Resilience. Heartbroken parents need it. What is resilience? The ability to recover or adjust quickly after setbacks or difficulties. To bounce back after going through a tragedy or setback. Bouyancy. This is a character quality I need more and more as I travel through life. As hurting parents, we all do. We’ve gone through many difficulties and setbacks. Our children have abused alcohol or drugs; intentionally harmed themselves by burning or cutting; starved themselves – binged or purged until we don’t know them anymore. When they are sexually promiscuous, confused about their sexual orientation; have a mental illness or refuse treatment for one; when they have attempted suicide or threaten to do so …
How well do you recover? Are you bouyant or do you sink into depression and despair?
Our set backs are set ups for our come backs. This is the heart of resilience.
Resilience can also be described as: “The property of a material that enables it to resume its original shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed; elasticity”. Many times I felt bent and compressed. Crushed. Definitely stretched beyond my limits like a rubberband. However, I have become more elastic and bouyant than I once was. Much more than before I went through those years of bending and stretching.
Can We Rebound?
Shaken. Traumatized. Bone-weary. Drained. That was me. I lost my zest for life. Friend, does this describe you?
At one point, I even despaired of life itself. I wished I could die (or that my child’s would – as horrible as that is to admit). I just wanted the pain to end. I would be at peace in heaven. There would be no more suffering. No more agony. But I would never do anythiing to end my life. That wasn’t an option. But how could I live like this?
Can we rebound and snap back to who we once were? Could our set backs be our set ups for our come back? Is it possible? I believe it is.
Why? Because this happened to me … and to others I know. However, our “come back” was made possible because of our personal relationship with God’s son, Jesus. Faith in a loving, compassionate God made all the difference. With His help I (and the others I mentioned) bounced back and recovered. He made me resilient. He made my set backs, set ups for a come back. This didn’t happen all at once or even in a few months. My journey to resilience was long and slow.
This healing process is not for the faint of heart, but with our heavenly Father’s help, we can become resilient for our come backs.
If I did. You can too.
My Journey to Resilience
My journey to resilience wasn’t a solitary one. I knew I needed the assistance of others for my come back. Many helped along the way: friends – many were new ones God brought into my life, pastors, counselors, rehab center staff, support groups — all played a part in my journey to develop resilience.
Reading books on relevant topics. Resting. Being easy on myself. Giving myself grace. Forgiving myself for mistakes (yes, there were plenty). Simplifying my life. Giving myself permission to feel my feelings. Admitting that I was not perfect. Accepting the truth of my child’s struggles and issues, then learning as much as I could about them. Taking One Day at a Time. Releasing my need for control, but acknowleding God’s sovereignty. Letting go of a desired outcome, yet holding on to hope – hope in God. Surrendering my child back to Him. Giving thanks, even in the worst of times.
Resilience. It’s a good goal to aim for. We can overcome our setbacks with God’s help. We can recover. We can become resilient.
This Bible verse encourages on my journey. I hope it will encourage you on yours:
Now he (God) is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
What do you think helps us be resilient? How woud you describe this quality?
*from the archives @2017