Prayer of an Alienated Parent

Recently, I was cleaning up some files on my phone and stumbled upon this prayer in my notes.  I decided to post it just as I wrote it three and a half years ago.

****

Dear God,

Hear my prayer.

My calls go unanswered.
My texts unreturned.
Many nights come and go
Without having heard from my children.

Worrying if they are
Warm, safe and sound.
Wondering if they know I called,
Texted and think about them everyday.
Not knowing if they want to reach out,
But can’t or aren’t allowed.

The sleepless nights, the tears shed,
And the fear of the unknown,
All break my heart, injure my soul
And make things seem hopeless
Day after day, night after night.

Logs are kept, emails documented
And evidence gathered and presented.
But, no one seems to care how
A loving relationship between a parent
And their children just…. ends.

I have tried everything.
Yet, I am kept from my children’s lives.
My powerlessness has taken a toll on me
Beyond anything else ever endured,
Including the separation and divorce.

My hurting aside, I fear
My children suffer even more.
Worse, their suffering, is silent
Because we are unable to speak.
Even worse, others devalue and discredit
Our feelings and love for one another.

For I am the non-custodial parent,
Five states away and powerless
To enforce what we all know to be right
Rather than wrong and what is
Agreed, in writing, with their mother.

No matter what has happened
Or what I have tried to do,
To my dismay things have worsened
Rather than improved.

My ex and I told our children
Not much would change in the divorce.
During the first family meeting,
The girls were told Mommy and Daddy “Love each other,” “but have
Decided to get a divorce,” and
“Would remain friends.”

Most importantly, our children were
Told both parents loved them
And would remain in their lives.
For me, this was both expected and
A given since things were to be amicable.
As it turns out, this could not have been
Any farther from the truth.
For the girls’ mother, our
Hard fought, court-approved
Custody arrangement was feigned.
She had other plans for the girls
That did not include me.

I now stand alone.
In effect, childless.
Betrayed by the very person I had
Entrusted our children with the most.

The lost time, love and affection
With my children, depleted finances
And other damaging effects of
Alienation are a cost too great to quantify
Which no loving parent should bear.

After all that has happened,
I lift my concerns to You, God,
As I should have done
From the beginning.
I did what I thought best — not knowing
Who and what I was up against —
Rather than seek Your truth and wisdom.

For now, I am no longer
In my children’s lives.
While not what I wanted
Nor agreed with my ex,
I realize I cannot change
The situation on my own.
Need to let the past go and
Pray for Your strength to do so.

In my absence, I pray, God, that
You Watch over my children.
I ask that You protect them,
Nurture them, guide them
And make them aware how
Much I love them,
While I am unable to do so.
This, God, is my greatest failure.
A burden that only You can lift.

Lastly, by Your loving grace, please
Heal the pain my children have endured
And, at the appropriate time, show me
And my children the way to restore our relationship.

Amen

****

Had I chose to alienate myself from my children, there would be no reason for this prayer.  This is my prayer because someone else chose to alienate my children and me from one another.

I am closing this post with a passage from the prayer in Psalms 109, which sets out a situation David faced and brought to God. An alienated parent understands David’s feelings and concerns all to well.

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