Sometimes Parents Need a Christmas Miracle

When Things Look Like an Impossible Mess

“… Into the middle of impossible messes — comes the Messiah who makes the miracles possible.”  (Ann Voskamp)Renee butterfly1

Does your child’s life look like an impossible mess this Christmas season?

Are they so trapped in addictive behaviors and destructive relationships that it looks like there’s no way out?

Are drugs and alcohol, self-injury, an eating disorder, mental illness, jail sentences, a same-sex relationship or pornography holding them in bondage?

If all you see is impossibilities –  in their lives and in yours – then you need a miracle.

Can Parents in Pain Celebrate the Holidays?

Choose Where You Will Focus

Can you remember when a special event was ruined because of something bad that happened? Maybe it was your birthday or maybe it was Christmas. For me, it was Thanksgiving Day 1997. We were living in Illinois. The morning was cold and sunny. I was up early to prepare our family’s special breakfast before we watched the Macy’s Christmas parade. I looked forward to this day all year. Our home was full of cheerful anticipation as pleasing aromas drifted in through the house.

An Unwelcomed Surprise

Suddenly, the phone rang around 8 am. It’s really early to get a phone call on Thanksgiving Day. My world was about to come crashing down.

“Hello?” I answered, expecting to hear the voice of one of our parents wishing us a happy day.

“Dena . . .  honey,” My dad’s shaky voice stammered. My stomach sank. Uh oh. Something’s wrong.

After an eight-month-long illness, my mom had finally made enough progress to go home. Today was the day! I couldn’t wait to talk to her for the first time in months. How wonderful that would be.

“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, but I just got a call from the nursing facility. It’s about your mom . . . honey, she passed away early this morning while they were helping her get dressed.” Nooooo!!!! It can’t be!

Thanksgiving has never been the same. I caught a flight out the next day. Her visitation was on my birthday. I didn’t want to celebrate anything that year. Thanksgiving. My birthday. Christmas. Who cares. I didn’t.

Have you had a similar experience with one of your children? You’ve been profoundly hurt, rejected, shocked, disappointed, and grief-stricken. You could care less about the holidays. There will be no Norman Rockwell Christmas for you.