10 Things to Consider When Going Through Crisis With Your Child
I can still see us on the car ride home, each one of us afraid, and all in need of help. Driving away from a rehab facility and heading towards an unknown future, we were unaware that we’d soon be tested by fire. We were just starting to learn what true love looked like.
As I consider where we are today, a place only our Savior could have shown us how to get to, I’d like to share some of what He revealed to us along the way. Mommas, awake and alone in the quiet nighttime, wondering what tomorrow might bring, this list of love and hope is for you. Dads, who want to be strong and fix the family, I hope you find tools to use here.
Ten Things to Consider:
1. Get well
Remember the instructions given when riding on an airplane – secure your own oxygen first, then assist your child. We must first be well, so we can then extend wellness to our son or daughter. If we don’t have peace, how can we extend it? If we don’t truly have hope, how can we expect to give it away?
2. Educate yourself
We don’t know what we don’t know, until we get into an environment to learn. Find a safe place with people who will love and support YOU, while offering you the opportunity to learn and grow. Family counseling and books like It Takes a Family were helpful to us. At Celebrate Recovery we found a “forever family” who accepted us, right where we were. When we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, and admit that we too need help, we find opportunity to deal with our misconceptions and fears, and learn how to move forward.
3. Pray God’s Word
When I began praying scripture, I stopped begging God and started taking Him at His Word. It is an action plan! God’s word is always true, never changing, and accomplishes what He says it will (Isaiah 55:10-11.) In quiet time, ask the Lord to lead you to scripture to pray for your son or daughter. Ezekiel 36:26 was a light of truth that we held onto along our journey. Coming into agreement with God’s Word brings about miracles; I have experienced it first-hand!
4. Cry when you need to
Let the tears fall and release the fears, frustrations, and let-downs. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling; as you let the walls down and acknowledge your emotions, then healing can come.
5. Do the hard stuff
Sometimes love looks differently than we thought it would, but when we ask God for wisdom and strength, He will help us to love, even when it hurts (James 1:5-6.) Unite with your spouse, parent, or a godly friend for strength to stand as your child pushes against any boundaries you’ve set. It is by no means easy, but the Lord will enable you (Proverbs 18:10.)
6. Keep praising God
No matter how difficult our situation, God is still worthy of praise. When we push through our sadness and fear, and praise Him in spite of our circumstance, we offer worship that is truly a sacrifice. When we focus on the goodness of our Father God, it refreshes our hearts and He fills us with hope.
7. Keep living
Although we can be consumed by the heavy situation that our child is in, our own lives don’t and shouldn’t stop. When we hyper-focus on the trouble, we neglect to care for our selves. We need balance and we want to maintain a life worth sharing with our children. Continue doing the things you enjoy and don’t allow yourself to become isolated. Push yourself to meet a friend for lunch, even if you don’t feel like it. Attending church with authentic friends so encouraged John and I. They cried and prayed along with us, and encouraged us to keep on believing.
8. Keep believing
The enemy wants us to give up and give in, but if we’ll continue to trust God and pray His Word, He will show Himself faithful. Psalm 16:7-11 is a beautiful reminder that the Lord lights our path as we look to Him. He gives us hope that the world doesn’t understand or even believe in. Let’s rest in that hope and never ever stop believing that God will bring about change in our children.
9. Never let go
The first time I prayed on behalf of my son, with supportive friends, I cried and pleaded for God to save him. With a force that I didn’t realize was inside me, I told the enemy that I’d never ever let Christian go. I believe it was a turning point for me – to realize that no matter what, I was committed to holding onto my son with everything I had. It’s been a long journey, but I am learning how to be committed to holding on, no matter the circumstances.
10. Push into the Lord
When in crisis, we’re most open to the Lord. Use your desperation to push yourself deeper into Christ Jesus. He promises that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13.) Dedicate time alone with Him each day (Matthew 6:6), for this is when He whispers hope to our hearts and gives us direction. Expect to hear from Him. Be sensitive to what you feel He’s impressing on your heart and be willing to obey His leading. As you push in, you will find that God Himself is waiting for you and is ready to move on your behalf.
Friends, I am here for you if you need me, ready to listen and pray and believe with you. I pray that as you think on the ideas above, you’ll find a hope that settles within you and inspires you to keep pressing forward. The crisis is not the end of your story!