Have you ever felt hopeless about your child? They were arrested – again. Now they’re facing a longer jail or prison sentence. Have you reached the point where you couldn’t believe any more that change was possible? Maybe they relapsed for the umpteenth time. You were encouraged after their last stint in rehab, convinced this time was going to be different. They finally “got it”. You’re hopes rose, then fell, shattered once again. Or maybe they struggle with a mental illness they can’t manage. Suicide threats are frequent. You can’t take it any more.
Maybe you got your child back – not just once, but several times–only to lose them again to drugs or alcohol, to mental illness, to one more bad decision, to any number of things. The list of possibilities is long. You’re too familiar with them.
Can we be honest? You aren’t who you once were. You’re smarter and wiser now. You know more than you wish you did–much more. You’ve become cynical. Resentful. Bitter. You’re faith may even be wavering. Hope is gone. You’ve given up. I did–BUT GOD helped me find a new kind of hope.
I didn’t lose hope altogether. I let go of one kind and found another. I let go of the hope that one day everything would turn out the way I wanted; that my daughter would be as she once was; that all my prayers would be answered and we would have a perfect relationship.
Now, I grab onto a different kind of hope that God gave. Instead of what I want, I focus on who God is, what He’s doing in me and on His bigger purposes for the pain He’s allowed in my life.
My new hope focuses on these truths:
– God will be with me in everything I go through. I will never be alone. (Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 9:9-10)
– God will give the courage and strength I need. (Isaiah 30:28-30 & 41:10; Psalm 27:14)
– God is in control no matter how things may appear. (Jeremiah 32:17)
– God will use my greatest weaknesses and failures for His glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17 & 12:9; Romans 11:36)
– God will restore and redeem all I’ve experienced for His purposes. (Psalm 71:20a; Psalm 33:11)
– God will not waste my pain. He will use for good in my life or someone elses, even though I may never know about it. (2 Corinthians 1:3-6; 4:7-10)
– God will use my losses to grow me and draw me into deeper intimacy with Him. (Isaiah 45:3; 2 Chronicles 20:12)
Father, please speak to parents hearts about the kind of hope You want them to have. Protect them from bitter disappointment when things don’t work out the way they want. Help them continue to believe that You can do anything, but remember that You gave their children a free will to choose what they would do with their lives. Help them put their beloved children in Your hands and trust with whatever You allow in their own. Amen.
This is one of my favorite scripture verses on hope:
“My soul finds rest in God alone, my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5)