You love Christmas. You sing and reminisce through the songs, enjoy the smell of baked goodies in the oven and having a hot drink. You are snuggled in your comfy chair, relaxed for the movie of White Christmas. You look over at the decorated Christmas tree and presents all prepared under the tree. Time to close your eyes and giggle over the funny stories and memories of Christmas past. Nope, there are no broken family members in your household.
The problem is, it’s all in your head.
Like waking up from a bad dream, reality has hit you in the face. ‘You are actually living the life of a parent in crisis. Gone are the days of fun holidays filled with laughter, singing, and a get together. Nowadays you barely get through the gift shopping, holiday decorating, and preparations for the family. You’d rather be under the covers in your room, closed off from the outside world, and sleep away the hurt, pain, and emotional torment from your wayward child.
Despite all efforts to help your child’s antics, rebellion, risky behaviors, illnesses, disorders, and more…you are are falling apart. Peace and joy have walked out. Fear, worry, pain, anger, and a plethora of other emotions have walked in.
To add salt to your wounded heart, your envy has peaked as you see other families around you sharing their joyous stories of family gatherings filled with bursting excitement. How can this be? Why me God? Why does our family have to suffer? Why can’t we have harmonious, drama free holidays?
In the years past with a child in constant crisis, those very thoughts and feelings crossed my path multiple times. I wanted to divorce my broken family. It wasn’t just because of what my children were doing (although I was pushed to the edge many times), but more of a way to cope. Any type of escape from the problems I faced were in my eyes, a way to survive.
Today, I see things very differently. Even the holidays. Are they still tough? Sometimes. However, I learned something very powerful about myself.
I was not alone.
God knew before I was even born, what kind of person I would be and all my flaws. God also knew the turbulent life I would be leading as a parent with wayward children. He knew I would be sad, fearful, angry, disappointed, guilt-ridden, and languishing over every event my children brought into our lives as parents.
When I was in tears, God saw me – Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
When I was screaming out of despair in my car on the road, He protected me and kept me safe – Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
When I lost hope, He encouraged me – Psalm 62:5-8 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
When my faith dwindled, He reminded me of how faithful He had been and how far I have come – 2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”
When I wanted to give up as a parent, God showed me that He did not give up on me by giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, born as a babe in Bethlehem. Jesus was not just a Savior for the world, but also for every broken heart.
As a parent, I focused so much on our pain that I lost sight of the beautiful gift God gave us, His Son, our salvation and hope for our families. Today, as we approach Christmas, remember why we are celebrating this special day. Then rest in Him.