God’s Care for Your Struggling Child

Is your child struggling to survive? Has their well-being been compromised by an addiction to drugs or alcohol, time spent in jail or prison, a mental health issue, same-sex attraction, self-injury or an eating disorder? Are they in need of special care by a team of specialists?

My second grandchild was born ten weeks early. She spent the first weeks of her life in an incubator to help sustain her life until she could survive on her own. The machine helped control body temperature, oxygen levels and provided  the right amount of humidity. While we were going through this trying time I realized something: God has our wayward sons and daughters in His incubator.

Something Weary Parents Lack

Today’s blog is a re-post from February 2013.

Are you a weary parent?  Are you drained?  Depleted?  Worn out from dealing with your child’s rebelliousness, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorder, forms of self-injury like cutting and burning, pornography, mental illness, sexual identity issues and continuous arrests?  If you’re likeWizard of Oz2 me, you lack something. Because of what’s missing, you keep saying “yes” when you really want to say “no” to your child’s requests for help – more money,  more of this and more of that.

Why do we do this? Why do we keep denying our feelings? Why do we continue to give in when we really want to stand firm and say no? What happened to us? Where did our healthy boundaries go?

What do we lack?  COURAGE. Been there. Done that. How about you?

Refreshment for Parents with Broken Hearts

Today’s blog is a visual one. It’s purpose is to refresh the hearts of parents with broken hearts. On my weak and weary days with my daughter who struggles with substance abuse, mental illness, self-harm and suicidal thoughts I was so distressed I couldn’t concentrate to read much or function at my normal capacity. My brain was jelly. I felt too distracted and depressed to focus. I could hardly think straight.

At those times I sought inspiration and refreshment through the senses. One of those was with beautiful photography. All I had to do was look at an inspiring picture and it would soothe my soul.

Blog Hop! Why I Write

blog writingToday I’m going to do something different. I’m going to introduce you to several other bloggers. Each of them write for different reasons and has a unique style all their own. It’s called a blog hop. I don’t do much hopping these days, but ‘ll make an exception for this.  The purpose is to introduce you to other writers you might enjoy.

For this Blog Hop, I will answer four questions about why I write, then each of these featured writers will do the same on their own blogs in the near future. Please take a few minutes to “hop” on over and check out their blogs. After I answer the four questions, I will introduce you to them. I think you’ll enjoy their writing.

Here are the four questions about “why I write”:

1. What am I writing or working on?  For the past year my husband and I have been writing a Facilitator’s Manual for those who would like to start a Hope for Hurting Parents Support group.

Malaysian Airliner Crash and Hurting Parents

malaysian airliner crashMy heart ached when I heard the news about the tragic crash of the Malaysian Airliner. As I thought about it and prayed for the families it occurred to me that there are many commonalities here with hurting parents whose children are abusing drugs or alcohol, have a mental illness, struggle with self-injury or an eating disorder, are in and out of jail or prison, or struggle with a same-sex attraction.

The crash was unexpected. None of the passengers or their loved ones saw this coming. No one imagined this would ever happen to them or their family.

The lives of the loved ones are changed forever. They will never be the same.

The loved ones couldn’t prevent this from happening. They had no control.  There was nothing they could do to change things.

A Wonderful Resource for Parents of Addicts

In today’s post I want to introduce you to a wonderful resource – certified Life  and Recovery Coach, Cathy Taughinbaugh.

Her website is an incredible source of  help.  Her website is for parents who are concerned about their child’s alcohol or drug use. One of her goals is to help you find peace.Cathy Taughinbaugh

“You may be feeling overwhelmed by the chaos, confusion and fear of trying to deal with your child’s substance use. Know that life can change and things can get better.

You don’t have to struggle alone!

I’ve dedicated my work to helping parents transform the anxiety and uncertainty they feel into clarity and peace of mind through personal coaching.

I’m a parent who has been in your shoes and know from the inside how hard this may be for you.”

A Hurting Mom Shares From Her Heart

*Welcome today’s guest blogger, Betsy Bradshaw. I believe you will find much encouragement and hope as she shares her story with honesty and openness. She’s learned some valuable lessons and even found  joy on the journey.

This has not been an easy journey for me these past few years. Our older son was making poor choices where we were serving as missionaries winding pathoverseas, so we returned to the U.S. a year early for our furlough, to get him some counseling. When he continued abusing substances, we thought we might need to take him to live in a homeless shelter when he turned eighteen.

My husband and I decided that if he hadn’t stopped his substance abuse by his birthday, we wouldn’t allow him to live at home anymore.

But God answered our prayers, and today he is doing much better. It hasn’t been easy, though. He’s been through two rehab programs and three counselors. Except for two small slips, he’s been clean for almost a year.

Has he come to the Lord? No, not yet.

Hurting Parents: Tomorrow Might Have a Surprise for You

Has it been a really long time since you’ve seen your child? Do your eyes long to see them, your arms ache to hold them? Are they deep into addiction; in a mental hospital; incarcerated; estranged from you for some reason? Has it been quite surprised-man-awhile since they wanted to be with you so much that they hugged you in tears? Maybe you don’t think this could ever possibly happen.

The Old Testament tells us about a parent who got a big surprise one day:

“. . . As soon as Joseph appeared before him (Jacob, the father he hadn’t seen in twenty years since his brothers sold him off as a slave), he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time (Genesis 46:29b).”

The father in this verse thought his son was long dead. He’d grieved the loss and moved on. He certainly never imagined this day was possible. I’m sure he never asked God for it either. It was over. Done.

But you never know what tomorrow holds. Tomorrow just might have a surprise for you. When God is involved, things you never thought possible could happen.

I remember a time when my daughter, then 19, had relapsed after four months in rehab and some time in a half-way house. She was out on the streets again and didn’t want anything to do with her dad or me. She was deeply involved in drug and alcohol abuse; was a self-injurer (cutting) and bipolar (untreated).

I knew the risks of losing her were high. In my heart I felt as though she’d already died. I began grieving her death. It was an agonizing time of deep pain. I held out little hope for a loving reconciliation, though my whole being longed for it. I knew God could do it, but would it happen for us?

Then something amazing happened. A totally unexpected surprise I never saw coming. After a chain of events, my daughter agreed to go into another rehab program. We received word of these things through a mutual friend who was trying to help her.

The day of being reunited finally came (at her request – also amazing). I wondered if she would be happy to see me or not? How would she treat me? I didn’t know what to think.

I’ll never forget it. I walked into the dining area of the rehab program and as soon as my daughter saw me she came running, arms open wide, with a huge smile on her face. She threw her arms around my neck, and in tears hugged me so tight I could hardly breathe.

While we embraced, both of us crying, she whispered in my ear, “Mom, I love you soooo much! I’m so, so sorry I hurt you and dad. I can’t thank you enough for coming. It means so much to me!”

Things haven’t been perfect since then. We’ve had our ups and downs on the road to recovery, but our loving relationship has never relapsed. Every time we see each other she always gives both of us great big bear hugs – sometimes, there are tears.

Hold on dear parent. You never know what tomorrow holds. God just might be preparing a surprise for you, too!

O God, help each mom or dad reading this not lose hope and give up. Help them believe you could surprise them – even tomorrow. Encourage them as they read this post. You could reconcile them with their child, too. You could bring them home with a big hug any day. Strengthen them to wait one more day, and then another.

By your power and outstretched arm.

Amen.