Dear God, I just read an essay by Lisa Marie Presley as printed by People Magazine. It touched me on a few levels. It touched me as a parent who, in many ways, feels like I failed. It touched me as a parent who has been through the loss of a child (through miscarriage). It touched me as a parent who has felt judged by others for things that, on one hand, I judge myself, but, on the other hand, feel like they were due to circumstances beyond my control. It touched me as a fellow sojourner with Ms. Presley. She’s two years older than me. Her son was one year older than my son is now when he died.
One of the tragedies in our divided nation right now is that we tend to judge each other a lot more easily than we support each other. Even within your Church, we judge each other. I prayed the other day about whether or not people in different political parties were able to all be part of your Body at the same time. We can be mean, but I wonder how much of that meanness is fueled by our own insecurities, mourning, and sin. Ms. Presley mentioned the importance of support groups. She said that they didn’t take away the grief, but at least they took away some of the loneliness. I can see that. As a parent who struggled, I could have used more support group help.
I talked with someone yesterday who was struggling with her own parenting issues, both as a parent and as a grandparent. There’s real pain there. There was also a real sense that she didn’t know what to do next or how to respond to the situation at hand. She was doing the best she could in each moment–with each decision–trying to figure out what you need from her and her husband as spouses for each other, parents, and grandparents. It’s not easy.
Father, I could go on an on. I feel like I could probably type nonstop about this for at least an hour. More and more thoughts just keep coming into my head. But it comes down to this. I need–we need–the Holy Spirit to guide us beyond what we can see and help us to make the decisions that must be made in what is darkness to us, but complete light to you. Please help us. Help our children. Our grandchildren. Help us as spouses. Help us to mourn. Help us to use the mourning and the scars it leaves to take your light into the world–especially to others who mourn. Let us be your comfort to them. Fill their loneliness through our lives. And fill our loneliness through the lives of others. For the pain we are experiencing, please make it count. Make it count for your glory. And I’d also like to pray for Ms. Presley. Don’t let her pain be wasted. Use it in some way, even through this essay she beautifully wrote, to help someone. And ease her pain. Give her peace. Help her to find you and your heart in the midst of this and use her life for your glory.
I pray this through the power of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection,