Does your son or daughter have an addiction or are they a habitual party-er? Do they struggle with a mental illness or self-harm? Do they have an eating disorder; anorexia or bulimia? Have they been arrested and are now in jail or prison? Are they living a gay lifestyle? If so, then you’re probably worn out. Exhausted. Discouraged beyond words. If you’re like me, I did’t know who to talk to. I was too ashamed to be honest with hardly anyone. How could I? It was a lonely, disheartening journey. At times I wished I had died – I just wanted relief.
I’m in a good place now. My daughter is in recovery and doing so much better, too. I continue to take one day at a time, knowing things could change in a moment. Addiction and mental illness can be a deadly combination. Parents whose children suffer with these issues are some of the saddest, loneliest, anxious, and depressed people I know.
My husband and I needed a lot of emotional and spiritual support. Tons of it. You, too?
Because this kind of encouragement was difficult to find, when I achieved a fair amount of inner healing and recovery myself, I decided to reach out to offer help to other moms and dads. I began writing emails to those I’d met along my path. Words of hope, courage, Scripture, sometimes recommending a book. I’ve been doing this for over six years.
You can sign up to receive these emails through our website (here). Do you see the blue box to the right of this blog? It says: “Encouraging Emails” – “Encouragement in Your Inbox”. You choose the frequency: Six days a week, three days a week, or once.
Here’s a sample of an email I sent a few days ago:
“Hope is available to us right now,
Square in the middle of tragedy,
Because God has promised to walk with us
Through any disaster that might overtake us.”
– Luis Palau
Need a fresh does of hope today? The above quote comforts me. God, the Maker of the universe, who made the sun, moon and stars, who raised Jesus from the dead, promises to walk with you and me through ANYTHING we will ever face in our lives!
If this is really true (and I believe it is), then I can have hope that I’m going to survive. What about you? But I must force myself to stay in the moment, in the right now. I can’t let myself wander off into the unknown future.
Something else that helps me is making a gratitude list (even if I don’t feel like it) and add to it every day. Then I need to keep my grateful list handy so I can refer back to it on my extra rough days, on the days I can’t even remember what’s on my list because I’ve become so bogged down in the agonizing present.
How quickly we forget, yes?
Take heart my friends, our present trial won’t last forever . . . really! Here are a few reassuring words from God:
John 16:33 “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but TAKE HEART! I have overcome the world.”
Romans 8:17 “ . . .in all these things we are MORE than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear NOT for I am with you . . .”
If you were in need of some hope today, I pray this gave you a little more.