The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman trial is over. Many people all over the country are upset about the outcome. There have been riots in some cities. No matter what your opinion is, one thing is true: George Zimmerman’s life will never be the same, neither will the family of Trayvon Martin. They have this in common along with brokenhearted parents. These parents have children who are abusing substances, are in and out of jail, live with a mental illness, cut or burn themselves, have an eating disorder, and on and on. Like the Martin and Zimmerman families, they feel like they’ve been living in a nightmare. They’ve been deeply impacted by horrific experiences. Hurting mothers and fathers have also been changed forever. Does that describe you? It describes me.
What has changed us? Shock. Grief and loss. Shattered dreams. Fear and anxiety. Ongoing stress and strain. Many pain-filled days. Sleepless nights. Condemnation of others. Seeing your child turn into a stranger before your very eyes, changed into a person you don’t know anymore. Standing by helplessly watching your son destroy his life. Being powerless to save your daughter from hurting herself. We sure are different from who we once were. But it doesn’t have to be all bad. Surprisingly, some of the changes can be good.
My experience has been that now I am stronger – emotionally and spiritually, wiser, more informed on issues I previously knew nothing about, more compassionate, more empathetic toward others who hurt, closer to my family members, and I have a new focus for my work – to encourage other hurting parents (along with my husband).
What is the main thing we all need? Prayer.
Lots of prayer.
For inner healing.
To still offer unconditional love.
To take one day at a time.
O God, please help us all. We need you so much. We can’t do this without you. Thank you that with You, good can come from all the bad we have experienced. Indeed, our lives have changed forever, but . . .
“. . . in all things God works for the good of those who love him . . .” (Romans 8:28)