Grief for a Daughter in Crisis

A mother’s heartbreak echoes a situation that God knows intimately.

by Julia Attaway — Posted in Adult Children on Jan 4, 2017

A mother grieves over a daughter's anorexia

My 22-year old spent Christmas Day in a hospital 600 miles from home, the result of yet another anorexia crisis. She might weigh 70 pounds now. Or maybe less. My daughter is legally an adult, albeit one who makes poor treatment decisions.

Because she is of age I have no say in the care she receives. She is depressed and anxious (common side effects of starvation), and the concept of eating–which of course is necessary for recovery–is a torment. She doesn’t believe it is possible to recover. She is wrong in that, but I cannot convince her otherwise.

The past 10 days have been an in-your-face reintroduction to the concept of free will. I know what is right but cannot persuade my daughter to do it. I have seen something similar with a friend whose daughter is a heroin addict, have recognized it with parents of alcoholics.

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There’s only so much one can do without imposing your will on others. It’s a problem God knows intimately.

I know God has this exact problem with me. Letting me choose my path has got to be heart-wrenching because He can see so clearly a better way, a better choice, a better route than the one I often take. It’s something I don’t thank Him for enough: not-forcing me to do what I ought, yet offering forgiveness when I ask for it.

All of which is to say:

Glory to God. 

Glory to His holy name.

Let me be obedient to His will and to His Word.

Let me be patient as He is patient.

May the way I parent my children be the way He is a parent to me.

And may the frustration I feel when others do not do the right thing be transformed into insight and wisdom and love of the Lord.

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