The World Cup and Brokenhearted Parents

soccerAre you a soccer fan? Have you been watching any of the World Cup games? My family is pretty big soccer fans. I’ve seen a number of the World Cup games recently. We watched the U.S. play this evening.  As I’ve watched the games, it occurs to me that there are some similarities with what takes place in these events and brokenhearted parents.

Parents whose children are abusing alcohol or drugs, addicted to porn, have same-sex attraction issues, struggle with self-injury, are constantly in trouble with the law, are currently incarcerated ,or struggle with mental illness are in the midst of ongoing event; the result of their struggle will affect the quality and outcome of their very lives.

The stakes are high. If they “lose”, they could die.

The World Cup soccer players are also in the midst of an ongoing high stakes event.  They’re full of hopes and expectations for their team to do well, win their games, stay in the matches, and eventually move on to the next level. Their ultimate goal is to win the big title. They all want to be the world champs. However, as hard as they try, sometimes their best efforts aren’t good enough.

Everyone can’t win. Someone has to lose. Goals are missed. Injuries happen. Dreams shatter. Hopes are dashed, leaving players disappointed and overwhelmed. Tonight the U.S. lost. In the last 30 seconds. It was such a huge disappointment. They were so close to winning.

Have you ever felt like that? Does this describe you?

You had high hopes. Great expectations. You did your best. You were certain there would be a good outcome, but then things happened you didn’t expect or plan on. Things you had no control over. Things you couldn’t change. This describes me with my older daughter. I expected wins and never saw the losses coming. When they did I was devastated. Shocked. Disillusioned. I kept doing what I knew to do, asked others for help, and then discovered two more things I could do.

Trust God. And. Pray.

When you’ve given it your all and there’s nothing else you can do – be sure and do that.  The results are in His hands – not ours.

This Bible verse has encouraged me many times:

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses (what man can do – our own power and abilities), but we trust in the name of the Lord our God . . . we rise up and stand firm. . .O Lord . . . answer us when we call!”  (Psalm 20:7)









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2 thoughts on “The World Cup and Brokenhearted Parents

  1. I sat alone the other day while some of my family was in another place watching the first World Cup game of our favorite team. I waited wondering if one wandering son would come home at all to watch. Five minutes into the game, my boy came in the door. It was one of those rare moments and we were able to cheer together. I dug out last minute party snacks and enjoyed the time.

    • I’m so glad it could be a point of connection for you with him. Good for you getting out party snacks and making it special. Our challenge is to enjoy one moment at a time. I hope you have many more.