Tuesday, March 14, 2017

6 Prayers to Pray When CPS Shows Up At Your Door

Photo image courtesy of Cathy Yeulet via 123rf.com
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
~ Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV ~

I can remember it like it was yesterday. The appliance guy asked me to sign the slip confirming delivery of our brand new refrigerator as my pudgy toddler waddled around us. In only a diaper and sporting more than one hard, angry, bruise in odd places, he was quite the sight. The delivery man looked at him, looked at me, and just shook his head in disgust. He didn't have to tell me what he was thinking.
Courtesy of National Hemophilia Foundation
In those days we had been trained by our nurse coordinator to expect Child Protective Services to show up on our doorstep at any time. We kept the brochure pictured above handy just in case. It was my very worst fear.

While the dreaded visit from CPS never came for us, it has for dozens of others I have served over the years. It is never easy. Mothers are particularly crushed when it happens. And in recent years, certain medical professionals have started using this difficult intervention when parents don't follow their recommended course of treatment with a child. Traumatizing is an understatement.

Legal experts are always best to consult when it comes to knowing your rights.

However, there are prayers you can pray in such a situation to the Ultimate Authority. When CPS shows up at your door...

  1. Pray for God to calm your heart. -- No other prayers will have any amount of worth if you are unable to remain calm. Ask the Peacegiver to grant you steady emotions so you can manage the remainder of this encounter.
  2. Pray for self-control. -- The initial instinct to vindicate oneself right then and there must be resisted to remain effective. Reacting impulsively, even if you believe it to be in a positive way, can be to your detriment. Holding your tongue and saying as little as possible is the wisest choice at a time such as this.
  3. Pray for discernment. -- Unfortunately, most of us are not equipped to deal wisely with a government agent at our door responding to accusations of mistreatment or neglect. We need to be aware of who the person is through identification. Do they have a warrant to enter your home? By law, they must also give a detailed explanation as to why they are visiting you. Ask for that if it is not offered. Pray for the wisdom to recognize that, even if this person at your door seems extremely nice, they are more often than not arriving with the expectation that they may have to remove your child from your home. 
  4. Pray for kindness. -- It is difficult not to be nasty and defensive when met with an adversarial confrontation. Yet, courtesy will win the day. You can be polite but firm with the help of the Holy Spirit. Treat that social worker the same way you would want to be treated in the same situation. That kindness can't help but leave a positive impression.
  5. Pray for the Truth to be revealed. -- There is nothing that is hidden from God. He knows if you are innocent. He also knows if something unknown to you has happened to your child. Pray that this unexpected confrontation would be used for your good, your child's good, and for the glory of God. Pray that the truth would be exposed in this situation.
  6. Pray for forgiveness. -- I have not met a single parent going through the angst of dealing with CPS who has not wanted to wring the neck of the person who turned them in. Whether it be a nosy neighbor, a judgmental relative, or a misguided professional, this type of visit shakes your world to the core. You will likely never know who turned you in, but despite the burning anger inside you, you should pray for whoever it was. Pray for their good intentions or pray for their critical spirit. Thank God that you live in a culture that cares about your child's safety. Then pray to release the bitterness from the situation. You will most certainly have to repeat this prayer more than a few times.
If you have never had Child Protective Services show up at your door, pray these prayers for those who do. This system, albeit an imperfect one, was put in place for a reason. I have also served parents who rightly had their children removed from the home. Regardless, this is the type of encounter where our souls are ripped open enough to allow more of Christ in. Pray that through the sorrow, a fresh, healing encounter with Jesus will spring forth.

PRAY: Jesus, you are THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. Thank You that nothing happens apart from Your watchful eye and constant care. You know what it is like to be falsely accused. Protect us and keep us strong when we are in a similar position. Let Your truth be revealed in contentious situations. And give us the moral character to walk uprightly, no matter what we may face.


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6 comments:

  1. I live in fear of this happening to my family too. Thankfully, my kids have a team of great doctors who will vouch for us if it does, but the thought of having CPS show up at my door still strikes me with fear.

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    1. I think this strikes most of us with fear. Glad to hear your kids have such a great team!

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  2. It happened to us. They stormed our house and removed all 5 of my boys. It took 3 months and 60 thousand dollars to get them back. If I can only offer one piece of advice. Call a lawyer!! Don't talk to them without a lawyer. They twist what tlyou say and turn it all against you. Google Anthony and Melissa Geers, we were all over the news. Anyone needing assistance is navigating this corrupt system, feel free to reach out to us.

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    1. Anthony, I am so sorry to see what you and your wife have gone through. I am glad to see on Facebook that you are using your trial to bless other parents who have and are going through similar circumstances.

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  3. Thank you for this important information.

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