When Change Ruins a Parent’s Dreams

depression20Change. There’s good change and then there’s bad change. For a parent, bad change means pain and disappointment.

More heartache.

More bad news.

More brokenness.

The source may be alcohol. Marijuana. Drugs. Breaking rules. Disrespect. Mental Illness. Self-harm. Same-sex relationships.

It might include illegal activity, time in jail, prison or probation.

Too much of too many things that ruined dreams.

Yours. And theirs.

I’m moving this week. I’ve been preparing myself for the changes it will bring into my life. Some are easy, bring joy and encouragement. Others are harder, bring sadness and discouragement.

Maybe your child has brought hard, painful changes into your life that have discouraged you. There was no way you could prepare yourself for them. They took your breath away – broke your heart – dashed your hopes.

How do you go on?

How do you live with the bitter disappointment of ruined dreams?

You take one day at a time – one step at a time.

You bring the pieces to the One who gave them to you.

You turn to Him, the God of all, for courage to not enable and strength to keep going.

You lift up your head toward heaven, to your Maker, who alone can help you cope – even if things never change – even if things never get better.

You take Him by the hand and never give up – no matter how hopeless you feel.

You receive His peace to accept the disappointments.let go3

You seek His wisdom to take care of yourself.

I want to ask you a question: What does taking care of yourself look like? For me it means going to support group meetings, reading things that keep me strong (The Bible and books for hurting parents), exercising, nurturing healthy relationships, not enabling, pursuing a hobby and helping others.

I encourage you to make your own list. What do you want on it? Write it out and put it up where you can see it everyday. Be sure you’re being intentional about incorporating those things into your life. I think you’ll be glad you did.

When your child’s choices and struggles bring changes that ruin the dreams you had for them, it doesn’t have to ruin your life, too. It feels like it will, but don’t let it. Your son or daughter made choices. You get to choose how you let it affect you.

How will you respond to those painful changes?

God who never changes, I thank you that you never change. You’re the Constant One who’s able to show us how to live when unexpected changes ruin the dreams we had for our children. Teach us to care for ourselves so we can stay strong. We need you today and every day. 

Amen.

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