Holidays Can Be Hard for Parents in Pain

“What kind of book would the story of your life be? You might think of it as a tragedy, but in reality, your life is a love story, being written by the hand of God.   While some chapters will be more difficult than others, visible in every scene, on every page, is the love of God.

The hurts in your life do not define you. God’s love for you determines the course and shape of your life and defines who you are today and who you are becoming…it is also your cushion from the blows life invariably brings.”   (The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie p.65)

Did you need to be reminded of this today? It’s also true for our children. Who or what is setting the course or shape of our lives? Who or what defines you? What cushions you from the blows of life? When you grow weary and discouraged waiting for positive changes to come in your child’s life, you need to remember the greatness of God’s love. He’s still writing your story. What you see today isn’t the last chapter. Not yet. You have no idea how it’s going to turn out or the influence it will have on your life, but it’s not all of who you are. You are more than your child’s hurts, habits and hang-ups. You are much more than their addictive behaviors, mental illness, arrests, prison sentences or DUI convictions.

With so much that is still unwritten and unknown, it seems impossible to be thankful, much less cheerful during the holidays. Today your story looks very depressing. You see no progress with your son, no forward movement in your daughter, nothing to celebrate. The disappointments never seem to end. You don’t feel very happy. You don’t even feel very loved if your child is rejecting you, breaking your heart. Just hearing Christmas music in the stores is brutal. There you are, choking back tears and maybe some cynicism, feeling emotionally sabotaged in the middle of the grocery store.

Yet, there’s a way to still give thanks and find joy. Have you found it? Look up. Look into your heavenly Father’s eyes and let Him show you the way. His way, not yours. His love can define you, not your child’s troubles. His love can give you new joy, a different kind than you’ve ever known before. What a love story it is! And you are the recipient. From where I sit, that feels pretty darn good.

This is a great Scripture:

“I patiently waited for You, Lord, to hear my prayer. You listened and pulled me from a lonely pit full of mud and mire (wet, soggy ground). You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm,and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you . . . may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.” (Psalm 40:1-3 CEV & v.11b NIV)

Lover of our Souls, how we thank You for defining us with Your incredible  love and not the present difficulties we are experiencing with our children.  We’re so grateful for the protective padding this love has been between us and the hurts we’ve experienced. Help us when we lose sight of  Your loving care. We’re so forgetful and our vision is so limited.

In Your Matchless Name, Amen.

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