"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." -- Isaiah 40:31
In The Hopeful Heart by John Claypool, the reader is assured that there is SOMETHING to hope for. Not only that, but Claypool stresses that it is presumptuous of us to fall into despair because we have no way of knowing what "The Great Not Yet" will be.
Most of us who have been severely alienated from our precious child (some of us have alienated children who are young & some of us have adult children with kids of their own, grandkids who are also alienated from us) know about despair vs. hope:
Everything is going great & then suddenly, after contact with the alienating parent, our child isn't speaking to us.
We get on our knees & beg God for our child to be back in our lives, at least for the holiday, & nothing.
We hear of other parents & experts talk of alienated kids reunifying with their alienated parent, but then we hear more stories about older adult kids who remain emotionally neglectful & verbally abusive towards their mom, who they blame even in the face of the facts.
Our hearts feel so vulnerable, we get scared to hope....
Experts do tell us that reunification is unlikely the longer it goes on & the more intense & obsessed the alienating parent has worked at brainwashing our child, but I have hope that when parents all put there stories out there, education will be a major factor in
Claypool, whose daughter died of childhood leukemia, points out that forces we aren't aware of may break in & change everything...
BUT things may not change in the way we want -- we've heard this before, but I want to share (this may also be a reminder to you) Claypool's three main categories of hopetaken from his observations & scripture (in my own words, etc.).
1. Hoping for a miracle: Claypool illustrates how life itself is a miracle, but what we refer to as miracles are really amazing things speeded up. He points to creation.
Indeed, I once ordered a butterfly hatching kit for my kids from amazon. The chrysalis were not the most attractive things, but, oh the miracle of them turning into live butterflies!
I recently listened to a lecture on butterflies. Listeners were told that the protein from the caterpillar COMPLETELY turns to liquid & rearranges itself into a butterfly! This information left me in awe AND HOPE: If that could happen, my daughter & I could heal from the trauma of parental alienation & be together again IN PEACE & JOY!!!
Not only does God perform miracles, but we -- you DO NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT to be blessed by miracles. None of us are perfect. An alienated mom messaged me today about her guilt & shame with her situation. She is not the only mom to blame herself.
Alienated parents: You no more deserved to be cut off from your child than Holocaust victims deserved to be incinerated, than slave deserved to be torn from their families, than Claypool's daughter deserved leukemia.... Claypool acknowledges the evil in the world, but states that God is not a God of punishment, but grace.
2. Collaboration: Claypool says that God seems to most often work in collaboration with us. "We will be accompanied by divine energies and empowered collaboratively to achieve solutions."
We are given strength to accomplish his good. I think this can come through divine inspiration, ideas, creative problem-solving, unexpected help & contacts. (Let's work together, alienated parents.)
3. "In some situations, what God chooses to do is to give us the grace to 'walk and not faint' (Isaiah 40:31)."
I think many alienated parents can probably relate to this. Recently, I brought my daughter's birthday present to her school in order to assure she received it without any negative verbal/facial expressions from her dad attached to it. As I made my way to her school, it hit me how hard it was to be shut out of her life -- how much I NEEDED, how much I ACHED to be able to be there for her, but was blocked.
Would my knees buckle? Would I faint? I did not. Without violating privacy laws, her counselor expressed concern for my daughter in her tone & expression as soon as I introduced myself & asked her to tell my daughter I loved her.
My voice did shake, but I spoke: "I've become an advocate for parental alienation. I have an informative handout if you would like to share it with your teachers."
With sincerity, she assured me she would make sure all the high school teachers received a copy.
To those who cannot understand why we alienated parents are so upset, I want to share a quote from Claypool I think is the feeling of many severely alienated parents:
"I know from experience what it is like to be in a place in which there is no occasion to fly and no room to run and, in such circumstances, the ability to walk and not faint is itself a towering miracle."
I have met & made friends with some lovely people through speaking out about my experience. This feels like a miracle. Many times I've wondered how I could get through another day. Many of us have contemplated ending our lives in despair, as our hearts are stabbed over and over and our lives are shattered from the pain & the legal fee drain. Others before me in their struggle with Parental Alienation told their story, & it helped sustain me. I thank God for their strength. It is no easy task to share this terrible truth with the world.
"A depth of mystery pervades all of life and the only appropriate response is genuine humility and the willingness to admit, at least to oneself, 'I may see what is happening before me, but my understanding of it is very partial indeed.'" -- The Hopeful Heart