When Easter Hurts

tears - artwork by Jonty HurwitzEaster’s coming. Holidays can be so hard when your child (or any loved one) is causing you heartache and pain. When they’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs,  are incarcerated, engaging in self-injury, involved with pornography, gambling or video-gaming, have a mental health issue, or a same-sex identity issue, it changes everything. When a holiday comes you hurt more.

Memories from when they were young and innocent flood your mind.

You can’t help but remember your adorable little girl all dressed up in her Easter clothes. Her beautiful smile would catch your breath. You can still see your precious four-year-old son who was so cute in his suit and tie. His impish smile could melt your heart.

What fun you had surprising them with baskets of treats. Happy memories of Easter egg hunts now only bring tears and pain. It reminds you of what’s been lost. How could you ever forget?

Some of us wonder if our child will ever like us again, or even survive. And some of us just want to know they’re still alive.

Bittersweet holidays. The sweetness of the past alongside the bitterness of the present.

If this describes you, then hold on to Easter’s message of hope:

You never know what tomorrow might bring. You can’t see what God is doing, even now.

God himself wants to comfort you. His perfect Lamb, Jesus, suffered, bled, and died for you (and for your child).

He suffered so we wouldn’t have to suffer alone.

I grew up going to church, singing hymns. The words of an old Easter hymn came to my mind as I was writing this today. They are my prayer for your sons and daughters: At The Cross by Ralph Hudson. You can listen to many different renditions of it on YouTube.

“At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my hear rolled away,132

It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day.”

 

O Father, I pray that this Easter our prodigal loved ones will finally SEE the light of the gospel in the cross of Christ. Give them understanding of its meaning for their lives so that the burden of their hearts will roll away. We pray ours will roll away, too. In the glory of the cross help them  find their own personal faith – faith to believe that indeed you are the Son of God. And may they receive 20/20 spiritual eyesight so that they will truly know the joy of the Resurrection, both now and forevermore! This is the hope of our hearts this Easter.

In the name of Jesus who gave his life for us,

Amen.

 

 

 

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