Easter is tomorrow. 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 alcohol or drugs, are incarcerated, engage in self-injury or an eating disorder, have a problem with pornography, gambling or video-gaming, a mental health affliction or gender identity issue, 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 children are still 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. Remember this:
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. 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 His 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. He suffered so we don’t have to suffer alone. He is with us now and will always be with us (Matthew 28:20b; Psalm 23:4 and Isaiah 41:10).
I grew up going to church, singing the hymns of the Judeo-Christian faith. The words of an old one came to my mind as I wrote this post. They captured my heart’s prayer for you, dear ffriend – and for your sons and daughters: “At The Cross” by Ralph Hudson. You can listen to different renditions on YouTube. 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
3 simple truths that 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. May ours roll away too. 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 gave 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 “Parents Resources”. Click on “Support Groups” and scroll down to the bottom of the states where you’ll see the online groups. Or order a copy of the book here. It’s full of hope, help and practical tips for you to thrive again.