Good Parenting

Elizabeth has long thought of passing on her angel story in order to encourage young mothers, but procrastinated because there was no way to prove what had occurred.  Finally, she decided to just TELL it.

“My second child, Joe, was in the 8th grade in public school,” Elizabeth recalled.  “We had discovered that he was using drugs.  We were going everywhere looking for help for him, but meeting a lot of brick walls.  I was heartsick over my child and I felt like a bad parent.”

Elizabeth believed she had failed Joe in some way, and she blamed herself.  God had given her this precious life to raise—and she had fallen short.

On one particularly bad day, Elizabeth waited until her husband and all five children were away from the house.  Then she sat down at the supper table, put her head on her folded arms and wept.  “Oh God, where did I go wrong?” she asked aloud.  “What more could I have done?  I failed Joe and I failed you, as a parent.”  She had never felt such despair.

And that’s when it happened.  Elizabeth felt a hand on her right shoulder.  It startled her, because she knew she was home alone.  She turned to look but saw no one there.  Still, she could feel the pressure of the hand, firm and consoling.

“Then I ‘heard’ a voice,” she said.  “Whether it was with my ears or like a telepathy, I am not sure to this day.  But this is what I heard: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  He created the creatures of the sea, the birds of the air, animals of the land, and He created man and woman.  And God was a GOOD parent.  He walked with his children in the garden and talked with them in the evening and all he asked for was their love and respect.  But Adam and Eve blew it!  Does that make God a bad parent?’”

Amazed and surprised, Elizabeth vigorously shook her head, no.  Then the voice went on: “And neither are you.  Did God blame himself for Adam and Eve’s choices?  Did he look for things he could have done differently?  NO.  He held them accountable—because he loved them and wanted them to grow.  Now go and do the same…”

A peace and comfort came over Elizabeth.

And she obeyed, dismissing the question of blame, and simply seeking help for her son.  Today Joe is a fine adult, married and raising four children.  God truly did remain faithful to Elizabeth, as she did to Him. With a little help from an angel…


Joan’s new book Where Angels Walk is the 25th Anniversary Edition, available now at Loyola Press.

Joan Wester Anderson has written many books on angels and miracles. She can be reached at P.O. Box 127, Prospect Heights, IL  60070.

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