A Hurting Parent’s Christmas Wish List

Christmas candles and cookiesAs 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; to erase all the trauma and damage that she’s done to herself and others; to wipe away all memories of the terrors she’s experienced; to make all the internal and external scars disappear, including the ones on my heart and each member of our family.

2)  My daughter healed completely, on every level – physical, emotional, social, and spiritual; no more addiction, damaged health, mental illness or broken relationships – with her Creator and with people.

3)  A spiritual fire rekindled in her heart that cannot be quenched or put out by anything or anyone for the rest of her life.  To make her a bright shining star in the universe, a brilliant light for all to see who are lost in hopelessness, ultimately seeing the life of God in her in a beautiful and unique way.

4)  For my daughter to have the dreams her heavenly Father has for her; great purpose from all her pain and a compelling reason to live so strong she’ll never waver from it.

5)  A protective shield and invincible covering over my child so she remains safe from all the plans and schemes of the Evil One to destroy her and pull her away from real, abundant life.  Sometimes I wonder who is winning this war.  I’m eager to see victory.

6)  God’s perfect peace in my heart no matter what is happening with my child. A deep, abiding serenity nothing can touch, no storm can quench, no suffering can smother.

7)  Renewed faith that as long as she’s breathing there is always hope. But the right kind of hope – because I know God can’t give us any guarantees, since He’s given everyone free-will. What a horrible yet wonderful thing that we each get to choose what we will do with our lives. My hope must be in God alone – in the fact that He will always be with me, He will help me, He will be my strength and He will redeem it all . . .  even use it for good.

8) And lastly, the strength to keep going  – to not grow weary and drop out of this marathon.  On my own I can’t go the distance.  But in Christ I can do all things, I can run my race all the way to the finish line – so can you.

I’m a little too big and a little too old to sit on Santa’s lap these days! But through prayer I can climb into the lap of God anytime I want. I don’t have to go to the mall and wait in a long line. I can bring my wish list of requests to Him and He will give me His full attention with a heart full of compassion and love. I’m never too big or too old for that! Then comes the hard part – waiting and trusting.

I think I’ll write out my list and put it in my God Box! Do you have one? I”ll tell you more about the God Box in my next blog. There’s something about writing these things down that gives me more peace – hmmmmm, that’s number six on my wish list!

This Bible verse is so helpful:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition (our personal requests), with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 4:6-7)

God, there’s so much we could put on our Christmas wish list. It’s overwhelming. Please show us how to give these things to You. Give us courage to wait on Your timing. Help us trust You with the answers. Remind us this holiday season how much You love us and our children – so much that You gave up Your glory to be born in a manger. You came into our world to die so that we could have all we really need to live. Here is our true comfort. Here is our true joy.

We thank you, God, with all our hearts.

In Jesus’ name, our Prince of Peace, Amen.

These words from a Christmas hymn say it so well:

“Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy; O tidings of comfort and joy!”

A book that helps me focus on the meaning of Christmas is: The Glory of Christmas a collection of writings from Charles Swindoll, Max Lucado and Charles Colson.

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