Heartbroken Parents Need to be Resilient

Resilience.  The ability to recover or adjust quickly after setbacks or difficulties.  To bounce back after going through a tragedy or setback.  Bouyancy.

Do you feel stretched?

This is a character quality that I need.  As brokenhearted parents we all need this.  We have been through so many difficulties and setbacks.  When our children our abusing alcohol or drugs; when they are cutting or burning themselves; starving themselves; binging and purging; when they are sexually promiscuous, confused about their sexual orientation; when they have a mental illness and are refusing treatment; when they have attempted suicide or are threatening to do so . . . .  How well do you find yourself recovering?  Are you bouyant or are you sinking?

Resilient is also defined as: “The property of a material that enables it to resume its original shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed; elasticity”.   I sure feel like I’ve been bent and compressed.  Crushed.  Definitely “stretched” like a rubberband.  However, I have become alot more elastic and bouyant than I used to be.  Much more than I was before I went through these years of bending and stretching.

Life-shaking.  Traumatizing.  Bone-wearying.  Draining.  I lost my zest for life.  Have you?  At one point I even despaired of life itself.  I actually wished my life would end (or that my child’s would – as horrible as it is to admit that).  What I was going through was so horrific it actually felt like it would have been easier.  It would have ended the pain.

How can you rebound and snap back to who you once were?  Is it really possible?

For me it is only through my faith in a loving God that I have been able to bounce back and recover.  It has been a long, slow process.  Many have helped me along the way.  Friends, pastors, counselors, rehab center staff, support groups —  all have played a part.  Reading.  Resting.  Being easy on myself.  Simplifying my life.  Giving myself permission to feel my feelings.  Accepting that I am not perfect.  Accepting the issues that my child faces, then learning as much as I can about them.  Taking One Day at a Time.  Releasing my need for control.  Letting go of a desired outcome yet holding on to hope.  Giving thanks, even in the worst of times.

Resilience.  It’s a good goal to aim for.   We can do it!   We can recover and bounce back!

This Bible verse has greatly encouraged me as I have worked on my recovery:

“Now he (God) is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  (Ephesians 3:20)

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2 thoughts on “Heartbroken Parents Need to be Resilient

  1. I have been through the same feelings of despair and wishing my own life would end because the pain caused by my son’s journey was too unbearable to handle (on my own). BUT, just at the right time and after much prayer and crying out to God, I discovered Ann Voskamp’s book which turned my life around. I decided that I would give her example a try; I would look for one thing, every day to be grateful for. At first it was incredibly hard, but the more I thought, the more I looked at even the simple things in life. I discovered a change in my mood, my thinking and my life. My Gratitude Journal was turning my life around from the inside out… and I was smiling again even in the midst of the storms raging.

    I also blogged about this last November:


    • That is so awesome, Liz! Giving thanks was a key for me, too. I just love Ann Voskamps’s book and daily email devos. I can’t wait to go check out your blog now! Thanks for sharing your link.