Have you ever come to a place in your experience of parenting where you were so worn out and discouraged that you didn’t know what you could believe in anymore? Did you want to give up? Did you lose all hope things would ever change? “I’m so exhausted,” my friend confided as she sighed. Another mom choked out, “I don’t think I’m going to survive this experience”, as she wept on my shoulder. A grief-stricken father commented, “This is killing me. It’s by far the most difficult time of my entire life.”
I’ve thought and said these same things. I’ve wondered how I could keep going. Worn out and depleted my strength was gone. I honestly didn’t know how I would be able to face the next crisis with my child.
You may have felt like this, too. I wish I could tell you one day your child will be okay, but I can’t make that promise. No one can. There are no guarantees we can depend on. Not very comforting, you say? I’m sorry, but it’s the hard truth. We need to grieve our losses and accept what is. What can we depend on? Where is our high ground, our refuge during times of flood and disaster?
One night when I was worn out and discouraged, feeling despondent, worried sick I was going to lose my daughter to her addictions, I decided to make a list of the things I believed I could know with certainty- truths I could depend on, no matter what happened. This list could be my high ground, my refuge. I came up with fifteen. Here are the first seven.
1) God is in control. He is Sovereign, no matter how things may look. (Isaiah 14:24; Psalm 40:5)
2) There is always hope. As long as my child is still breathing, there is still hope and God is the source. (Psalm 62:5)
3) I will survive this because the Lord is my help and strength. He will sustain me. (Psalm 46:1-2; 54:4)
4) God loves my child even more than I do, therefore I can be assured he will do whatever it takes to try to reach them. (John 3:16)
5) God is able. He can do the impossible. Nothing is too hard for him. (Mark 10:27)
6) I still need to express gratitude. It’s God ‘s will for me. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
7) I can trust God in everything – even with the very life of my child. (Proverbs 3:5)
I wrote my list on an index card and keep it in a special place. When I feel weary I pull out the card and read it again. Again and again I go over my list. It’s so comforting. The list becomes my prayer.
I encourage you to make a list. Use it when you need to remind yourself what’s true when you feel so bad. It can lead you to higher ground, to a place of refuge during times of flood and disaster. Why not try it and see if it helps? Make your list today. If you do, I’d love to hear what’s on your list. You’re welcome to borrow from mine and maybe I will borrow from yours!