Finding Hope This Holiday Season

Finding Hope This Holiday Season - Anchor Of Promise

With one last decoration piece to go, my Christmas tree of bountiful ornaments would be embellished in beauty.  As I grabbed the heavily tarnished nail ornament in my hand, I stopped and gazed upon it silently in thought.

Previous Christmas’ were not happy ones for me. Shadowed by multiple crises with a hurting child, I didn’t know how to find freedom and peace through my journey of parenting.  

A depressed, suicidal daughter, living rebelliously and acting out with risky behaviors were my fixation during the holidays. How could I celebrate such a joyous occasion when I was struggling myself?

Pondering over the nail which lay in my palm,  I started to comprehend its meaning over my broken family.  Pushing back the tree branches to hang the ornament was like pushing back the curtains of time to Jesus’ birth.  

The Heavenly Father’s gift of His son was so miraculously planned out. He knew how we desperately needed a Savior for a fallen world, even our fallen, sinful, broken child.

As much as I appreciated the Christmas family traditions, buffet holiday foods, and plunder of presents under the tree, it is easy to lose our exuberance in rejoicing that a King, the One who gives salvation, was born for us and for all mankind which includes our hurting child.  Looking at this nail ornament and thinking of what Christ did for me revived my hope. 

What would life be like if I did not have hope of redemption for our family?  Jesus’ life and ultimately his death and resurrection is a lasting testimony of what He did on the cross to give us complete healing for our brokenness. This is something we need to be reminded of daily as we face our family crisis’.  Today I can be thankful for this hope, for this imparts to me a new faith to stay strong during my times of struggle in our parenting, as well as God’s affirmation that He has never forgotten us nor forsaken us. Praise God!   

May God reaffirm His love and devotion to you and your family this holiday season and help you find your joy amidst the difficult times.  

Merry Christmas!

Stacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks - Anchor Of Promise

Last minute shopping at the store, you lay all the items out on the table, and try to figure your preparations for Thanksgiving dinner.  This is the last thing you want to be doing.  You’d rather climb into bed under the covers and watch an old time goodie on the TV. Wouldn’t that be a nice distraction?  This would certainly take your mind off of the reality that you have a broken child and you don’t know how to fix them as you get through the holidays.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Did God truly understand how hard it is to rejoice and be thankful with a teen or young adult in crisis?  Did God get the memo that we are tired, weary, and hurting over our wayward child?  Does He comprehend the magnitude of the pain we as parents have suffered because of the destructive choices our kids make?

Now certainly God is not asking us to have frozen smiling faces throughout the day.  However, we are not to look sullen and depressed when God has our back and is looking out for us.  He cares about our every worry, fear, sadness, and other emotions we are feeling at this time.

Jesus knows about the ills of our teen or young adult. This is why God wants to carry our burdens and encourages us to find joy in His presence.  By praying continually, our communication of intimacy with the Lord is what gives us the strength, peace, and comfort during our trials with our children. That is where we find His faithfulness too.  As I awoke this morning I began to sing the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see.  All I have needed thy hand hath provided.  Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto thee. (Hymn by Thomas Chisholm)

So today, remember God’s goodness for what He has done for you and what He will continue to do.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stacy Lee

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I Have Not Forgotten You

I Have Not Forgotten You - Anchor Of Promise

 

As many of you know, I have not been as active as I would have liked on my blog. There have been many excuses, mainly one, that has kept me from keeping up to date with blog posts.  

The biggest reason is the publication of my first book, Turn the Tide of Emotional Turbulence: Devotions for Parents with Teens in Crisis.  A long time coming, I am finally seeing the light of it being put to print. Book launch will be early spring 2019.

The devotions in this book relate to my emotional rollercoaster ride as a parent when my daughter was going through many crises.  For many parents, crises have focused on one or two issues such as a disorder, addiction, a mental illness, and so forth. For our family, mainly our daughter, there were too many issues to even count over a period of 15 years.  

Yes, I had a lot of emotional turbulence which kept me quite alone.  The good news though, is that each year, more resources, support, and one on one help is now available.  However, it doesn’t always take away the feeling of being alone when you are going through your tsunami storms of life.  

For me, I felt battered by every wave that hit us.  If I am feeling this way, I’m sure other parents are too.  Those thoughts persuaded me (along with others) to start journaling.  I had no idea my journaling would turn into writing a book about it.

With lots of prayer, encouragement, and guidance from great authors, agents, publishers, family, and friends, the book was born.  

Thank you for being so patient with me in not receiving weekly posts.  I will definitely change that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please pray for the finishing edits and touches on the book.  This book was written for you.

 

Happy Autumn Blessings!

Stacy Lee

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of  Tereza Hošková on Unsplash

Adopted Children and Their Challenges – An Interview with Kathy

 

 

Adopted Children and Their Challenges - An Interview with Kathy - Anchor Of Promise

 

Today we are going to meet Kathy.  She shares her story about the challenges that came in her life through adoption.  Maybe you will find your story within hers.  May you also find hope and encouragement too.  

 

Adoption has been a true dear to the heart passion for you and your husband.  You have adopted four times domestically and internationally.  What were the ages of your children when you adopted them?  

Our first son was a  domestic adoption and he was 3 days old, next daughter was International adoption and she was 23 months, then another international adoption and he was 16 months, our youngest daughter we adopted as a domestic adoption at 9years, 11 months old.

Certain adoptions pose different challenges such as age range, living in an orphanage or foster home and even second chance adoptions.  What challenges were you faced with? 

I think all of my children have had many challenges and still continue into adulthood. My daughter adopted from Ukraine was institutionalized from birth. She was diagnosed with emotional deprivation. She was unable to give or receive affection for her first year, and her emotions were always guarded, and she continues to struggle to this day. She has struggled with making deep, lasting, trusting relationships. My boys both had issues related to delays in learning. There is no way to know if there was a direct correlation to their adoptions but I imagine so. Our daughter who was adopted at 9years 11 months, as an interrupted adoption, we were the second family that had adopted her since she was brought to America from Russia when she was 5 years old. Her primary diagnosis was attachment disorder. She was put in a Russian  orphanage at age 4, adopted and brought to America at age 5, was treated for attachment disorder, and the family felt as though they were no longer able to handle the challenges of keeping her in their home. They had a list of issues that they claimed were were so severe that they had made a decision to have her institutionalized in the state the family was living. We intervened and adopted her. We have had many challenges in parenting her. I could write a book with her challenges alone. I think another challenge for adoptive children that is greater than for biological children is the question of identity-Who am

Adoptive children typically don’t look like anyone else in the family – it becomes obvious to them at a young age that  they don’t fit like biological children. My older son had a lot of interest in knowing things about his biological parents. Sometimes information about an adoptive child’s biological parents leaves them feeling disappointed as often the parents have lived a less than praiseworthy life, which was the case in 3 out of my 4 children. With my kids we tried to steer them to God. Their essential identity is found in what God says about them. Point them to Christ. Continue reading

Single Moms with Teens in Crisis – Meet Lynn

 

Single Moms of Teens in Crisis - Meet Lynn - Anchor Of Promise

When we think of “parents with a teen in crisis” we immediately come to the conclusion that mom and dad are involved.  However, there are also thousands of single moms and dads who struggle as parents too.  One such parent is my friend Lynn.  I asked her to share with me some of the difficulties she has endured as a single parent with a teen in crisis. We pray that you will find encouragement through Lynn’s story and that you are not alone in your single parenting journey.

Were you a stay at home mom or working mom when you noticed your daughter’s issues? I am a working mom who works from home and also cared for my mother who had health issues. Both of my daughters now are ages 21 and 23.

Each parent with a child in crisis has a story.  Can you give me a little background of how you became aware that your children were dealing with a serious issue?   While my oldest has had anger and insecurity issues due to a divorce, it is my youngest that has been most concerning.  In her senior year of high school her grades began to drop, she spoke of hating school and had friendships end.  I later came to find out that she was sexually assaulted by a football player who trapped her in his car.  She told no one.  To cope, she began experimenting with drugs.  She chose to attend a city college (which was a good move) but in her second year, I began to see her breakdown emotionally little by little.   At the end of the year, she broke up with her boyfriend of 2 years, told me she was bi-sexual and began living a wild lifestyle.    She went skydiving, had her septum pierced, began losing weight rapidly, out at very late hours of the night, and clearly came home wasted.  My daughters and I are very close, are able to have transparent conversation and purpose time together.  So, not only was I trying to deal with her behavior, she shut me out of her life; I was a roommate of insignificance.  When school started again in the fall, she was having difficulty focusing, and tried working two jobs.  In January, she confessed she felt there was something mentally wrong with her as she began pulling out her hair and cutting herself.   She agreed to go into counseling which lead to a psychiatric diagnosis of bi-polar.  She is on medication and continues seeing her counselor which is helping her work through some core issues. Continue reading