In front of the judge

There are times as a parent when you want to make your child wear a t-shirt that states, This is not how I was raised. I know there were many times in my upbringing that my parents would have liked to make that my daily uniform. Kids do the opposite sometimes of what they are taught, but no matter what they do, we love them through it. 


A few weeks ago, I began to get messages and calls from concerned friends shocked because they had seen our 18-year-old sons’ name either in the paper or on the news. Back in March 2012 he made in his words, “really stupid choices” that he deeply regrets being involved in. Choices that landed him in trouble with the law. 

Last Thursday morning, May 23rd, my husband and I escorted our only son into a court room. His lawyer told us to say our goodbyes in case he didn’t get probation. We hugged, kissed him and told him we loved him. I watched as everyone else in the room stayed seated and my son stood before the judge. Alone. Just him before her. For the first time as his mom there was nothing I could do for him. I couldn’t save his day. I couldn’t send him to his room. I couldn’t tell the judge what a great kid he really is since she doesn’t know him past a case file. So I sat, cried and prayed while holding my sisters’ hand. 

Gene and I wanted our son to get a life lesson from this and not walk away unpunished, but after the other 3 men involved were sentenced to 6-10 years, my Momma’s heart wasn’t praying for a “do the crime, do the time” kind of punishment. Instead of telling God what Aaron needed, Gene and I decided to trust that Aaron’s Heavenly Father knows best for his Prodigal in Nebraska. 

The judge gave him 20 months to 5 years in prison. My heart beat fiercely and the tears flowed as the pound of the gavel let me know her judgement was final. I wanted to jump over the 3 foot wooden wall in between me and my son who was immediately handcuffed and led out of the court room. I wanted to take his place and let him go back home to his dog Kane waiting for the boy he’s been faithful to since Aaron’s 13th birthday. Instead I went home, got in Aaron’s bed with Kane and whispered and cried to God that I trust Him. 

This has been a huge wake-up call for me.

My heart has never ached like this before and Sunday evening in the midst of my pain, I began to examine my walk versus my talk. I had to admit to God and myself that I make choices that don’t match up. Things that need to be stopped because this is not how I was raised up in Christ and there is nothing worth doing if it grieves God’s heart.

God is after our hearts. He doesn’t want to be a Sunday, holiday or our emergency God to us. He wants to be our all-the-time-everything God. He wants relationship with us. For when we have relationship with Him we’ll stand before a Judge who knows us, unlike Aaron who faced a judge who won’t ever know him outside of her place of work.  

Just like my son stood alone and was held accountable before a judge, we will take our stance one day too. Not before a judge in a small Midwest court room, but God Almighty, THE JUDGE and every one of us will be held liable for our actions while on earth. 

I encourage you to examine your own heart and if it is something that doesn’t please God, get rid of it. Today

Romans 14:10-12

For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 


Please keep Aaron in your prayers. For the first 30 days he is in orientation and then placed in general population. Prayers of protection, wisdom and God-connections are appreciated. Thank you!

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6 Responses to In front of the judge

  1. Kim says:

    sighhhh……my heart breaks for you and your family.

    Praying.Praying.Praying….and watching to see what God does in Aarons heart and how He uses him to further his kingdom.

    much love to you Lelia.

  2. My heart’s hurting for you, Lelia. Have you read Lysa’s good words today at A Holy Experience? They just might be a salve for you.

  3. godschick says:

    Lelia, I love your post today. So praying for you, Gene and Aaron. I can only imagine the helplessness you feel and the strong desire to put yourself in his place. You are a good mom and you have raised him well. He is blessed. Be encouraged….what God starts He will finish and the plans He has for Aaron are GOOD! Love you.

  4. Jackie Roth says:

    I am crying and sending this on to my daughter. I needed it too!! thank you for sharing. I will pray for Aaron. I guess this is all part of what he will preach about some day? wow ….God is good but things are so hard. Love you lots

  5. Kathy Schwanke says:

    Beautiful. Praying for God’s grace upon your son and mighty comfort and peace for your heart in His excellent sovereignty. More than all we can ask or imagine, that power he has to do what we ask. I’ve seen him lower sentences for repentance. Praying that especially. God bless you as you walk by faith and not by sight. <3

  6. Such a courageous prayer Leila ~ trusting the Lord that He knows what His prodigal needs. Continuing to pray for protection and mercy over Aaron and that the Lord will use this time to both use him and bring his heart back home.

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