Friday, November 30, 2012

The very, very worst kind of separation

Earlier this week, I received an email from Arleen, a mother who's hurting deeply. I cannot even begin to imagine her heartache. I asked if I could share her letter, and said yes....

"Please pray for me, I'm deeply depressed due to death of my youngest child, Ashley," Arleen wrote. "Ashley was 21 years old and in her second year in college. A wonderful, beautiful child, inside and out. She died of a sudden heart attack on June 24, 2012. The last time saw her beautiful eyes was the evening before, June 23rd (she did not pass at home). After that, I never saw her again."

"My heart is so broken. I have two other children and a wonderful husband and an extremely smart, wonderful, delightful three-year-old grandson. I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but I miss my Ashley so very much. I know most of you are hurting because of relationship problems with your children or because they are missing. Not knowing where they are or if they're okay, I can imagine how hurtful that is, but just be thankful that they are still alive. Because once they die, it's forever. Pray that they come back to you because I know my Ashley will never come back. A mother's pain of losing one of their children has to be one of the greatest pains, a pain that I would not want to wish on anyone in the world."

Words of comfort seem so inadequate when someone's lost a loved one. If I could, I'd hug you tight and just be there, I emailed Arleen. She and I have never met in person, but that doesn't matter. Like you, she's found this blog because she's in deep pain and needs to reach out and share her hurt with others who understand in any kind of way. 

Yes, Arleen, we will hold your hand and pray for you and your family. May God bless you and strengthen you and surround you with ministering angels. You are very loved!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here come the holidays. Again.

I just reread my post from last December. Sadly, nothing has changed on my own front. The family member I mentioned still shuts me out and refuses to at least try and heal our broken relationship. And I can't do a thing to change the situation (I've tried!)

Except pray.

In the meantime, I just received an email from Dr. Joshua Coleman, an expert on estrangement. Right now, he's offering a free webinar called "Surviving the Holidays: Advice for Estranged Parents."

"Holidays can be especially difficult times for estranged parents," he wrote in his email. "So as a gift to my readers, I'm giving away my seminar HIGH RISK DAYS where I talk about how to handle the holidays."
Here's the link to the webinar. And if you'd like a free study guide, go here

Blessed holidays to you all. I feel like anything I say will so sound trite and meaningless. Because the pain can be so overwhelming. I understand. But please do try to focus on the good in your life. As much as you can, don't dwell on the pain. 
Instead, "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
With love and prayers, sheryl


Monday, November 5, 2012

A prayer chain for the holiday season

Recently, Ginny, a mother who's contacted me through this blog and is estranged from her two teen sons, made a loving and caring suggestion, which I thought I'd share here.

"I know the holidays are coming up and I've already began praying for my household," she wrote. "I've been studying the book of Esther, and before she went before the king to begin the request on behalf of her people (Jews), she called for a three-day fast from her people throughout the king's providence. I've thought of this before, but God has really laid it on my heart to invite other mothers to participate in a fast from November 1 through Christmas. To fast something...maybe a certain time period to spend with God praying and lifting each of us up as mothers preparing for a season we probably all love but yet dread."

Toward that goal, Ginny suggested that everyone pray at 9 p.m. "Then prayers will go around the world about every hour, like a prayer chain," she wrote.

Specifically, "I am asking for strength and peace for each mother as this season draws near," Ginny wrote. "I'm asking for God to soften the hearts of our children as well as their fathers. For God to break down the walls that separate us and begin a healing and restoration process. To rebuild broken bridges that NO ONE can destroy!"

Starting today or any day, please join Ginny, me and other hurting parents who are praying each night in preparation for the holiday season, which is very often a sad and difficult time to get through. Please share this post, too. God bless you!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Finding someone who understands

Separation hurts. Especially when the other person treats you like you're dead. And what can you do? Nothing. Except pray. And find someone else who understands your pain and heartache truly.

Earlier this week, Jackie, a hurting mom, emailed and asked that I post a helpful link on Broken Bonds Healing Hearts.

"I think I found the site through you to begin with," she wrote. "In reading your Prayer wall, my heart ached for so many who have posted prayers requests. This is a great way to have others in prayer for each other. But honestly, I have found through this site on DailyStrength, that when I need support right now, it's there."

"People pray for each other openly, and there is an exchange that is unparalleled by anything else that I have found in this horrible nightmare," Jackie wrote. "Everyone feels alone and needs someone to understand. Feedback is really all I have found that has helped me, as well as prayers, yes. But feedback is the one thing that keeps us all going." 

"Please post this link for all and make it visible on your home page so it doesn't get buried in a thread. It is so vital. People are hurting, and I really felt I needed to let you know that partnering with this site could bring relief to so many. It is a Christian site, and the only real one that is monitored continually for content and remains free of so many pitfalls of other (feedback) support sites."

Thank you, Jackie, for taking the time to share and point other hurting parents to this DailyStrength site called Christian Parents of Estranged Adult Children

DailyStrength has a second site, too, called Parents of Estranged Adult Children Everywhere