When A Parent Loses Hope

powerless2Let’s be honest – sometimes parents of troubled teens to adults are depleted. The years of rebellion, substance abuse, mental illness and out of control behaviors take a toll. All the trauma and drama starts to wear us down. Crisis after crisis drains us. We run out of faith that things will ever change or improve. We see no solutions on the horizon. Everything looks bleak. Impossible. We begin to lose heart and before we know it, we’ve lost what we needed most – hope.

It’s a slippery emotional slope. It happened to me. I liken it to the feeling of falling. Cascading into a pit of despair, into darkness, into a valley I couldn’t climb out of. Depression accompanied hopelessness. Everything felt heavy. My legs and feet were like lead, weighted down. My spirit was broken. Grief and loss overwhelmed my soul.

Hopelessness. It’s terrible to admit you feel this way about your own child. You don’t intend for this to happen. It gradually sneaks up on you. Like the proverbial frog that sits in a pot while it slowly comes to a boil. In the beginning, you’re full of confidence things will improve – full of faith things will turn around soon, the craziness won’t last too long. Your son just needs to grow out of this phase. Your daughter just needs to mature a little more. They need time to wake up and realize what they’re doing. You’re sure they will. You’re absolutely certain things will change. Faith is strong. Confidence is in abundance. Prayers are strong – for a while.

If you’ve lost hope, then you need to hear this acrostic.

Hold      On      Pain      Ends

This won’t last forever. One day it will end. Keep your eyes on Jesus and He’ll give you peace. The very peace that stayed with Him all the way through unimaginable suffering.

Keep reaching out to those who understand, who can help you keep putting one foot in front of the other, and not give up.

Keep taking care of yourself, doing what refreshes you.

Read things that are uplifting. Make a list of your favorite promises from the Bible. Read them often.hopeinhand

Rest, exercise, simplify, laugh and take it easy.

And pray, pray, pray.

May this Bible verse encourage you:

“______________ (put your child’s name in here) is oppressed . . . all their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name (Jeremiah 51:34).”

Amen.

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