Hope. What is that to you as the parent of an addict, self-injurer, gay, mentally ill or incarcerated child? In the past it was my desire to have things “work out”, to have my prayers answered, to see my dreams fulfilled, to have my daughter healed, whole and healthy in every way.
We hope our child will:
Stop abusing alcohol or drugs.
No longer be drawn to the same-sex.
Learn to cope without harming themselves.
Be set free from mental illness.
Love themselves enough to never be suicidal again.
When we don’t see these things happen we begin to lose hope. We wonder why? Where is God? How do we make sense of it? After awhile our disappointment and discouragement takes a toll on our emotions. We may become depressed.
June Hunt from Hope for the Heart shares a great word picture that describes this depressed feeling that an come over us. She says it’s like placing a heavy iron on a foam pillow. “The plump pillow becomes pressed down – depressed. If you remove the iron after a few seconds, the pillow springs back to its original shape. But if you wait several months to remove the iron, the foam pillow remains flat and depressed. The same is true of our hearts.
When your heart becomes pressed down as a result of the normal pressures of life, you will typically rebound or spring back when that pressure is alleviated. However, if you live under the weight of heavy pressure for a long period of time, your heart may enter a state of depression. But Jesus cares about your heart and knows you are especially vulnerable when you are heavyhearted.”
The Bible encourages us with these words:
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19).
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5).
You can spring back from what’s pushing you down, depressing you, flattening you. The burden may remain – the situation may not change with your child – but you can experience relief because of who God is and His promises to you. He will bear your burdens every day. He will lift you up and help you cope. Put your confidence in this and leave your child in God’s hands while you hold on to the hope that He can do anything – but if not, you will choose to trust in Him.