Some time back, I met a mother and daughter at a conference where I was speaking. Unlike the energized people around us, they were quiet and downcast. It turns out, a debilitating injury had just ended all of the daughter’s opportunities to play volleyball in college. They were devastated. The mother said they were trying to trust God in their disappointment—but she was at a loss for how to encourage her child.
Oh, how we’ve all been there, right? We can be heartbroken over the heartbreak of our children. We want to cheer them up. To raise their spirits. To lift them out of the valley. But instead, consider walking through the valley with them for a time, sharing your own heartbreak, and describing how God worked in it. That can be far more powerful for their faith (and yours!) than encouraging them to quickly climb out of that valley.
Recognizing the need for this is particularly important now that our kids are back in school and navigating not only the normal anxieties—trying out for sports teams, taking tests, joining clubs, trying to make friends, applying to colleges—but are also dealing with the very real impacts of the COVID pandemic on their academics, social life, and mental health. So I wanted to share an excerpt from my devotional, Find Peace . . . about what I shared with that devastated daughter and mother whose college athletics dreams had just been shattered.