Let’s be honest – sometimes parents of troubled sons and daughters grow weary. The years of rebellion, substance abuse, mental illness and out of control behaviors take a toll. All the trauma and drama starts to wear us down. Crisis after crisis drains us. We run out of faith things will ever change or improve. We see no solutions on the horizon. Everything looks bleak, impossible, We begin to lose heart and before we know it we’ve lost what we need most – we lose hope.
It’s a slippery emotional slope. It’s happened to me. I liken it to the feeling of falling – falling into a pit of despair, into darkness, into a valley I couldn’t climb out of on my own. Depression usually accompanies hopelessness. Everything felt heavy. My legs and feet felt like lead, weighted down. My spirit was broken. The sense of loss overwhelmed my soul.
Hopelessness. It’s terrible to admit you feel this way about your own child. You don’t intend for this to happen. It gradually sneaks up on you. Like the proverbial frog that sits in a pot while it slowly comes to a boil. In the beginning you’re full of confidence things will improve – full of faith things will turn around soon, the craziness won’t last too long, Your son just needs to grow out of this phase. Your daughter just needs to mature a little more. They need time to wake up and realize what they’re doing. You’re sure they will. You’re absolutely certain things will change. Faith is strong. Confidence is in abundance. Prayers are strong – for a while.
If you’ve lost hope, then you need to hear this acrostic.
H.old O.n P.ain E.nds
This won’t last forever. One day it will end. Keep your eyes on Jesus and he will give you his peace.
Keep reaching out to those who understand who can help you keep putting one foot in front of the other and not give up.
Keep taking care of yourself, doing what refreshes you.
Rest, exercise, simplify, laugh and take it easy.
And pray, pray, pray.
May this Bible verse encourage you – “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14)