"A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother" Proverbs 10:1.
In the eight years we have been in ministry we have experienced grief as we loss dear friends to disease who had served at On Wings, or we loss children of our families by death through overdose, or in the loss of those from our prodigal support group. The loss we felt as the result of death is one kind of grief, but as we have all discovered, loss comes in other ways as well.
An unknown author put it in a way most of us as parents of prodigals can identify with: "Sometimes a parent grieves the loss of a child who is still alive". A loss of dreams, hopes, future plans, and sometimes the loss of communication.
We had someone come share about grief in one of our support group meetings one night. It was such a great time of sharing as we realized the stages of grief applied to our situations. Some of us had children in prison, on the streets in addiction, or were estranged from our child for reasons we could never have fanthomed.
My remembrace of that session was the feeling of release as I acknowledged my walk through all the stages of grief many times over the years. Some of us literally sobbed as our pain came out. I often found myself hopeful that this time things would change, this would be the turning point, only to find ourselves right back in the same cycle of the horrible trap of addiction.
The stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance were all so real on our journey. But it seemed no one seemed to notice, or bring chicken soup or a casserole, or send a card, or give us a call as we grieved so we often suffer alone.
Do you find yourself in one of the stages of grief today because of the choices of a loved one? You may know how painful that journey is. Reflect on ways you might have grieved the Holy Spirit as you may have fallen away from the plans God had for you. Ask His forgiveness and let Him restore your relationship to Him immediately. We are or have all been prodigals in our lives. The important thing is that we strive not to continue to grieve Him with our actions and choices.