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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

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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Cook Islands, South PacificThis is the rest of my list of fifteen truths that I turn to for comfort and strength when I grow weary as a parent with a broken heart.

These are the truths I know I can depend on when I’m worn out. Truths that bring me comfort and peace. Truths that help me keep an eternal perspective on my problems.

If you are the parent of a son or daughter who has a problem with alcohol or drugs, an eating disorder, any self injuring behavior, sexual identity issues, a mental illness or brain disorder, or any other challenging problem, you know how very difficult it is.

I hope the rest of my list will uplift you and increase your faith as it has for me:

8)  My pain has a purpose. I may not know what it is at the moment.  (Ephesians 3:20; Romans 8:28)

9)  God’s love for me  is unfailing; nothing can ever separate me from it.  (Psalm 107:8;  Romans 8:39) (more…)

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Fear.  It is our worst enemy.  It is the uninvited guest that has over-stayed their welcome.  If you read my blogs very often you will see that I talk about fear alot.  That’s because from first hand experience I have found that it is one of our biggest problems.  Every hurting parent I know agrees with me.  We are so terribly afraid of what will happen next when our child is caught in the web of addicitons, suffers from mental illness, is involved in self harming behaviors (cutting, burning, picking their skin, eating disorders), is living a gay lifestyle, keeps getting in trouble with the law, is promiscuous, or has made suicide attempts and/or threats.  Total misery!  Pure agony.  We hate what this kind of fear does to us!

We waste so much time and energy fretting over all the “what-ifs”.  It can make you crazy. It can make you sick.

What can we do about it?  We can work on improving our memory.  Remember who God is; remember He is in control; remember you are NOT alone; remember Truth. When fear grips me everything I know seems to vanish.  It flies right out the window and out of my brain!  It’s like I develop a sudden case of amnesia!  Ugh!

So, here is my idea for you today.  I have done this and it helped me.  It helped me a lot.  Make a list of everything you know is absolutely true – all that you know, that you know, that you know you can stand on as firm ground under your feet when everything around you is crashing down . . .  when you are shaking so badly inside you tremble all over . . . when you don’t think you can bear to face the next moment.  Keep it nearby so you can read it over and over again every time fear comes knocking at your door!

A Bible verse that reminds me of several truths on my list is:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will NOT FEAR, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea . . . ”  (Psalms 46:1-5)

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When I am in deep emotional and psychological pain I need something solid to hold onto.  The things I have been through with my daughter have brought me the deepest pain of my life and therefore the greatest need for comfort and hope.  So I turn to what I believe is truth — the Bible.  When I read Luke 23:26 – 24:45, which tells most of the Easter story, I am struck by how much truth is in here that encourages me, comforts me and gives me hope as one whose child struggles with substance abuse, self harm, suicidal thoughts and mental illness.

I thought I’d share with you some of the truths I see in the Easter story that mean a lot to me as a parent in pain.  I hope maybe something here will resonate with your heart and give you a little more hope and comfort, too.  I need all I can get!  How about you?

God is all-powerful; if He can raise Jesus from the dead, then I know he can do the impossible in my child’s life, too!  And mine!

Nothing is too hard for God; NOT A THING (mental illness, addiction, a prison sentence, eating disorders, etc.)

Things may look hopeless today (Jesus suffered flogging, was unjustly convicted, died a brutal death on a cross, was buried and his body was in a tomb 3 days), BUT . . .  it wasn’t the end of the story!  It’s Friday (when Jesus died), but Sunday’s coming (Resurrection Day)!  Today is mystery to us; we can’t explain ‘why’; can’t understand or make sense of it with our own reasoning abilities – we must trust God no matter how things look.  Anything is possible for him!

You never know what God is doing.  We must believe he can redeem any situation and use it for good not just in my life and my child’s, but as a ripple effect in the lives of others who will see and hear about what God did.  No one ever imagined God would raise Jesus from the dead!  No way!

God DOES have a plan and he will be with us every step of the way as it unfolds.

There is always hope for anyone.  It’s never too late!  Jesus told the criminal on the cross beside him that he would be with him that day in paradise.  This man would die in just a few hours, but there was still hope for him.

God will do whatever it takes to reveal truth to people.  Earthquakes, the dead coming out of their tombs talking to people, angels bringing messages, Jesus appearing in a locked room and then disappearing, touching his pierced hands and side.  Yet, he gives to all free will to choose whether or not they will believe.  It’s not forced on anyone.  All who see and hear will not respond in faith.

God’s love is incredible, immeasurable and incomprehensible.  He loves every single person he ever made more than we could ever imagine; enough to enter into this messed up world in human form, in the person of Jesus, His son; allowing him to suffer and die a horrible death on a cross to pay the penalty for our offenses to him, so that we could be forgiven and cleansed, be made right with him, have an intimate relationship with him and have the free gift of eternal life.   “God so loved the world . . .” (John 3:16)  Yes, he surely does.  And that includes me and my child, no matter what they’ve done or what has been done to them.

God is faithful to keep his word throughout all generations.  He is trustworthy and dependable.  Fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies is throughout the Easter passages and all of the four gospels.

(from v. 26 “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things then enter his glory?”)  We may have to suffer to bring glory to God.  He has allowed suffering to come into my life through my child, but it has a bigger purpose.  It’s not about me, it’s about God and His glory!

**Which one of these truths means most to you today as a hurting parent?  Choose one and write it on an index card or piece of paper.  Put it out somewhere as a reminder to you of who God is and what He can do in your life or in your child’s life.  Look up these Bible verses and read them for yourself.   What else do you see?  I’m sure you’ll find even more truths than I did! 

***Pray and give thanks to God for the truth you wrote down and any other ones you find.  And keep your eyes on the cross!  Jesus is alive and lives to help us through anything we will ever face in our lives!  Our hope is real!

HERE ARE TWO VERY HELPFUL TIPS FOR SURVIVING A HOLIDAY: 

1) LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS.   IT WILL HELP YOU NOT FEEL SO BADLY IF THINGS DON’T HAPPEN LIKE YOU WANT!!!

2) DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THIS YEAR IF YOUR PREVIOUS TRADITIONS WILL MAKE YOU FEEL MORE SAD AND UPSET.  START SOME NEW ONES YOU CAN ENJOY FROM THIS POINT ON!

 

 

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