenage years which exerts you more emotionally. This is when I started experiencing the pulling that grandma was talking about. Not that children don't pull on our hearts in their early years but this is what I call a NEXT LEVEL kind of pull that will try your nerves. During this time, they go through a lot of social, hormonal, and emotional changes and trying to support them through it in a God-honoring way can be emotionally exhausting and back when I was raising my kids, let’s just say, I didn’t know God as I know Him now. I made many mistakes that I’ve had to ask God to forgive me for, ask my children to forgive me for, and lastly, I had to forgive myself. Which was very difficult and I battled for a long time to let go of the guilt and blame. Guilt and blame are the unhealthy pullings of the heart that can weigh heavily on a parent and it must not be so. The bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9a, “The heart is deceitful above all things.” We must forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made in our parenting so that we can be free to be who God made us to be, and part of that is being a better parent no matter the age of our children.

We must turn those pullings, burdens and concerns we have for our children into prayers. Pullings are promptings to pray.

So many years ago. My youngest made me a paper fan. Treasured moments.

Prayers prayed in the will of God are working!

When our children enter adulthood is where the real pull on our hearts is usually the strongest. Mainly because we don't have any control over them anymore. Hopefully, we have influence but the control is out the door.

Many have trained their children up in the way they should go only to see them go astray. Others may have missed the mark as far as raising their children in the Lord but we must know that it’s not too late. Time is not a barrier with God and He is able to save and make all grace abound to us and our children.

Whether our children are battling addictions, anxiety and/or depression as a result of childhood trauma, eating disorders, in toxic relationships, low self-worth, suffering from chronic illness, confused on who God made them to be….. fill in the blank ____________________. Whatever it is, is not too hard for God! ALL things are with possible with Him! This is a wonderful reminder and powerful truth! An awesome encouragement that there is hope for our children!

“Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears. For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord. That your children shall come back to their own border.” Jeremiah 31:16,17

Some of your hearts right now might be being pulled and heavily burdened regarding your children. They’ve made some bad choices and are going down the wrong path. You may have been praying for years and have not yet seen the manifestation. I encourage you to walk by FAITH, not by SIGHT. Prayers prayed in the will of God are working!

I know that it’s difficult to not grow weary when the answer seems to tarry. Nothing crushes a parent's heart more than to see your child going down a destructive path. Though your heart may be heavy know that God hears the prayers you have prayed for your children and He's well aware of your pain. Father God is well acquainted with having children who have gone astray.

Our prayers for our children have a tremendous impact and prepare the soil of their hearts to lead, restore and align them into right relationship with the Savior and God’s purposes for their lives.

At the amusement park. Dont' let my smile fool you. Mama was tired and not too amused!! But my daughter looked very excited and that's all that really matters.

We must always keep in mind that we are not fighting against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) Our weapons of warfare are mighty IN God for pulling down strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Persevere in prayer! Allow God room to work in their lives. He can do more in a moment than we can do with all of our striving which usually worsens the situation and damages the relationship if not led by the Holy Spirit.

Some of you may be in the early stages of parenting. Changing diapers, keeping up with feedings, and chasing toddlers. Some may have pre-teen or teenagers. Whatever stage you are in God’s grace is sufficient for you. Depend on Him. Be doers of the Word not just hearers only. Your kids are watching and from my experience, they will learn and be positively or adversely affected more by what you do more than what you say. Actively plant seeds of God’s Word in them. God’s Word is active and alive and it will take root in their hearts. Even when they make mistakes the Word of God will be brought to their remembrance and empower them to live God's way.

Those who have adult children, who have strayed don’t drown in discouragement. Believe that God is moving on their hearts, even if they don't act like it. God promises to demonstrate His power when we get weary. May God give you fresh hope today!

Join me in praying for our children with expectancy and believe God together for His will and purposes to be fulfilled in their lives!

Prayer Matter

Father, we thank you for blessing us with the precious gift of our children. Thank You for providing grace in every season of rearing them. Lord, we have no greater joy than to know that our children walk in truth. May our children walk according to Your Word and the revelation of Your truths. Even when they stumble Lord enable them to quickly get back on the straight and narrow path.

We ask that You draw them and that Your loving kindness will bring them to repentance and that You will give them a heart to know You, that You will be their God, not the things of this world.

Lord cover them with the blood of Jesus and place a hedge of protection around them. Give Your angels special charge over them to keep them in all their ways.

Give them a heart and an ear to the follow You and take heed to Your voice and a stranger they will not follow. May their identity be found in YOU and only YOU!

Lord, we ask that You perfect everything concerning our children. We can be confident that You who began a good work in them will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Jehovah Rapha we ask you to heal all of our children’s wounds. May the trauma that has been inflicted have no more ill effect on their bodies, minds and deter the plan You have for them. You are the Lord who heals! You are faithful to restore our children in every way!

Pull down every stronghold, cast down every argument, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of You, bringing their every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ! Where they are oppressed we pray they are set free in Jesus' name! Clothe them with the garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness. Sever ungodly relationships and association. Break every chain link by link. Your will for our children is to be free in You!

Today we turn our pullings into prayers and ask You to send forth Your Spirit of Your Son into our children's heart that will compel them to cry out, ABBA FATHER! That they will no longer be slaves but Your sons and daughters and if they be YOUR children then an heir of You through Christ! (Galatians 4:6)

Lord encourage our hearts. Renew our strength. Infuse our prayers and our praise! Give us greater grace to pray without ceasing believing and waiting for Your promises for our children.

May Your gracious hand be upon them. Be it unto our children according to Your Word. In the all-sufficient name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

May peace rule in your heart as you continue to partner with God through prayer with thanksgiving to change the course of your child's life now and forever. May God quiet your heart and silence every worry.

Be assured that God is listening. God is working.

From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him and His righteousness with their children's children. Psalm 103:17

My daughters and I a few years back. All grown up. Love these ladies!

When our children bring us to our knees in prevailing persistent prayer we are in the perfect posture for God to do and complete a great work in them and us. Trust Him. He cannot deny who He IS. Faithful.

My beautiful grandmother Mary. God has blessed her with 94 years. We thank God for her love, legacy, faith and response to the pullings of her heart with fervent prayers for her children, and their children's children. We rise up and calll her blessed.

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