How Can Parents Deal with Difficult Emotions?

Have you ever felt like your fears and anxieties about your child were getting the best of you? Did you wonder how in the world you were going to cope with the myriad of things you worried about? Maybe your child abuses drugs or alcohol, is a self-injurer, has an eating disorder, a same-sex attraction, a mental illness, struggles with suicidal thoughts, or is incarcerated. You’re a nervous wreck. Consuming every waking hour your sleep is also affected. What to do?

During a time when I was struggling with many fears for my daughter, I heard about making a God Box. It’s not my own original idea. I heard about it in an Al-Anon meeting and it was very powerful for 048me. This strategy helped me deal with my emotions of fear, worry and anxiety. It helped me trust God and let go a little more.

Here’s how it works:

When you realize you’re worried, anxious or upset about something related to your child write it down on a piece of paper. Then put it in a “God Box”. I’ve included a photo of mine.

Choose a box (any kind or size you want) and put “God Box” or “My God Box”  on the  top. For convenience I put a small notepad and pen inside.

I can’t explain it, but there’s something cathartic here. To write down what  you’re fretting over and put it in a box sounds silly, but it’s very effective.

Each part of the process helps: Becoming aware of what’s bothering me; writing it down; placing it in the box; putting the lid back on it; putting it away. Together, they help me surrender those fears and feelings it to God, put my child in His hands and let go.

I encourage you to make yourself a God Box. Write down what’s weighing heavy on your heart and mind. Place the paper inside and put the lid back on. Put it in the box and leave it there. You might want to put the box up on a shelf, maybe in your closet. Walk away and trust God. It only takes a few minutes. It’s so easy, yet can have a big impact. Try it. You might like it.

I challenge you to give yourself this gift. Get started today and find a little more peace. Use a God Box to surrender your fears and anxieties to the One who can help. He’s big enough to handle them all.

Once in awhile draw out a few of the papers and see how many of your fears never happened or have since resolved. It could turn into a time of thanksgiving.

When you’re anxious, remember this scripture verse:

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”  (Psalm 29:11)



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