A Hurting Parent’s Survival Guide

ship of hopeMany parents and grandparents are just like me. They’ve experienced terrible, earth-shaking events with their children or grandchildren. They were a direct result of bad choices, or things that happened because of a mental health issue they struggle with. These things were calamitous for their loved ones. I know all about that. I wish I didn’t.

Calamity – a disastrous, catastrophic event causing great and sudden amounts of damage or distress; a disaster bringing terrible loss or severe misfortune like a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, fire, or flood; a state of grievous affliction, adversity or misery; an event that produces extensive evil and loss; causing serious effects of suffering and harm.

Have you experienced calamity with your child or other loved one like I have?

It was life-changing and I had no clue how to survive. Send the Mercy Ship!

Here’s a list of 10 things I discovered I needed. It’s my survival guide for hurting parents:
1) Turn to God first. Run to Jesus. He is your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of great trouble. (Psalm 46: 1)
2) Know God is with you; He is not far off. (Acts 17: 27)
3) Fill your mind with God’s Word that strengthens, comforts, sustains, and gives hope. (Psalm 119: 28, 50, 114, 116)
4) Keep an eternal perspective. Your suffering has a bigger purpose. It can show God’s power in your life; achieving for you an eternal weight of glory. He wants you to comfort others. (2 Corinthians 4: 7-11, 16-18; 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5)
5) Have faith to accept trouble, as well as good, from the Lord; confidence to believe that even though He may slay you, you can still hope in Him. (Job 2:10; 13:15)
6) Find reasons to praise your Maker even though He may have “taken away”. (Job 1: 21)
7) Hold on to hope, hope and more hope! Don’t lose sight of God’s plans God—for your welfare and not to harm you, to give you (and your child) a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29: 11)
8) Take His peace, peace and more peace! Jesus promised that His peace would fill your heart in times of trouble and help you overcome fear. (John 14:27)
9) Remember, you do not suffer alone. Thousands of godly parents have children (and grandchildren) who rebelled and suffered consequences, not to mention the very first parent, God Himself. You are in good company. (Genesis 3) Don’t isolate, feel guilty or ashamed. You can reach out for help from other parents, counselors, and support groups.
10) Take One Day at a Time. Live in the present. Don’t worry about your life or about tomorrow. It won’t change anything or help one little bit. (Matthew 6:25) Trust God, then trust some more. (Proverbs 3:5-6) He’s in control, no matter what happens.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be on my list. But these are the basics for every hurting parent’s survival kit.
O God, Our Redeemer, Good Shepherd, Helper, Comforter, Counselor, Savior, and Friend. Please help us remember these things as we walk through our times of calamity. You are Lord over all calamities. Please send us Your mercy ship! With Your help we will conquer our foe. In Your Name we will trample him down.
In the Powerful Name of Jesus, our Survival Coach.
Amen.

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