In my last post I told you about the idea of a “God Box”. This is not original. I heard about it in an Al-Anon meeting and it was very impactful for me. This is a great strategy to help us as hurting parents deal with our emotions of fear, worry and anxiety. For me it helps me trust God and let go a little more.
When you realize you are worrying, anxious or upset about something related to your child who is struggles with substance abuse, self harm, anorexia or bulimia, a mental health issue (depression, bipolar, etc.), is in jail or prison, or suffers from thoughts of suicide — write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a “God Box”. Choose a box (any kind or size you want) and put “God Box” or “My God Box” on the top. For convenience I put a small notepad and pen inside my God Box.
I can’t explain it but there is something cathartic about writing down what I’m fretting over and then putting it in this little box. The process helps me recognize what I’m worrying and fretting over. Putting the paper in the box symbolizes surrendering to God, putting my child in his hands, letting them go.
It took me a few days to put my Christmas wish list in my box. There are so many distractions this time of year. I pulled out my God Box, got out my pen and notepad, wrote down my Christmas Wish List, carefully placed it inside and put the lid on it. It was powerful for me. Writing down my fears. Putting them in the box. Leaving them there. Walking away and trusting God. It only took a few minutes, but it’s helping me find a little more peace. I feel a little less anxious and sad. A little less nervous and fearful. Such a simple thing – so easy to do, yet with such a big result in my heart and mind.
I challenge you to give yourself this gift. Go find a box and get started today. I hope this simple process helps you find a little more peace as you surrender your fears and anxieties to the One who can help.
This Christmas season the tragedy at Hook Elementary School in Connecticut reminds us once again that Jesus is our only real source of help, comfort, strength and Peace.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 Contemporary English Version)
As the mom of a daughter who struggles with alcohol and drugs, anxiety and self harm, is bipolar, has been raped and suicidal numerous times, my wants during the holidays are few. If I could be a child again I’d climb up onto Santa’s lap and have a very different kind of wish list this year. Maybe you would, too. Material things mean nothing if one of our children is suffering. Their pain is our pain. We grieve over their losses. Our lives have been profoundly affected. We will never be the same. What do you really want for Christmas hurting mom or dad?
My list is more like a prayer.
All I want for Christmas is:
1) A “do over” for my daughter. To be able to turn the clock back and let her start over again;
“… Into the middle of impossible messes — comes the Messiah who makes the miracles possible.” (Ann Voskamp)
Does your child’s life look like an impossible mess? Are they so trapped in addictive behaviors and destructive relationships that it looks like there’s no way out? Alcohol and drug addiction, an eating disorder, mental illness, a jail sentence, same-sex relationship, pornography, self-harm. Is all you see impossibilities – in their life and in yours, too?
Find comfort in knowing