My life has been a crazy one this past year. Because I write about teens in crisis does not mean that I no longer have a teen who is struggling. In fact, as the time grows closer to adulthood, new struggles have popped up.
At times, I am weary and wonder when my almost adult child will get to her complete healing. However, there have been many more victories than difficult ones. In fact, I am so thankful for all of the big strides and hurdles my teen has overcome in the past year and a half.
Soon my teen will really be on her own with more independence and making her own trail as she blazes on through the ups and downs of life. She is so thankful for God’s presence in her life.
This brings me to this thought. Many of you are in your deepest struggles, feeling hopeless, and wondering if you’re a good enough parent. Some of you have doubted whether or not your teen will ever heal or find victory in their life.
Some of you battle your own demons in life because of stress, depression, and shame. I can tell you, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!
I never thought I would be in the place that I am today. There were days where I thought I was going to lose my teen through suicide. Other days I wondered myself if I had enough faith to continue as well. Although my husband was by my side, prayed and helped in where he could, he had a lot on his plate too. So when I hear of single moms or dads who are struggling alone, I can certainly empathize with them.
Sadly, too many parents who have teens in crisis live in secret. Guilt, embarrassment, worrying about what others think keep them bound. Therefore they are trapped emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually to chains that keep healing from taking place.
The fact is, the ONLY way you can see your child delivered from their inner pain is to set yourselves free first. God never intended you to lead a life burdened with hurt, struggle and fear. The New Year is upon us and it’s time to stand up, be strong and courageous.
Take the crisis by the hands through prayer and seek God to break down every barrier that keeps your teen from being set free. Defeat the enemy of drug addition, self-harm, pornography and more by laying it at the feet of the cross. Jesus Christ came not only to save the lost but to heal the sick and broken. That includes you the parent.
God’s grace is sufficient for such a time as this. He will give you the ultimate strength you need through His Spirit. Yes, there will be times in which you throw yourself to the floor crying out to God for help. There may be times in which you just need to be silent to hear His still small voice. And you may find yourself just needing to wait for His timing and His plans.
All He asks is for you to trust Him, have faith in Him, and to seek Him at all times. You may not feel like it, but that is the time when you need to do it. You will be so glad that you persevered and didn’t quit.
To help you start the New Year with new goals, below are some things that have helped me and I pray it will help you too.
1. Ask to be on a prayer list or have a prayer partner – either a spouse, a friend, clergy that can pray for your family.
2. Don’t feel guilty to go out. Pamper yourself every so often.
3. Share only personal things about your teen with a counselor.
4. Accept the fact that you will have good and bad days – but remember God is with you so look to Him for the strength you need to get through it.
5. Ask a friend or mentor who can take your teen for an hour or two or even a day to help you rest mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
6. Although you will be tired from stress or feeling depressed about your situation, read God’s Word every day. Psalms has been a blessing to me. You will find the words encouraging and relate to how you are feeling.
7. Pray for your teen every day. Take a scripture and put your teen’s name within the scripture to personalize it. E.g. Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (paraphrased prayer) May Robert call You in the day of trouble; You shall rescue Robert and he will honor You. I have used this with my girls and it tremendously helped me pray more fervently as well as be more specific to the issues they had.
8. Healing doesn’t happen overnight. Teens will rise and fall like a rollercoaster.
9. Remind yourself that you are NOT perfect. Only God is. You will make mistakes. You will err in judgment at times. That is why it is important to seek God’s guidance and wisdom.
10. Leave encouraging words of scriptures, quotes, poems, songs and more around your house, bedroom, bathroom and even car. It is a reminder of God’s love for you and for your teen.
As I close this post, I just want to say that you are not alone. I am thinking of you and praying for all the moms and dads and their teens during this season. May His light shine upon you and remind you of Christ’s birth and salvation which brings healing to all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!