4 Suggestions for Parents Who Feel Hopeless at Easter

by | Mar 30, 2024 | what you can do | 2 comments

photo cred. Avel Chuklanov on unsplash

Easter is tomorrow, a day of hope and new beginnings. But before the resurrection came the crucifixion which brought a lot of loss, betrayal, confusion and unanswered questions. These adjectives describe the state of our world today.

Is a family member or a friend terminally ill? Have you lost your job? Are you worried about your business, in addition to your child’s welfare, which was already more than you could bear?

Maybe you are the parent of a teen or adult who isn’t doing well—they’ve struggled for years. Are they imploding (or exploding) during this season of uncertainty? Is your story complicated and way too long to tell in one sitting? You can’t help how you feel. You’re in a lot of emotional pain and you’re losing hope.

Any hope you once had is depleted…slipping away.


You may find yourself in one of these groups: your beloved child is incarcerated or has a substance use disorder (SUD). They’ve damaged themselves with self-harm. They continuously inflict wounds on their body or have an eating disorder (another form of self-harm). Mental illness and

photot cred. twloha

suicide attempts might be what plagues them. In and out of rehabs, their battle and the accompanying trauma never ends.

They’ve made countless terrible mistakes including ruined marriages or same-sex relationships; now there may be grandchildren in the picture. Possibly they have estranged themselves from you and you have no idea why. You have experienced more brokenness and heartache than you ever thought possible.

Much more.

Your heart is shattered. You’re doing your best to hold on to your own sanity by a thread and that thin string is frayed, about to come apart for good.

What is there to hope for now?

How much more you can take?

Your heart cries out, “How long, O God?” You see no way anything good could come from all that’s happened. Everything looks ruined. You feel lifeless, stuck in a darkened tomb with a huge stone blocking the only way out. And it stinks in there—like death.


What can you do? Try these four suggestions. They helped me:

1. Keep praying and trusting God.

He is the Great Physician, the relentless lover of every soul.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart… (Proverbs 3:5 NIV); … I am the LORD, who heals you (Exodus 15:26 NIV).

2.  Be honest with yourself, with God, and a few safe people.

Let out your pain. God sees. He knows. He cares about your suffering.

 When I said, ‘”My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalms 94: 18-19 NIV).

  3. Never give up. Ever.

Your child’s resurrection day could be close! We’re given no guarantees of how things will end, but we can be certain of one thing: God will never stop seeking them or giving them second, third, fourth … endless chances. His hand remains extended toward them long past when ours would drop.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me (John 14:1 NIV).

 4.  Remember who God is, what He’s done in the past, and what He can do in the future.

He can do anything to fulfill His plans. Whatever it takes. He is able. After all, He has the power to raise the dead.

I have come that they may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10 NIV).

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live (John 11:25 NIV).


photo cred. dena yohe

As long as your child is still breathing, there is still hope!

He can raise you up again too. He can lift you out of the ashes of hopelessness, despair, and sadness.

Dear friends, HOPE ON.


On to God’s



This next Bible verse reminds me where my encouragement comes from. It’s not pie-in-the-sky, or wishful thinking. My hope comes from an all-powerful God. My hope is in Him. It IS Him.

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope (Psalms 119:49 NIV).

Use this prayer as your own: O God, please renew my hope this Easter. My whole world is darker and more hopeless than usual. This takes a toll on my already fragile emotions. Help me hold on to the belief that because Jesus suffered, died on the cross for the sins of all mankind, and was raised to life, my child can have a new beginning — so can I. But if I don’t see them turn to you in my lifetime, please raise me up from the tomb of despair I’ve fallen into, so that I can live into the victory You won at Calvary … today and all the days of my life. In Your resurrection power. Amen.

Recommended Resources:

If you need some fresh encouragement today, you might like my book:

You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids or my husband’s Moments of Clarity: Wisdom from the Father of a Prodigal

Or you might prefer this one:

The Hope of a Homecoming by Brendan O’Rourke and DeEtte Sauer. You can order it from our website. If you do, a small portion of your purchase will help our ministry.




** As Amazon Affiliates we receive a small percentage of the book sales.


  1. Diane

    Suggestion #3 and the Easter prayer I found helpful. I know God wants us to trust more and worry less but I find myself grieving daily. I have so many questions, no answers, and wonder if I will ever see my adult child again. Thank you for this website. It helps me feel not so alone.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Diane, thank you for your comment. I am so sorry for the pain and grief you are experiencing. Be patient with yourself. This kind of grief is especially difficult with no closure or assurances, other than that God is with you, he will help you and he understands. I’m glad #3 was helpful for you about trusting God more, worrying less and yes, Oh how hard to do. We can’t do this on our own. We look to God to do it in us. He is our source of strength. I hope you will see your child again one day. Until then, please take care of yourself, draw near to God and find a supportive community. You might want to try one of our support groups. If there’s not one near you, try one of our online groups. They are comforting and encouraging. Look under “Parent Resources” on our website and you’ll see “Support Groups”. Online ones are listed at the end of the states. God bless you with an extra awareness of his presence today.