When Parents Feel Hopeless at Easter

Four Suggestions to Try

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Easter is less than a week away. It’s a day of hope and new beginnings. But before the resurrection came the crucifixion—a lot of pain and suffering and betrayal and questions and mystery. Does that describe your life today?

Are you a parent who doesn’t feel very hopeful? Your child is struggling—a lot. Your story is complicated and way too long to tell in one sitting. You can’t help it—you feel hopeless.

Your son may be incarcerated or have a drug/alcohol problem. Your daughter may have done much damage to herself, continuously inflicting wounds on her body. Mental illness and suicide attempts plague them. In and out of rehabs, their struggle never ends.

They’ve made countless terrible mistakes including marriages and same-sex relationships; now there may be grandchildren in the picture. Their struggles have brought you more brokenness and heartache than you ever thought possible.

Much more.

Their troubles are breaking your heart. What is there to hope for now?

You wonder how much more you can take. Your heart cries out, “How long, O God?” You see no way anything good could come from all that’s happened. Everything looks ruined. You feel lifeless, stuck in a darkened tomb with a huge stone blocking the only way out. And it really stinks in there—like death.

What can you do? Try these four suggestions:

  1. Keep praying and trusting the Lord. He is the Great Physician, the relentless hound of heaven.

“Trust in the Lord with all our heart…” (Proverbs 3:5); “… I am the LORD, who heals you” (Ex. 15:26).


  1. Be honest with your Maker and a few safe people. Let out your pain. He sees. He knows. He cares about your suffering.

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalms 94: 18-19).


  1. Never give up. Ever. Your child’s resurrection day could be close!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).


  1. Remember who God is, what He’s done in the past, and what He can do in the future. He has the power to raise the dead back to life again!

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).


As long as your child’s still breathing, there’s still hope.

He can raise you up again, too. He can lift you out of the ashes of hopelessness and despair, pain and sadness.

So, hope on.






This Bible verse reminds me where my encouragement comes from.

“Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope” (Psalms 119:49).


Use this prayer as your own: O God, please renew my hope this Easter week. Help me hold on to the belief that because Jesus suffered and died on the cross for the sins of the whole world, my child can have a new beginning. But if I don’t see them turn to you in my lifetime, please raise me up from the grave of despair I’ve fallen into, so I can live victoriously in the victory you’ve won – today and all the days of my life.

In Your resurrection power. Amen.


If you need some fresh encouragement today, you might like this book: The Hope of a Homecoming by Brendan O’Rourke and DeEtte Sauer. You can order it from our website. If you do, a small portion of your purchase will help our ministry.

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