Parents whose hearts have been broken by their son or daughter find it easy to end up in emotional bondage. It feels terrible. Are you stuck there? I made a discovery – I could be set free through the power of forgiveness. Now that’s something to celebrate!
What is forgiveness to you? Do we have to feel forgiving in order to offer it? Does the person need to deserve it or ask for it first?
Forgiveness is not just for the person who needs forgiving. It’s also for us, the “forgiver”.
Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free. (Al-Anon)
Forgiveness isn’t to condone or excuse the actions or behaviors of others. It’s releasing that person to their Maker to let him deal with them, so that we can be set free.
For parents whose children are abusing alcohol or drugs, involved in a same-sex relationship, in jail or prison, engaged in self-injury, involved with pornography, have had a child outside of marriage – the list goes on and on – forgiveness is part of the process of gaining back their lives. I bet you want your life back. I did.
I think I’m still in shock over the horrible events that occurred in my town recently. Orlando is my home. There’s no perfect place. Sure. But so much violence in such a short period of time? No one is accustomed to that – at least not in the western hemisphere.
I’m familiar with the feeling of shock. I don’t like it. Who does?
Shock swept over me the first time my daughter, Renee (connected with twloha.com
), cut herself. Then again when self-injury became a serious habit a few years later. Shock struck again when it became obvious Renee really did have a drinking problem, then a drug problem. The realization that my daughter needed rehab was unbelievable to me. Shock hit like a tidal wave with each phone call that told of her suicide attempts – her hospitalizations.
*I didn’t write this. It’s from a mom who struggles like many of us. I wanted to share her thoughts because I think some of us will see ourselves in her story. And maybe, like me, you’ll gain some insights about yourself.
So this past Wednesday my husband and I went to pick our son up from rehab. He was 21 days clean going in and today he is on day 46. We are so happy for him.
They day we picked him up was a six hour day of family counseling and a couple of guest speakers. I sat there listening to one woman as she began to share with us about her addiction. She explained how things began to consume her at her job, at home, disrupted sleep, and a stressed marriage. She’d go out late at night to places she never dreamed she would go. She’d hide things and scurry through the house to make sure there were no needles or drug paraphernalia left laying around before her husband came home.
“I hate you! You never let me do anything.”
“You don’t understand me!”
“I can’t wait to turn eighteen so I can get out of here.”
“Why won’t you help me (by giving money, etc)? Don’t you care what happens to me?”
“What do you mean you won’t _________? I thought you loved me?”
Have you heard these statements from your child?
I never dreamed my son would grow up to be a drug addict.
On my worst day I couldn’t have imagined my daughter would reject me out of her life completely. I haven’t seen her in a long time. It pains me just to think about it.
How can this child I love so much hurt me so much? After all I’ve done for them.
Dear dad, have you thought these things? No one ever told us that being a parent could bring us so much pain, did they?
“I feel so down.” “These events have got me in a real funk.” “I’m really depressed about all these terrible things that have happened.” “I can’t believe people are capable of so much hate.” “I think I’m still in shock.” “This world’s going to hell in a hand basket.” “I’m more fearful now for my own child’s safety.”
These are some of the comments I’ve been hearing this week. You probably have too. The whole country has been impacted. At hearing the news some burst into tears. Many are on the verge but hold back. Fear and anger seize our hearts as we wonder about the future.
For some of us it was an emotional trigger – our children choose to live in dangerous ways, threatening their lives on a regular basis. We think, that could have been my child. It feels like the world’s gone crazy, doesn’t it? Our illusion of control has been ripped out from under our feet – again.
Each of us has faced our own tragedies – or will one day. What can help us keep our sanity during those times? As a believer in Jesus, I turn to the Bible.
These 10 promises have helped me. Maybe they’ll help you:
- I’m not alone. God is with me. Others who have walked this path can help me, too.
I live in Orlando. My peaceful morning was interrupted by some tragic news. Maybe yours was too. My mind immediately went to the parents.
Shock and numbness. Denial and unbelief. Dismay. Bargaining and questioning. Anger and rage. Overcome with sadness and loss. These describe some of what the parents of the 50 persons killed at a downtown gay nightclub last night and the parents of Christina Grimmie – pop singer killed Friday night after a concert with Before You Exit, known for her success on the 6th season of The Voice – are experiencing. As well as of the over 50 who were injured.
As a mom, I can’t imagine. There’s been too much unspeakable pain here in the last two days.
Today’s blogger is my dear friend, Terri Amos. She has some insightful words of honesty and wisdom to share with you. They’re exactly what many hurting parents like us need to hear when we’re struggling with disappointment. When our son gets arrested. When our daughter gets pregnant. When they get another DUI but refuse to admit they have a problem. Or when they can’t get out of bed because they’re so depressed yet refuse help.
I have to be honest… I am a doubter. Some people have faith and it appears that nothing seems to shake their faith. But for me, disappointments in life can really mess with my relationship with God.
Today’s blog is part 2 (part 1 was posted on Wednesday, June 1st) and was taken from an Anchor of Promise post, written by author, blogger Leah Grey. Today Leah continues her interview telling her story that lead to drug abuse and offers some wonderful insights for Christian parents.
How did your parents react when they found out (about her drug use)?
My parents reacted… a lot, to everything. My Mom cried. My Dad was silently angry. My Mom basically went into a depressed spiral, which I took on as being my entire fault. I didn’t need to do much to get this reaction.
Were you encouraged or told that a drug program would be the plan to help you heal?
There was no “healing” talk in my household. At that time, doing drugs just meant I was either “bad” or “stupid”. “Quit acting like an idiot” was something I heard a lot.
Today’s blog was written by Leah Grey and was posted on Anchor of Promise on May 13, 2016.
What kind of family environment did you grow up in?
I grew up in a happy, stable home environment. The town I was raised in was small and quaint. While attending the Mennonite Brethren Church with my family, my brother and I also participated in VBS, Christian Summer Camp, Youth Group, etc.
What kind of relationship did you have with God?
I accepted Jesus into my heart at age seven. I believe I knew what it meant but didn’t understand the dynamics of it. Around age eleven or so, I had many questions about God such as, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
This really affected my relationship with my “church friends” as I was “rebelling” against Mennonite culture by asking so many questions.