This is a letter to brokenhearted parents written by a dear friend of mine. My friend’s name is Judy Douglass. Her husband is the president of Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, the largest international Christian mission organization in the world.
Like many of you who are reading this, Judy has a son who has brought her a lot of pain and heartache. Because of what she’s been through, she has a passion for encouraging other parents like herself. Read and be blessed by her letter:
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
How many times have I said, “Sigh”?! With a deep sigh.
When my prodigal does the same thing again!
When an anticipated good outcome becomes not good at all.
When bad choices require hard choices of me.
When my prayers don’t seem to accomplish anything.
A sigh is a lament. It expresses sorrow, yearning, weariness, resignation.
And when our journey is ongoing, and our prodigal keeps making the same poor choices, and the pain is weariness, we are deeply sad. We do sigh in resignation, despair, even hopelessness.
We make a lament.
Which is very biblical.
A lament is an elegy or a dirge. It is verbalizing our mourning.
And many times we are in mourning, lamenting the loss of peace and hope and dreams.
Scripture has an entire book of laments: Lamentations.
God is not offended by our tears, our laments, our sighs. He understands. He receives and treasures them. He reaches out to comfort and encourage. He invites us to rest in Him. To hope in Him.
It is then that a wonderful thing happens. My sigh changes. Instead of sorrow and resignation, it becomes my response to His invitations: A sigh of being understood and accepted, of leaning on Him, of snuggling into His arms, of resting in peace and even contentment.
I have sighed often in the past six months. And just when I thought the sighing was done, it is back.
So I am giving my lament to God, and asking him to transform my sighing from despair to trust.
May He do the same for you.
Love and grace for your new year.
**If you enjoyed Judy’s writing check out her blog, accessible through her website. She’s also written several books. One is available as an e-book, Loving a Prodigal: Learning to Rest. It is available as a free download for your ipad or kindle.