My heart ached when I heard the news about the tragic crash of the Malaysian Airliner. As I thought about it and prayed for the families it occurred to me that there are many commonalities here with hurting parents whose children are abusing drugs or alcohol, have a mental illness, struggle with self-injury or an eating disorder, are in and out of jail or prison, or struggle with a same-sex attraction.
The crash was unexpected. None of the passengers or their loved ones saw this coming. No one imagined this would ever happen to them or their family.
The lives of the loved ones are changed forever. They will never be the same.
The loved ones couldn’t prevent this from happening. They had no control. There was nothing they could do to change things.
No one can really understand what they are going through except those who have been through a similar experience. Therefore, people who mean well will probably say things that are actually quite hurtful in an attempt to offer comfort.
The loved ones are grieving. Their loss is significant. Their hearts are broken. They’re in shock , denial and deep sorrow.
The same things are true for hurting parents.
The things they’ve experienced with their sons and daughters took them by surprise. Not in their wildest dreams did they ever think their child would have these problems. Not them! Not their family!
Their lives are changed forever. Nothing will ever be the same.
They never saw it coming; they were totally unsuspecting.
They couldn’t stop these things from happening. They were powerless to change or fix the situation with their child.
They also have a difficult time finding others who understand what they’re going through and can offer meaningful support. Their journey is a lonely one.
It has effected them the same as a death – it’s a major loss. When they felt the same way when they learned of their child’s troubles.
No one knows what each day holds – but God. He has full knowledge of all the events in everyone’s future.
We have no control, but God has all control.
We are powerless, but God has all power. No matter what happens there is one thing we can always know for sure – God loves us with a never-ending love. When we’re in shock, denial and deep sorrow, He is there to comfort us like a compassionate Father comforts his children.
Tragedies happen every day, but God is there.
The Bible says, “I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).”
You may never be the same, but God will be intimately close.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you (James 4:8).”
Dear mom or dad (or grandparent), no matter what today or tomorrow brings, hold on to hope. There is always hope for you and for your child.
Heavenly Father, thank you for hearing us when we cry out to You. Thank you that You know about everything we will ever experience before it happens. Thank you that You help us move beyond shock and denial when we’re ready. Thank you that even though our pain has changed us, it has a purpose. Thank you for Your loving-kindness and compassion. Thank you that You are able to help us with anything. Thank you that You are always with us – we are not alone in our trials. And most of all we thank you for hope. It’s a gift from Your heart to ours hinting that we will survive this and maybe, just maybe, our child will, too.
Holding on to Hope in the name of Jesus.