A Hurting Parent’s Christmas Wish List

by | Dec 21, 2020 | what you can do | 8 comments


photo cred. Mike Arney on unsplash

As the mother of a daughter who has wrestled with substance use, self-injury, mental illness, and suicidal tendencies, my Christmas wish list is relatively short. If you’re a hurting parent, yours probably is too.

If we could be children again we’d climb up on Santa’s lap and whisper a different kind of wish list in his ear. We wouldn’t ask for jewelry, or clothes, or the latest tech gadget…

Material things mean nothing when you’re brokenhearted over one (or more) of your children.

You’ll never be the same. The holidays aren’t the same, either.

What do you really want for Christmas?

Nothing money can buy.

All I want for Christmas is:

1) A “do-over” for my child.

photo cred. pixabay

To be able to turn back the clock, erasing all the trauma and damage my child has experienced. To wipe away every terrifying memory. To make their internal and external scars disappear, including the ones in my own heart.

2) My child healed completely: physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually–no more addiction, damaged body, mental health challenges, or broken relationships–with others or with their Creator.

3) A spiritual awakening for my child that can’t be quenched or dampened by anything or anyone; one that will last for the rest of their life.

4) For my child to embrace the dreams their heavenly Father has for them; great purpose for their pain and a compelling reason to live no matter what trials they face in the future.

5) A protective covering to shield them from the destructive plans and schemes of the Evil One.

6) The peace of Christ in my heart to accept whatever may happen.

7) Invincible faith that believes as long as they’re still breathing there’s still hope.

8) Strength to persevere, not grow weary or give up...for both of us.

Too Old For Santa, but . . .

I’m too big and too old to sit on Santa’s lap these days, but through prayer I can climb up on God’s lap anytime I want.

I don’t have to go to the mall or wait in a long line (although the lines are probably short this year due to COVID).

I can bring my heart’s desires to God whenever I’m ready. He’ll give me His undivided attention and as much time as I need. There’s no rush. And his heart is full of compassion and empathy. I’m never too big or too old for that.

Next comes the hard part – waiting and trusting.

Like a child who eagerly anticipates Christmas morning, waiting is difficult. Excrutiating. But I need to remember God’s not cruel or mad. He loves me with a perfect love. I can trust His timing is perfect. The delay he’s allowing is accomplishing a good result…growing and changing me, though I don’t like the process.

I think I’ll write out my wish list today and put it in my God Box. Do you have a God Box? I’ll tell you more about this in my next blog.

Reading this Bible verse has always helped me. I hope it will help you as you read it today:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition (our personal requests), with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Dear God, there’s a lot I could put on my Christmas list. My wishes would fill the pages of a book if I wrote them all down. Please show me how to give my desires to You. Fill me with the courage to wait on Your timing. Help me trust you with what I don’t understand. Remind me this week how much You love me and my child; enough to exchange Your glory for a manger to prove that love. You came into our world to die so that I could really live. This is my true comfort. This is my true joy. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Recommended Book: 90 Days of God’s Goodness by Randy Alcorn


*This is a re-post from my archives.


  1. helpfulhero2014

    Very touching and real post. Praying those prayers for you and your daughter as well. You are right. As long as she’s breathing, there is hope. What a great and awesome God we serve.

  2. Stacy Lee Flury

    Reblogged this on Anchor Of Promise and commented:
    What a powerful story this parents shares. I know that many other parents of hurting children can really identify with these thoughts, prayers, and wishes. Don’t give up. Keep praying, keep seeking, God listens.

  3. Crista

    Each request on the ‘wish list’ resonates with me! They are exactly what I wish for my daughter. 2017 has been one of the most trying years of my life as a mom, but I have great hope for the new year and expect many good, positive things to be revealed. Thank you for your encouraging posts every week. Wishing you and your family God’s peace and joy and His amazing LOVE for us all.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Crista, we’re so sorry for all you’ve been through this past year. May the Lord help you give him all the hopes and dreams you have for your daughter as you trust him with her future in 2018. May he meet you in it with sufficient grace and strength for each day – He will!

  4. Jamie

    From another mother, thank you.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      God bless you and thank you for your comment, Jamie. May you be experiencing the loving comfort of your heavenly Father.

  5. Patti Ordower

    Thank you for reposting this. Praying for several friends’ children.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Thank you Patti. I pray it helped them!