Today is Easter. Holidays are hard when you’re the parent of a child who brings you heartache. How old they are doesn’t matter. If they struggle with a potentially life-altering or some other heartbreaking issue (alcohol, drugs, mental illness, estrangement, and more), everything changes.
On special days you hurt more…much more.
Memories from when your child was young and innocent flood your mind.
You can’t help but remember your cute little girl all dressed up in her Easter clothes. Her beautiful smile would catch your breath. You can still see your precious four-year-old son looking adorable in his suit and tie. His impish smile melted your heart.
What fun you had surprising them with baskets full of treats. Happy memories of Easter egg hunts now only bring tears and a lump in your throat. Those days remind you of what you’ve lost. How could you forget?
We wonder if our children will ever even like us again or want to spend time with us. Others would be satisfied just to know they’re alive.
Bittersweet holidays. The sweetness of the past alongside the bitterness of the present.
Is this your condition? Please hold on to Easter’s timeless messages of hope. They are as relevant for us today as they were on Resurrection Day over 2,000 years ago.
God often digs a well of joy with a spade of sorrow. (anonymous)
Easter’s 3 Messages of Hope
1.You never know what tomorrow might bring. In this moment we can’t see what God is doing, but He is working. He is always at work though we usually are unaware. His hand moves behind the scenes creating surprises when least expected. (John 16:33; Matthew 28:1-7)
2. God longs to comfort us with His presence and love. His perfect Lamb, Jesus, suffered, bled, and died for us (and for our children) so that we could have the gift of eternal and abundant life (John 3:16; John 10:10; Romans 6:23). He gave His all so that we could experience all the blessings and goodness He has instore for us.
3. Because He suffered we don’t have to suffer alone. He is with us now and forever. We’re never alone in our suffering (Matthew 28:20b; Psalm 23:4 and Isaiah 41:10).
Jesus, who walks with us, walked a lonesome path so that we could know His never-ending presence.
I grew up going to church, singing the hymns of the Judeo-Christian faith. The words of an old one came to mind as I wrote this post. They capture my heart’s prayer for you, dear friend, and for your sons and daughters: “At The Cross” by Ralph Hudson. You can listen to different renditions on YouTube or wherever you listen to music. Here’s one by the Gaither Vocal Band from 2012. And this is another jazzy version sung by TD Jakes recorded in 2020.
At The Cross (this is the chorus)
At the cross, at the cross
where I first saw the light,
and the burden of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day.
“Only in the gospel of Christ can hurting people find such incredible hope.” ~ Randy Alcorn
These three simple truths give us a power-pacted dose of hope. You never know what tomorrow might bring. God longs to comfort you with his presence and love. He suffered so you don’t have to suffer alone. Thank you God for these wonderful promises.
Pray with me: O Father, we pray our prodigal loved ones will finally see the light of the gospel in the cross of Christ this Easter. Please give them understanding of the meaning of Easter for their lives so that the burden of their hearts will roll away. We want ours to roll away. The weight has crushed and broken us beyond what we thought possible. Help our sons and daughters find their own personal faith – faith to believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God. And may they receive 20/20 spiritual vision so that they will know the joy of the resurrection, both now and forevermore. This is the hope of our hearts at Easter. In the name of Jesus, Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Resurrection and the LIfe, who laid down His life for us all. Amen.
***If you are looking for more support please join us for one of our in-person or online support groups listed on our website under “Support Groups“. Scroll to the bottom of the states where you’ll see “Online Groups”. You might want to order a copy of the book we use in our groups or you may want to read my book, You Are Not Alone with the accompanying Study Guide (recently published), or Tom my husband’s book, Moments of Clarity. Click here. They’re all full of hope, help, and practical tips to help you thrive again.
Thank you so much for your hopful messages. Especially these leading to Easter. They have comforted me and really helped to calm the anxiety.
(I have been ill while my father has been ill also..son barely talks to me & struggles w illnees/ addiction. We all live far from one another)
Blessings to you 💖
Sharon, Thank you for your message. I am so glad my blogs leading up to Easter have comforted and calmed you. How hard to be battling your own illness while your father is also ill and your son has estranged himself from you in his own struggle with addiction and not being well. Please consider joining one of our online support groups – if there’s not an in-person one near you. They bring so much comfort, encouragement and hope just from being together, discussing a relevant topic. Today we discussed worry and anxiety and we all felt greatly uplifted by the end of the call. Information is on our website under “support groups”. Online groups are listed at the bottom of the states. Let me know if you have any questions.
May God continue to comfort you as you trust in Him.