What to do When Your Child Shocks You

My heart ached to hear about the shooting at the college in Oregon this past week. How shocked and grieved thehope16 parents must have been to hear of their child’s death or injury that day.  What a terrible thing to have happen. And then my thoughts were drawn to the parents of the shooter, Chris Harper. Of course he did a horrific thing and brought inconceivable heartache to countless people – but what about his parents? What about their pain and heartache? Also inconceivable.

How shocked and mystified they must have been and still are. They probably always will be. And he died, too, so they can’t ask him why. They’ll never have any closure. No answers. No reconciliation. No forgiveness – not in this world.

What do you do when your child does something that shocks you?

Something that rocks your world?

Something that changes your life forever?

Something you can’t fix.


You take one day at a time because you dare not try to figure out the future.

You draw near to God and focus on Him because you can’t survive without Him. You know you need supernatural help.

You find a support group because you can’t make it on your own and you need to be with others who understand.

You refuse guilt because your child’s choices aren’t a reflection on you. You let them own the consequences of their decisions.

You grieve the losses, shattered dreams and heartbreak. Be real. Be honest. Feel your feelings. Find a good counselor who can assist you in the process. We all need a little help sometimes.

Give yourself permission for it to take along time to feel normal again – whatever that is. Your life will never be the same. You will never be the same. You’ll be a different person after you come through this, but that’s not all bad. A lot of good can come from tragedy . . . it really can. In ways you couldn’t imagine.

It did for me. I believe it can for you, too.

May this word from the Bible encourage you:

Eagles in Alaska“Those who hope in the Lord . . . will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“If we had nothing, as long as we had Christ, we still have everything.”  – anonymous

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