Help For Parents with Broken Hearts

An Alphabetical List for Moms and Dads Who Don't Know What to Do for Themselves (not for their child!)

I’m the mother of a daughter, now 29, who has struggled with addictions, mental health issues, suicidal tendencieshelpingw1 and self-injury that began when she was 12. It’s been a long, tough road. I’ve learned a lot, but everyday I realize there’s more to learn. In my blogs I share what’s helped. Passing on what’s gotten me through brings purpose to my pain.

Today’s blog is a re-post from last summer. It’s an alphabetical list of elements that helped my husband and I cope with the disappointments and brokenness we’ve faced. Maybe something here will resonate with your heart today.

Accept your reality. It is what it is.
Believe God can do anything.
Coping skills can be learned.
Detach in love.
Enabling must stop. No more helping that’s not really helping.
Friends can’t always understand; find a support group and discover healthy ways to express your feelings.
Gratitude is the key to emotional health.
Hope in God. Nothing is too hard for Him. He is your help and strength.
Isolation is your enemy. Don’t withdraw. Risk talking to someone, but choose safe people.
Journaling can help. Find a way to express your feelings and record your prayers.
Keep living your life with purpose.
Let go of your need to be in control; of the hopes and dreams you had for your child.
Messes in your life can morph into your unique message for others who hurt.
Never give up. Never despair.
Obsessing won’t change anything; overcoming is possible.
Pain can lead to personal growth and greater dependence on God.
Quit having a pity party; look for someone else in need and do something for them.
Remember this won’t last forever; remember who God is and what He’s done for you.
Summon your friends to pray for your child – and for you.
Trust God with your child’s life and yours. He is faithful.
Understand that this may be a long journey, a marathon requiring endurance.
Victory is in God’s hands. He has the power to rescue and restore.
Worry weakens your spirit and can ruin your health. Pray instead, with thanksgiving.
Xtra self-care is needed to survive and thrive. With God’s help you can.
Z. When things look hopeless, like it’s the end, as long as your child is still breathing, their story’s not over. Neither is yours. It’s still being written. Trust God with both.

Which one(s) did you need to hear today? You may want to write them down. Ask God, how can I apply this in my life? What do I need to start or stop doing? 

When we feel like we’re falling apart, the Bible encourages us that the Lord Almighty will rebuild us. He repairs brokenness, restores faith and responds to prayer. He will not despise our plea (Psalm 102: 16-17).

That includes you and me and our children. As we ask God for help, He’ll come to our aid. For me, one example is when I was totally obsessed and fearful about my daughter’s welfare, I asked God for help. Gradually, I overcame my fears as I thought about her problems less and less, choosing to focus on the Lord, His Word and others more. I also discovered a few strategies that helped me limit the amount of time I allowed myself to worry.

How has the God helped you? Please share in comments to encourage another parent today.

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