Even though the sun was shining and the temperature had reached a warm 82 degrees, the day was dark. The day before was different. I had stood with my 2 best friends in the middle of Soldier Field, in Chicago, witnessing one of the greatest live shows in history- the U2 360 tour.
It was amazing and inspiring! Later that evening we hung out in our hotel lounge for some drinks and good conversation. We talked about the concert, life, our families, and the beauty of the day.
That day was over now. The reality of the one we were in washed over us like cold water from a bucket. My wife and I sat in an outdated, bland office with our son in Northern Indiana filling out paperwork. He was in denial as to why he was there. Maybe we were too.
In less than an hour we would make the 2 and a half hour drive south to our home near Indianapolis, without him. He would stay in residential care for the next 4 months.
It was painful for so many reasons. We were wounded, ashamed, embarrassed, and shocked. This was not how we saw this whole parenting thing going back when we first started a family! But there we were, driving up every weekend to see our son. We hoped, prayed, and even begged God to change him. His behavior had reached dangerous levels. Something had to change.
Have you ever been through something in life that left you feeling hopeless, desperate, and wounded?
We have. Honestly speaking, some of those moments have cut so deeply that we thought there would never be an end…and we’d never find healing. We have been brought to our knees in complete and utter weakness by the choices of our children. We know what it feels like to wake up, see the sunrise, inhale the freshness of the morning, but have a bleak outlook on the day.
We’ve felt the weight of watching our children weep over the vicious things other children have said to them. We’ve waded through the trauma of aggressive outbursts and 4 hour tantrums, both a result of mental illness. We’ve been battered and beat up by the foster care system, the choices of other people, the haughty glares of others, and the rejection of those we’ve loved deeply.
We’ve suffered through the wounds and now we bear the scars. If you’re nodding your head because you have the same scars or the same gaping wounds from some of the same experiences, you’re not alone!
And that is the point.
Our wounds and our scars speak. They tell a story greater than the incident or moment that gave them to us. They tell a story of hope. They tell a story of victory. They are proof that we can live through the darkest moments and a new day is coming.
Over the past few years we have met so many people, so many parents, who desperately need to hear they are not alone. They desperately need hope. Some have found this hope in our story. When we have shared our wounds, revealed our scars, told of the long roads our family has walked and lived through, hope rises.
It’s precisely how we found hope. Three years ago we unwillingly sat in a conference room with people we didn’t know until they started sharing their stories. One by one, they revealed the painful moments they’ve faced with their children. We suddenly realized there were others who limped through life, and parenthood, like we did.
Your wounds can tell a story of hope. Your scars can bring about a new day for someone else. Ours have. And we won’t stop sharing their story.
What is your story? Share it with us. It may be the hope someone else is looking for!