The Christmas season can be difficult for many people, especially parents who are hurting over the destructive choices and behaviors of their teen to adult children. In my recent post, I told you about the idea of a "God Box." This is not my original concept. I heard about it in an Al-Anon meeting.
Using a God box has been a great strategy to help me deal with my raw emotions of fear, worry and anxiety. It is my prayer that this could help you too.
How to Use a God Gox
- Choose a box (any kind or size you want) and put "God Box" or "My God Box" on the top.
- For convenience, I put a small notepad and pen inside my God Box.
- When you realize you're worried, anxious or upset about something related to your child (ask God to show you) write it on a piece of paper in your notepad.
- Tear the paper out and fold it up.
- Put the folded up paper in your box.
- Place the lid back on and put it away—in a drawer, high up on a closet shelf, under the bed—wherever you want. But be careful not to hide your box so well that you can't find it the next time you want to use it!
A Cathartic Process
I can't explain why, but there's something extremely cathartic about this simple process.
Writing down what I'm fretting over helps me recognize what I'm feeling and provides a way to express it, to let it out.
Putting the paper in the box symbolizes surrendering my cares to God, putting my child in His hands, letting them go.
Putting the box away further symbolizes the intention of my heart to release my worries and give my child back to the Lord who gave them to me in the first place.
After using a God Box for a few years, I got the idea of writing my Christmas Wish List (I wrote about this in my last blog) and putting that inside my box. It took me a few days to make the time to write out my list—there are so many distractions this time of year—but I finally got it done.
A Powerful Time
What a powerful time. Writing out my hopes and desires, putting them in the box and leaving them there. Walking away and trusting God.
So good for my soul. So freeing.
Nothing changed with my child—but I wasn't the same.
A few minutes. That's all I needed. The result: I had a little more peace. I was a little less anxious and sad; a little less nervous and fearful.
Such a simple thing—so easy to do—yet with such a big result for my heart and mind.
Give Yourself This Gift
I challenge you to give yourself this gift. Find a box and get started today. This simple, beneficial process might help you find a little more peace and let go of your fears a little more as you surrender your beloved child a little more to the One who alone can help.
This Christmas, tragedies abound in nearly every family and community, here and around the world, but Jesus, Immanuel, is our comfort, strength and peace. Amen.
May this Bible verse come alive for you during this holy season:
"Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, 'If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and Ashtoreths from your midst. And make firm your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only. Then He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.' So the children of Israel put away the Baals and Ashtoreths and served the Lord only" (1 Sam. 7:3-4).
Dena Yohe is the author of You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids (2017). Co-founder of Hope for Hurting Parents, she is a blogger, former pastor's wife and CRU affiliate staff. She and her husband, Tom, have been guests on "Family Talk With Dr. James Dobson," "Family Life" with Dennis Rainey" and "Focus on the Family" with Jim Daly. A proud mom of three adult children, she loves being Mimi to her grandchildren. Find out more at HopeForHurtingParents.com.
This story originally appeared at hopeforhurtingparents.com.
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