To Parents: When Valentine’s Day Hurts

sad heartHolidays hurt when you don’t receive the love you long for from someone you care about. For parents of rebellious, wayward children, they can be dreaded occasions. You’ve been feeling like your child died. The sense of loss is overwhelming. The pain cuts deep. Stabbing. Searing. Crushing. Maybe you have even lost your ability to find pleasure in anything. You wonder if you’ll ever laugh again.

These feelings can worsen to the point of  losing your will to live.  Withdrawing and no longer socializing,  every significant relationship has been effected – your marriage, your other children and friends. If you aren’t careful, you can become obsessed with trying to control or fix your child. Life becomes pretty miserable. So when a holiday comes, like Valentine’s Day, the hurt intensifies. These special days shine a spotlight on your broken heart. You want holidays to go away.

Can you relate to these feelings? Is your pain increasing with Valentine’s Day right around the corner? Does it only remind you of the hopes and dreams you’ve lost with your child? There are some things you can do to lessen your pain.

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Here are a few ideas that help me:

– Shift your focus from what you’ve lost to what you still have. Be thankful for every little thing, instead of only looking at what you don’t have. Make a list and it will encourage you. Don’t forget your own life. You do still have one.

– Guard your heart by lowering your expectations. If you don’t expect a card, candy, flowers or a phone call, you won’t feel as hurt, angry or disappointed if you don’t get them. Expect nothing and if anything occurs you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

– Let go of your need to have your child love you back the way you want them to. God never intended for another human being to fully meet our need for love. Only He can fill this void. Sometimes we put too much emphasis on getting this love from a person, instead of our Heavenly Father. Yes, we do need people, we were created that way – but God intended for us to look more to Him for the deepest need of our hearts – unconditional love.

– Go do something for someone who has a need. A random act of kindness. Make them feel special expecting nothing in return. As a result, you won’t feel so sorry for yourself. You’ll be amazed how it will lift your spirits and give you joy.

No matter how you feel, remember:  You. Are. Loved.

“The favorite place of God is in the hearts of His people.”   – anonymous

These are powerful scriptures:

“…You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures …”   (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”   (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

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4 thoughts on “To Parents: When Valentine’s Day Hurts

  1. My baby son — my pride n joy forever — my Soldier– is AWOL. I don’t know where he is. Did he fear deployment? Was he being abused? Did he just give up? My shame and despair are overwhelming. I have asked for a fish, but I received a serpent.

    • Susan, I’m sorry for my delay in responding to you. I’m so sorry for this painful time you are going through. How unimaginably awful to no know where your son is or if he is okay. The not knowing can be devastating.
      Know that your heavenly Father is hurting with you and cares about you, and He cares about your son. He knows right where he is at this moment. May you be aware of God’s presence with you, His arms holding you, His strength sustaining you. With His help you can do the impossible. You can wait and not know what the future holds, sheltered under His care, until you receive word about your boy.
      May God remember his love and his faithfulness to you. (Psalm 98:3) Amen. Please let me know what happens.