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Are you the parent or grandparent in pain from a broken heart? Is your pain from the choices, behaviors or struggles of your photo cred. Jordan McQueenchild or grandchild? Mental illness, addiction, self-injury, an  eating disorder, suicidal tendencies, same-sex attraction, incarceration, or an unplanned pregnancy?

They feel like elephants sitting on our chests. They hang like menacing storm clouds over our heads, creating a constant state of anxiety and panic we can’t shake. Nausea is our regular unwanted companion. Maybe you’re a relative or friend of someone this describes. If so, I wrote this for you.

In my opinion, there are 5 things parents in pain (and yes, I’m a member of that club) want their loved ones and friends to know:

1. We need a lot of patience and understanding. Lots of it. We’re not ourselves. We can’t think straight. We may be more forgetful than usual. We may look all right on the outside, but inside we feel like we’re dying. (more…)

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anchorParents who are in pain over the choices and behaviors of their children often feel like they’re being tossed about in a storm at sea. Whether it’s a rebellious teen or a troubled adult, the hurt is the same. It’s deep and wide and consuming.

Mental illness, addiction, self-injury, same-sex attraction, suicide attempts, divorce – it doesn’t matter. Pain is pain. It’s overwhelming, especially if they’re older and there are grandchildren in the picture. That adds to the heartache and worry. It complicates everything.

What can you grab on to that will hold you steady in your raging storm? Where can you turn for what you need – stability, encouragement, comfort, wisdom, hope, and strength? (more…)

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It’s Easter. A day of hope and new beginnings. That’s what people say, right? But what if you don’t feel very hopeful today? pray1Your child is struggling and you can’t help it – you feel hopeless. They’re incarcerated. They have a drug or alcohol problem. They’ve done so much damage to themselves. They inflict wounds on their bodies, too – cutting, burning, breaking bones, disordered eating They’ve been in and out of rehab, but can’t seem to overcome it. Is there any hope for them?

They made a terrible mistake and married that person you prayed they never would – or they moved in with them against your wishes (and prayers). Marriage is the furthest thing from their minds. Maybe now there’s an innocent child (or children) in the picture. Or they’re pursuing a gay lifestyle and hinted marriage could be ahead – or they already married their partner. What is there to hope for now?

Maybe they have a mental illness they can’t seem to manage. Suicide attempts you wish you could forget. It’s been a revolving door of psych wards, hospitalizations, medications, counselors, psychiatrists and there’s still no stability, no peace, no rest – for them, or for you. You wonder how much more you can take. Your heart cries out, “How much longer, O God?”

You see no way anything good could come from all that’s happened. Everything looks ruined. You feel lifeless – dead, stuck in a darkened tomb with a huge stone blocking the only way out. And it really stinks.

What now? What can you do?

  • Keep praying and trusting. God is the relentless Hound of Heaven.
  • Be honest – with God and a few safe people. Let out your pain. He sees. He knows. He cares.
  • Never give up – tomorrow could be their Resurrection Day!
  • Remember who God is, what He’s done in the past, and what He can do in the future. He can raise the dead back to life again!

As long as your child is still breathing – there’s still hope.
So, hope on!

Hold. On. To. Promises. Expectantly.

If you need some fresh hope you might like this book: The Hope of a Homecoming by Brendan O’Rourke and DeEtte Sauer. Click here to order it from our website and a small portion of your purchase will help our ministry, Hope for Hurting Parents.

This verse from the Bible reminds me where my hope comes from:

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

006It’s my prayer that your hope will be renewed today because Christ is risen! He is Risen Indeed! And He has the power to raise your son or daughter back to life.  And if you don’t see this in your lifetime, He’ll raise you up from the grave you feel like your in, to live victoriously in His peace – today and all the days of your life.

In His Resurrection Power.

Amen.

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Does your son or daughter have a sexual addiction? Do they go from one promiscuous relationship (with the same-sex or the beauty2opposite sex) to another? Are they irresistibly drawn to pornography in various forms? Have these behaviors become a pattern? If so, you need to know about Bethesda Workshops in Nashville, Tennessee.

Their mission is to provide a place for healing for those damaged by pornography and other forms of sexual addiction; and to provide training for professionals who work with sex addicts and their loved ones. They offer clinical intensive workshops with the best strategies based on grace-based Christian principles.

What sets them apart? (more…)

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When your child is addicted to a substance or behavior, whether it’s pornography, gambling, cutting, binging and purging or to depression20 another person, it has a huge impact on us as their parent. If they suffer with a mental illness – Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or an Anxiety Disorder it hurts us, too. If they’re gay or confused about their sexuality we’re affected as well.

Their pain is ours. We’re connected on a deep level, especially us moms. And sometimes we develop unhealthy, addictive behaviors ourselves.

What are you addicted to?

Getting your Way? “My child better please me and do what I told them; they need to live up to my expectations, or else.” (more…)

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The phone chimed unexpectedly.  “Dad? What’s up? I didn’t expect to hear from you until later.” What I was about to hear would shake my world. His voice was weak. He could barely speak. I held my breath. “Dena . . . honey”, he choked out, full of raw emotion. Then came the shocking news. My precious mom had died peacefully while getting ready to come go home from the assisted living facility. “Noooo!!!”

shock2Have you been on the receiving end of a call about your son or daughter that left you in shock?

I’ve had those kinds of calls about my daughter, too.

It felt like someone punched me in the stomach; like a rug had been pulled out from under my feet.

I felt nauseous. Stunned. Heartbroken.

I was in shock.

“It can’t be.” “I don’t believe it.” “It can’t be true.” “How could this happen?” “This has to be a bad dream.” “It’s unreal.” “It’s not possible.” (more…)

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crying_eyeHope. 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. (more…)

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