Holidays Can Be Hard for Parents in Pain

by | Dec 14, 2020 | what you can do | 6 comments

photo cred. Jason Vigeland on Unsplash

Dear parent in pain, we at Hope for Hurting Parents know that the holidays can be extra hard for you. I hope today’s post will bring you some much-needed encouragement.

“What kind of book would the story of your life be? You might think of it as a tragedy, but in reality, your life is a love story, being written by the hand of God. While some chapters will be more difficult than others, visible in every scene, on every page, is the love of God.

The hurts in your life do not define you. God’s love for you determines the course and shape of your life and defines who you are today and who you are becoming…it is also your cushion from the blows life invariably brings.”  (The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie p.65)

Did you need to be reminded of this today? This is also true for our children. Who or what is setting the course or shape of our lives? Who or what defines you? What cushions you from the blows of life?

When you grow weary and discouraged waiting for positive changes to come in your child’s life, please remember the greatness of God’s love.

Eternal love is the golden thread intricately woven into the fabric of our lives.

Divine love is a constant underlying theme that runs throughout our journey in this world.

God is still writing your story…and your child’s.


What you see today isn’t the last chapter. Not yet.

photo cred. unsplash

You have no idea how your life is going to turn out or the influence you will have on them. Don’t forget that who you are as a hurting parent is not the totality of who you are. You are more than your child’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups. You are much more than their addictive behaviors, mental illness, promiscuity, sexual identity confusion, self-harm, arrests, prison sentences, or DUI convictions.

With many chapters of their life still unwritten and unknown, your heart may say you couldn’t possibly be thankful, much less cheerful during the holidays. That’s how it was for me. Today your story may look depressing. You see no progress with your son, no forward movement in your daughter, nothing to celebrate. The disappointments never end.

The chaos won’t stop.

You’re far from happy.

You feel unloved when your child rejects you and breaks your heart. Simply hearing Christmas music in public is brutal on your fragile emotions. There you are in a public setting choking on tears (or sobs) or cynicism. Once again you’be been emotionally sabotaged in the middle of the grocery store or Target or wherever you shop.


photo cred. Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Yet, there’s still a way to give thanks (2 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and find joy. Have you found it?

Instead of looking around at your circumstances…look up.

Look into your heavenly Father’s eyes. Let Him show you the way – His way, not yours. Let His love define you, not your child’s troubles. His love can give new joy, a different kind than you’ve ever known before. What a love story He’s written! And you are the recipient. From my perspective, that’s awesome news.

This is a great scripture passage when you need encouragement:

I patiently waited for You, Lord, to hear my prayer. You listened and pulled me from a lonely pit full of mud and mire (wet, soggy ground). You let me stand on a rock with my feet firm,and you gave me a new song, a song of praise to you . . . may Your love and faithfulness always protect me (Psalm 40:1-3 CEV & v.11b NIV).

Pray with me: Lover of our souls, how we thank You for defining us with Your incredible love and not the present difficulties with our children. We’re grateful for the protective padding this has provided between us and the hurts we’ve experienced. Help us when we lose sight of Your tender loving care. We’re terribly forgetful. Our vision is extremely limited. In Your matchless name. Amen.

Recommended Resource: The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie


  1. Beth Denhof

    A well-timed message of hope. I would add, from my own current experiences of all things 2020, that along with looking up into His eyes, I am also trying really hard to give myself the grace to just rest in His arms. To be ok with not being ok, allowing myself to cry with my head in His lap. And I just keep reminding myself how He has walked
    with me through these hard days (and months) so faithfully. With that knowledge of His past faithfulness, I can hold on knowing He will continue to do so, and that I will (eventually) regain my strength through Him, even though I can’t fully see it today. Always grateful for your wise words, prayer and friendship.

    • Joan

      You spoke all that I couldn’t Beth. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

      • Tom and Dena Yohe

        God bless you Joan. Merry Christmas to you too!

  2. Laretta

    This could not have come to my email address at a better time ! I so needed to hear these encouraging words from you, from God ! The pain at the loss of my children and relationship is just unbearable at times…”Go I, but for the Grace of God”…. Knowing my Heavenly Father loves me and cares is what keeps me wanting to keep living…

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Thank you for your comment Laretta. I pray God continues to give what you need to keep going and never give up.

  3. Barb Winters

    What you see today isn’t the last chapter. Not yet. — YES!!

    Thanks for this reminder. What a comforting blog post. 🙂