Have you ever felt numb and dead inside? Maybe it was an incident that left you shocked, bewildered, and speechless. Quite possibly, a situation arose with your teen or young adult that shattered your dreams for them. Perhaps your child requires so much of your energy, thinking, and emotions, you are left exhausted with nothing more to give. Maybe they caused you pain and your response was to just shutdown.
I have been there. Sometimes, I even visit there from time to time. I often wonder to myself why I was left with so many burdens to carry because of my child in crisis. From a teen to a young adult now, some of those crises enlarged or new ones evolved. Some of those struggles were self-inflicted while others were not.
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.
When you have a teen in crisis, you are always in fix mode. It comes with the territory when you are especially a parent with the characteristics of compassion and caring.
I would be the first one in line to raise my hand and say I have this problem. I call it a problem instead of a help because let’s get real, it can cause many problems. That compassion can lead to enabling behavior in a way that will be destructive.
How may you ask? Here’s an example. Your teen has had issues with drinking. But you are afraid them drinking at other places or meet up with friends and go crazy on drinking. So, you allow them to drink at home or you give them a drink that is less addictive in your mind such as a glass of wine.
You haven’t encouraged them to not drink. You haven’t encouraged them to take responsibility in a way that will cut dry their alcohol addiction for good. You have not sought counsel for them. Instead, you have reasoned with yourself that you can keep them from getting worse. That my dear friend is enabling. That is not leading them to a road of recovery but to more destructive behavior.
It doesn’t have to be about drinking. It could be about an eating disorder, a drug addiction, a self-harm issue. Whatever their crisis is, it is your crisis too. Continue reading →
It’s Father’s Day across this nation and in other places of the world. However, there are many fathers who are not able to celebrate this special day. They struggle to get through Father’s Day because they are thinking about their teen in crisis.
A father might be in the hospital due to his teen’s suicide attempt. A father might be wishing his daughter would find her way back home after running off. Maybe he’s the dad who had all these goals and aspirations for his teen and in one moment he found his hopes dashed. Now his teen is before a judge after his latest drug bust. Continue reading →
While being busy at home, I received a phone call. Saying hello several times and not hearing a reply, I listened to see if I could figure out who was calling. To my surprise it was someone that I knew. They had no idea that their cell phone accidentally automated my phone number.
After yelling in the phone to gain their attention, I quickly realized that my voice was too weak to be heard. Without being nosy, the sound of a parent’s voice unveiled their struggling crisis.
The parent was telling a family relative how embarrassing it was to have their teen in a mental hospital because they tried to commit suicide. They used the words “loony bin” and “crazy” to define their teen’s situation. The relative was compassionate, understanding and supportive but couldn’t supply the answers this single parent needed.
It was obvious that this parent was now in a battle against a mountain of emotions and future decision making. Not wanting to infringe on someone’s privacy, I chose to not listen any longer and hung up the phone.
My heart sank and I felt so burdened for this parent. They were grieving in so many ways. It boggled their mind in questions as to why their teen would even think consider suicide when their large family had so much love to give to this teen. Continue reading →