Are you a worn out, discouraged parent of a teen or adult child? Your son or daughter may suffer with one of these: mental illness, self-injury, an eating disorder, pornography, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, gender identity confusion, or be incarcerated.
Have you given up hope or you’re on the verge? Did you have a strong faith in God, but now you aren’t so sure what you believe anymore?
Take heart, weary friend. You’re not alone.
“I’m so exhausted,” my friend confided as she heaved a deep sigh.
Another mom choked out, “I don’t think I’m going to survive this experience”, as she wept on my shoulder.
A grief-stricken dad moaned, “This is killing me. It’s by far the most difficult time of my entire life.”
I’ve thought and said these same things, have you? How can I keep going? I wondered. My strength was gone. I had no idea how in the world I was going to face the next crisis.
You may feel like this, too. I wish I could tell you your child’s going to be okay, but I can’t make that promise. No one can. There aren’t any guarantees we can depend on. Our child is the one who must choose to change, to accept help.
I’m sorry. I know that’s not very comforting, but it’s the hard truth. On my grueling journey I’ve come to see that we need to grieve our losses and accept what is. What can we depend on? Is there anything out there for us to stand on, to give comfort? Where can we find some high ground, a refuge during times of disaster?
One night, feeling despondent and worried sick my daughter would die, I decided to make a list of the things I could know for certain – truths I could depend on, no matter what happened. I didn’t feel any better emotionally, but I was determined to hold on to them. For over thirty years they had been the ground work of my faith. I was confident they wouldn’t fail me now. They would be my high ground, my refuge. I made a list. Here’s the first 3:
1) God is in control. He’s Sovereign, no matter how things may look. (Isaiah 14:24; Psalm 40:5)
2) There is always hope. As long as my child is still breathing, there’s still hope and God is the source. (Psalm 62:5)
3) I will survive because the Lord is my help and strength. He will sustain me. (Psalm 46:1-2; 54:4)
I wrote my list on an index card and put it in a special place. Whenever I feel weary, I pull it out and read it. Again and again I meditate on the statements. They comfort my bruised soul and in those sacred moments my list becomes my prayer.
I encourage you to make a list. Go to it when you need to be reminded of truth. It can lead you to higher ground, to a place of refuge on your dark days. Why not try it? See if it helps. Set aside some time in the next few days. If you do, I’d love to hear what’s on yours. Oh, and you’re welcome to borrow from mine. Who knows, maybe I’ll borrow from yours! We really do need each other.
Father, our hearts are so broken. Show us what truths You want on our list. Those things we need to remember when we’re completely drained, ready to give up. Thank you for caring. You always give us what we need to press on and persist in the battle.
In the Healing name of Jesus, our Messiah.
***Enjoy this powerful song by Barlow Girl, Never Alone.
“I can’t feel you by my side
So I’ll hold tight to what I know
You’re here, and I’m never alone.”