Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Getting through the holidays.....

Prayer requests from hurting hearts continue to come to this blog. Estrangement affects so many families across our nation. It's rampant! If you're here, reading these posts, then you're one of thousands who know first hand. And I'm so sorry for your pain. I truly am. After awhile, you just want to give up, right? Why try to mend the broken relationships in your life when the other side cold shoulders you? You're stuck. Helpless. Not in control. Hurting, hurting, hurting.

Since the holidays are fast approaching, I searched the Internet for helpful advice. Instead, I found this essay written by a man who shut out his family for 17 years, then came back. The lessons that Bob Brody learned could help so many others who stubbornly turn their backs on family.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy birthday, B!

I'm hoping and praying that someday you'll reach out to us, B. For now, at least you'll know that I was thinking of you on your special day. We love you so much!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Advice to a hurting mom

Any advice for a mom who's been divorced for three years and her 22-year-old son won't speak to her? 
–babygirl via email January 6

Dear Babygirl:

My heart goes out to you! You're in a dark, painful place. I am so very sorry that your son has chosen to shut you out of his life, the woman who has nurtured and loved him since his very first breath. I suspect he's angry because you divorced his father. As mothers, we unconditionally love our children, no matter what. It's a love from our hearts that our children won't be able to truly understand until they experience it for themselves.

 Do I have any advice? I'll try....

Let go It's hard. I know! But you must let go of your son as best you can. You can't control him. Nothing you say or do will change his mind. Only he will return to you when he's ready. And when he does re-connect, allow time for healing. It may be awkward between the two of you in the beginning until you settle into a new normal. Be patient. (Ha, easy to say, right?)

Keep praying That said, don't give up! Let go and give your son to God. Then, in Jesus' precious name, earnestly pray that God restores the relationship between you and your son (Matt. 21: 22). At the same time, also earnestly pray for God's will (Matt. 26:39). God knows our desires. But He also wants us to share them with Him.

Care for yourself Find happiness wherever you can. Have fun at doing something you enjoy! Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up over the past (I'm still working on that one). Believe that you were and still are a good mom. If you weren't, you wouldn't feel so empty without your son in your life. Right?

Be loved Surround yourself with friends and family who love you. I pray you have one close, devoted confidant (your mother or maybe new husband?) who will listen whenever you need to talk and share and unload and maybe cry. Someone who won't judge and simply just LISTEN (hugs are nice, too). We all need that.

Reach out Do send kind and loving notes, emails, and/or texts occasionally to your son. Don't pressure him in any way. Just let him know that you love him.

Be thankful Back when my son refused to speak to me, I'd nearly given up all hope. Then my pastor at the time said behind the pulpit that we as Christians should thank God for what He's already given us instead of asking for things we wanted. 

From then on, as soon as I opened my eyes each morning, I started thanking God. Thank you, Lord, for another day. Thank you for my parents. Thank you for my son. Thank you for my daughter. Thank you, Lord, for this home.... 

Not long after that, my son began to soften toward me. Babygirl, I'm not promising that your son will magically change his heart toward you if you begin each day with gratitude. But YOUR heart will begin to experience healing. 

This is rare for me, to answer an email via a blog post. But your simple question is one that I believe many hurting parents ask every day. In His name, I pray that somehow, even in a tiny way, the words within this post bless you and other readers who need encouragement. Estrangement within families hurts. I know. I understand.

May God bless and strengthen you and give you wisdom each and every day, babygirl. Keep me posted! 

With love and prayers, 
sheryl 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Stand up if you're hurting

In church yesterday, our minister made a first-time-ever request. "Stand up if you're hurting, if you're going to be alone for Thanksgiving, if there's pain in your family," he said. Behind us and around us, I could sense people getting up from their seats. 


"Now I'm going to ask those of you around them to get up and pray with them," Pastor Bill said. Two pews up, a woman stood up. Immediately, three women went to her side and placed their hands on her. I got up, too. So did my husband. We reached out and put our hands on those closest to us.

All of us in this church could stand up, I thought to myself. We're all hurting in some way.... Broken relationships, broken families, broken health, broken finances, broken pasts, broken hearts....

We are all broken, hurting people.

You're hurting. That's why you're here. That's why you searched for comfort and found this blog. And I'm so sorry. If I could, I'd wrap my arms around you and hug you tight. Let you cry if you need to. Let you know that you're loved. Tell you that God loves you and that you are not alone.  

Since this blog started in January 2011, more than 200 hurting people have contacted me and trusted me with their pain. In the beginning, I kept a prayer book, where I wrote down names and pasted stories. But I just couldn't keep up with the requests. At some point, I started the Prayer List page and then the Special Requests prayer page. When I talk to God, I ask Him to bless and guide everyone who's ever written to me, asking for prayers and even advice sometimes. You are all in my prayers and in my heart. 

As for Patrick, he is home now, back from his overseas mission. Through the years, he's battled his own storms, but his faith remains strong. The scars from our shared pasts will always be a part of us, mother and son. I have so many regrets–at times the guilt washes over me and I hurt–but I can't undo the past. I am human. I am broken.

So, yes, join me and stand up if you're hurting. Together, we will pray for one another. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our Patrick

I thought you might like to see Patrick, who turns 29 next month. He's currently deployed in Northern Africa with the 22nd U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Reserve and will return to the States in late summer. We're all praying that God protects you and your men, Patrick! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy birthday, B.!


Happy birthday today, B.! I can't believe you're 16 now. I just hope you have a wonderful, wonderful day! Please know how much we all love you and wish we could be a part of your life. You're headed for great things. We're all sure of THAT!
With love and hugs,
me  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Heartaches at Christmas

Dear Sheryl: 
My dad and my sister haven't spoke to each other for seven months, and it's breaking our family bond. He says that she cannot enter his house anymore, and she is not welcome for the holidays. I pray that my sister will apologize and that my father will forgive her and let her spend the holidays with us. Every year, there's always a conflict going on in my family during the holiday season. I've lost hope for having a great end of the year due to my family's problems. Hopefully, God will bring our family back together, and we'll have a great bond with no arguing or issues. All I want is God to send a kind heart to my sister and dad so they can speak again and love each other with no issues. I hope, too, that my other sister doesn't bring another conflict in the house. I just want a great holiday. It's not to much to ask.

Dear Rebecka:
No, your heart's desire for a healed family is not too much to ask! Thank you for reaching out to me and trusting me with your heartache, Rebecka. I don't normally share letters from hurting people who find this blog. But I thought yours might help others who share similar circumstances. Christmas can be such a difficult and painful time of year, especially when families like yours (and mine, too) are fractured. Sometimes all we can do is pray for those we love and live as joyfully unto God as we can. That sounds so lame, but it's true. We are powerless to change other people. 

In answer to your letter, Rebecka, I pray in the precious name of Jesus that God touches your wounded family and that your father and sister reconcile and find peace. I also lift up all the many hurting people on this blog's Prayer List and Special Requests and ask in His Son's name that God bless and strengthen each and every one of you. My heart breaks for the multitude of broken bonds that affect so many families in our society. It seems that estrangement is becoming more and more common.

Rebecka, here's a Bible blessing that I found just for you: May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in Him, so that your hope fill continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Christmas blessings to you, dear friend. You and your family are in my prayers.
With love, sheryl