On the High Wire

I was a gymnast growing up, so watching the high-wire acts at the circus or the courageous death-defying wire walks of the amazing believer, Nik Wallenda, have always captured my attention. Somedays as a mom, it feels like we are walking our own high wire. Life for our children feels dangerous, precarious, a kind of life and death walk of faith in a very erratic world. We moms are often praying for sure-footing and clear and courageous thinking in a world with shifting foundations and trials of change in us and in our children.

Ever feel at the end of yourself as a parent? Yeah, me too! I know that when it feels like you are on a high wire stretched over a deep and perilous spiritual canyon, prayer and God’s Word are the components that form a safety net of hope for you and your kids (and me and my kids). But some days it is just plain hard to see your children as God does:

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:13-14 (NASB)


In 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, I share one of my stressful, “high-wire” days as a mom. One day, our then 8 year old son Zach came into the house from playing outside with his brothers, Brock and Caleb. His brothers were in tears. Zach was beating on them again! (Zach had a medical issue and a learning disability and wasn’t very verbal so when frustrated, he used his fists).

“Zach,” I bent down and whispered intently into his face, “You cannot do this. Hitting is inappropriate. Go upstairs and I will come up to talk to you.”

Zach stomped up the stairs, knocking his brothers over in the process. He knocked off all the family photos hanging along the stairwell as he ran up the stairs in a rage. He slammed the door to his room and threw a baseball at it, knocking a hole through the door as I walked in. I bounded up the stairs just behind him. I prayed all the way up the stairs because I had made a commitment to never discipline in anger. But I wasn’t angry. I was scared, frightened for my son and his future.


I walked into the room, bent down so I was eye to eye with him and said firmly but calmly, “Zachery, this is inappropriate. I know you are angry. I know you are upset. But you cannot use your fists to show it. You have got to learn to use words to express your feelings.” (I was thinking in my mind, If you act like this, no one will ever marry you and you are going to live with me forever! Use words!)

Zach exploded and yelled back at me, hands on his hips, “You want words? You want words? Then I hate myself and I hate my life and if God made me, I hate Him too!”

I stood in shocked silence. I simply replied in a whisper, “I’ll be right back.”

I ran to my room in tears. I threw myself across my bed and desperately prayed…

Come to the Unshaken Southern California conference to hear what I prayed, how God creatively answered my desperate prayers, and where this son is now with his walk with God and in life. See more Unshaken dates and locations here.


Praying with Zach on his wedding day.

When you need a miracle, it is just a prayer away.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  Jeremiah 33:3 (NASB)

pam close fushia rebeccaPam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 45 books including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make; 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex; Got Teens? ; and best-selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. She is happily married to her husband and co-author, Bill, and mom to three sons, three daughters in law and four grandkids. Her goal in life is to help as many people as possible live LOVE-WISE, by discovering the power, provision and peace found in God who cares for us all. Pam is convinced Moms in Prayer was and is a key component in helping her children become Unshaken.

Comments 1

  1. That is a beautiful story!!! A great example of how we need to remind ourselves not to assume anything about how another person is feeling. Great job supporting this child of God!!! Thank you for this reminder. And thank you for continuing to reach out to others to share God’s word. 🙂

    I also want to note that I have seen you and your husband speak multiple times at Hearts at Home in Bloomington (now moved to Peoria), and hope to see you there again! You and Julie Barnhill are my two favorite speakers, and I have gone about 10 years to the Hearts at Home conferences. 🙂 I still share with many how men are like waffles, and women are like spaghetti – so true!!!

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