The Unexpected Gift

“I have a gift for you.” said the God of the Universe. “I made this precious gift just for you. I’m giving you this gift because I love you.”

I closed my eyes and held out my hands with anticipation.

“What will it be?” I wondered with childlike curiosity.

“Is it something wonderful like traveling to a far away country to see exotic and amazing things?” I asked God.

“No,” He replied. It’s far more wonderful than that.”

“Is it riches? I’ll have a large home, fine clothing, lovely things?” I asked.

“No,” He replied. “It’s much finer than anything you can own.”

“Is it beauty?” I asked. “Will I be graceful and pretty with bright eyes and long legs?”

“No,” He replied. “This gift is far more valuable than physical beauty.”

“Is it wisdom?” I asked. “Will I understand the great scholars and philosophers?”

“No,” he replied. “It isn’t wisdom. Your gift will bring deeper insights than wisdom can provide.”

“What is it?” I asked.

God placed the wrapped gift in my hands. This wasn’t the gift I expected. I didn’t understand it. It felt heavy—so heavy I could hardly hold it.

“Don’t unwrap it.” God said. “When the time is right, you’ll see the gift for what is truly is. Until then, trust me.”

“This can’t be my gift.” I told God. “It’s much too heavy for me to hold. It hurts when I hold this gift.”

“You can’t understand the gift yet,” God explained. “but this gift is made just for you.”

“I don’t want this gift. Can I have a different gift? This gift is too much for me. This gift feels painful and raw. Please God, anything but this.” I pleaded.

God spoke soothing words to me in quiet, hushed tones, “Just wait. Just breathe. Just be. Trust me. I made this beautiful gift just for you. You think it’s too heavy right now, but I will help you carry it.”

“Okay.” I finally agreed. “I will accept the gift. I don’t want it, I don’t understand it, but you are the God of the Universe. You are a good and loving God.”

I was surrounded by darkness. I felt afraid–nothing made sense. Those around me seemed to think everything was fine. Didn’t they understand? Nothing was fine.  I couldn’t see the way forward.

“I know you can’t make sense of this.” whispered God. “I will help you carry this gift. I will direct you each step of the way. I will walk beside you and soon you’ll begin to see things clearly.”

I held my gift and began to cry heavy, salty tears. The tears came freely, so freely I wondered if they would ever stop. On and on they flowed, so many tears.


“Let the tears come.” whispered God. “Every tear you cry makes room for more joy than you can imagine.”

The ache in my heart was almost too much to bear. There were times I was sure my heart would break into a million tiny pieces. It was an ache so deep it seemed to come from a place inside me I didn’t know was there.

“I know you’re hurting.” whispered God. “This ache is because I am growing and stretching your heart to make room for a love deeper than you can imagine.”

With time my gift began to change me.

After a while it didn’t feel quite so heavy.

The tears made room for joy. So much joy.

My heart grew and stretched to make room for love. So much love.

As the darkness subsided, rays of light began to break through and something unexpected emerged.

Beneath the tears, heartache and darkness I saw my gift.

Hope. So much hope.

It filled me up. My hope was light and bright and good. It was so beautiful my soul could hardly take it.


God explained, “You had to walk through darkness to see the light. You had to cry heavy, salty tears to make room for joy. You had to ache deep in your heart to make room for love. This was the only way I could give you my true and lasting Hope.”

“Thank you.” I said. “The darkness has subsided and I can see more clearly. My tears have dried and made room for joy. My heart is bigger and I can love more deeply. I have hope. Hope is a gift more precious and beautiful than I ever imagined.”


  1. Wow! Made me think of the time I had cancer. I held my morher as she took her last breath. This made me cry. Thank you for sharing part of you.

  2. This is so deeply profound Lisa, as if you were going through what I am going through right now. I want to share it too.
    God Bless you

  3. My healthy special needs son died unexpectedly in his sleep In February and I am devistated. I feel the life has drained out of my body and I don’t know how I can ever be happy again. I hope to feel hope again .

    1. Dear one you must feel this pain to heal from it. My first born special needs daughter died 43 years ago this May 2. The road to healing is long and difficult, but you will heal and find your new normal. No one can take your precious memories from you. May you draw near to Him always.

    2. I want you to know that I am sad for you, too. Nothing will replace him. However. You will find other things that make you happy. I am not saying you will not hurt sometimes and there will be new fun things too

    3. I know the deoths of your sorrow; my special needs son diedunexpectedky in his sleep also. I miss him every day. He brought so much to our family.

    4. I am so very sorry for the loss of your son. I ,too, have lost a child if you keep faith you will soon feel better. Believe that your son is in heaven with the Lord he is waiting for you when it’s time for you to meet.

    5. My Brother commited suicide a little over a year ago, We had a pact to go together, but he didn’t wait for me. He was my only close family, every one is dead….I can’t let go ! Each day I become more alone, I pray for forgiveness of my thoughts… and HOPE that I can find a way to not act upon my hopelessness, and GOD Will forgive me for my act’s of stupidity .

      1. I just read the poem again. It is overwhelming. In the last two years have Lost two childern, my mother and sister and my husband committed suicide on Christmas Eve.I can’t even explain the loneliness. I cry at night or where no-one can hear or see. God is with me all the time with out Him I could not go on. Trust Him. He is all forgiving and loves each of us more than any of us will ever understand

      2. Hello Just me, Please hold on to life. I don’t know your pain, but I am often surprised by the beauty of a sunrise, or an unexpected smile from someone I don’t know. More people than you know are wishing you strength and love, from your post here. So much sorrow expressed, but so much love to share. I wish you the strength to see what tomorrow brings, and strength to reach out to some one who needs your smile, or a hug, or a helping hand. Thinking of you and wishing you find hope. I think it’s waiting for you. I hope so.

  4. This should be written into a beautifully illustrated book…one that even children would understand! I would buy!

    1. I agree with you about making this into a beautifully illustrated children’s book! So many books for Children are really more heartfelt by adults. Such as The Giving Tree and A Wistful Unicorn. This would most certainly be heartfelt by many as it was by myself even just in reading it in text.

  5. This is so meaning full. Thank you for posting this. Many years ago my world was so dark, I thought I would never see light again. My heart was heavy, there existed little hope and many tears I cried. Looking back I am so thankful for this time. I now see life through different eyes. Cherish every moment. Life is beautiful no matter what lies ahead ❤

  6. This is so meaning full. Many years ago my world was so dark, I thought I would never see light again. My heart was heavy, there existed little hope and many tears I cried. Looking back I am so thankful for this time. I now see life through different eyes. Life is beautiful no matter what lies ahead ❤

  7. Lisa, what precious words and insight…God’s beautiful grace. My third son was born 19 years ago, a perfect pregnancy, delivery, and first year…after that something wasn’t right and we began to notice he wasn’t hitting those all important milestones….long story. Diagnosed with Autism, later when words came (3 1/2 years before he said mommy)Aspergers Snydrome…a darkness came like I never knew, my faith tested…however I have God that is faithful, he never left our side, walked every step of this journey. What a gift!! I have seen miracles in my child I would never have seen, you are so right you have to walk through darkness to find the joy! Thank you for writing! Side note, my husband purchased one of your necklaces for me this past Christmas, was my favorite gift, every time I wear it, I say a special prayer for your family.

  8. Lisa, you are a special strong spirit that Heavenly Father sent a special spirit to raise. He loves you both and he knew y’all needed each other. Many blessings have and will come to your family! Thanks for sharing!

  9. I truly believe these children are a gift from God. They are pure love.We should have the loving hearts that they possess.

  10. This is so beautiful. As a mother working through the pain of losing my only baby boy, it’s inspiring to be reminded that God is bringing hope and joy in spite of the heartache. I’m hopeful that He has joy in store for me, and one day the I’ll get to be with my sweet baby boy that I had to say goodbye to ❤

    1. I am grateful for all God has given and love has seen me through the worst. My hope and faith in him keep me going when i think i can not go on for i too have lost my most precious son. He knows also what that is like.

    2. I am grateful for all God has given and love has seen me through the worst. My hope and faith in him keep me going when i think i can not go on for i too have lost my most precious son. He knows also what that is like.

    3. Oh Jennifer! I am so sorry to hear this. How utterly heartbreaking . I am so sorry you are suffering through the loss of your baby boy. The baby you lost can never be replaced , but I hope and pray you will become a mother again and have the joy of raising your child and watching him or her develop, grow and change. I do not know you, but I felt compelled to respond to you. I am so very sorry for your pain and loss . You will find joy again. Keep the faith. ❤️Carolyn

    4. I also lost a baby boy. Then I was in a bile study and learned that the Lord himself was raising my son. My heart that was in a million pieces mended a little bit that day. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m human and miss my baby even to this day. But God does offer us gifts and joy, love and mercy! You will get to see your boy again one day, he has gone to prepare a house for you in heaven? God’s blessing upon you as you walk this journey, you are not alone??

  11. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. You are so inspiring Lisa! ❤️ Just…Thank you!

  12. Gorgeous. After I thought Down syndrome was too heavy, heart surgery too heavy, leukemia too heavy… after Henry and I came through that together, I walked into a new church after 25 years. I told the pastor that Jesus had carried my this far, that he had shone light into my heart in my darkest hours holding my son in hospital isolation, and now it was time I walked next to him. Henry re-opened my soul. He is one of the best things I ever said yes to. And he has torn open my heart in the best possible way.

  13. Wow! Just wow! Absolutely beautiful. Tears streaming down my face, that has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Ever.

  14. This is one of the best posts I have read by the parent of a special needs child. So much of it rang true for me. I know longer say why me..”I say, what did I do to deserve such a wonderful gift like Brian, my son with Down Syndrome.” Not only his sister, my husband and me, but his aunts, uncles and cousins all think of Brian as a gift!

  15. I to have a child with special needs. When I first found out I sat and cried, every day was a challenge. A good friend of mine told me god know what he was doing when he gave me Ryan because you give him all he needs! Ryan is now 27 years old and he has come so far in life, and he is the biggest blessing in my life. Any one who has a child with special needs is blessed more than anyone we’ll ever know the joy that they bring to your life is beyound words.

  16. This is so beautiful. I also have family members deal with altzheimers. I lost my father to this horrible disease in 2003. My youngest daughter is also suffering from Alzheimer’s. She is only fifty two years old. I had to put her in a long term care facility because I could no longer care for her. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Without the love of God in my life to help guide me each day I know I would not be able to go on each day. I just pray each day that he gives her the peace and love thT she needs to endure. God is good always.

    1. Yes he is. Courage is doing the right thing even when we feel afraid. You are a mighty warrior. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus

    2. My family and I took care of my dad for over three years at our home. It was not easy but we did it.
      It truly is a horrible disease. My dad did not even recognize me or my adult children.

      The night he passed, he called my son and daughter’s name as they were passing. They held his hand. He smiled at them. That made it all worth it!

  17. Debbie Brassfield your mother made one of the most beautiful statements I have ever heard. Sitting here in tears. Sounds like you were a lucky child and now because of it your son is a lucky man! So true. What privilege it is to guide our children in life. Bless you and your son!

  18. What Jesus says is to keep going with Faith and Trust he says do not give up !! The pain and struggle is necessary for it’s all part of the journey so end the end our hearts are never lacking… It helps me to read scripture when my mind tries to wonder away from his love I just constantly take myself back to him, some days I lack but on the days I really practice turning straight to him as soon as I start to fail it really makes a difference it centers my soul and gives me strength to have hope and faith and then I find joy in the middle of all the struggle, and hurry of the world. Just make it on purpose.
    And soon it’s a more tears.more smiles .hang in there.

  19. Last year between Feb they May my beautiful loving husband & soulmate to me & caring inspirational leader father to my children was hospitalized 5 different times as an inpatient & 3 ER visits
    Then our all knowing God took Dave home June 1, 2016
    I am now trying follow His plan for my life by taking just a few steps at a time
    I am in a totally different career path at the “young age” of 71- my prayer is that God meets each person with whom I visit right where they are in their life & that He use me to shine His light in someone’s life
    This requires faith, even when I cannot see the immediate result – I know God can

    1. We have the same name a a similar story. I too am taking one step at a time I need as much prayer as I can find. I am taking one step at a time as those who love me show me the way

    2. Gloria, Cannot begin to tell you how much your story affected me. I’ve had loss myself & have read others’ stories of loss, but your story resonated profoundly. God Bless you. I hope I go before any more painful losses, but if not, hope to remember your amazing faith.

    3. Gloria, like you I am alone after my beloved husband went to live with God. He was ninety years into his journey and after three wars, five children, working to help his daughters nurtured three grandsons whose fathers walked away from them, befriending forty seniors who he faithfully taught Bible study as they all entered God’s heavenly portals he explained to me the last day he was conscious that he was going to go and stand before God. He told me he would at last know what perfect love was! He told me that one day I would also come to stand before God and I would also receive this amazing gift of perfect love. I believe one morning God will whisper in my beloved’s ear that I am on my way and I shall go to stand before my creator and rejoice in absolute, perfect love from my creator , in the presence of my beloved! In the mean time I serve the broken hearted and do my best to encourage them. ..I call it being an encouragement missionary. I hope to be an encouragement missionary until my day with God arrives! I am in my eighth year of my journey to meet my God. Gloria have faith and hope and ask God to give you, your joy back. He is ever faithful, ever loving and will give us what we need to help others.

  20. Is there hope for a grieving mother? I lost my 18 year old daughter 2 years ago. People say, “how did you survive it?” Well, I haven’t SURVIVED it, I am surviving it every day, hour, minute, second if my life. Nothing will ever be complete again. I will never have the feeling of total complete contentment and happiness because part of my heart is gone forever. I pretend. I try. I pray but nothing will ever fill the void

    1. Just take today to go gentle with yourself. I too lost a close loved one. There is no closure, just a marching on of time without them . its your responsibility now to be aware of her continued love for you. Peace and gentleness.

    2. I am so very very sorry for your loss. I have a 19 year old daughter and I could not imagine the pain that is in your heart. I pray for peace for you. I lost my mom 2 years ago she was 64 and that pain is a pain like no other. But the loss of a child.. I am just so very sorry. I pray she visits you with kisses on your cheek and when the wind blows it’s her waving to you. ???

    3. It’s an emptiness and hurt that can’t be described. My heart is shattered. It’s there from the moment I get up until i go to bed. I don’t think you survive. I think we exist. I am changed forever. All I dream of is holding her & never letting go. She is my world. In a matter of 24 hours she was gone from septic shock.
      I understand your pain & daily struggle. ??

    4. I lost my 3 month old son and my 24 year old son. You are surviving and right now that’s all you can do. Prayer and crying and little by little you will heal. There will come a day you will really know that you were meant to love this child that you were blessed with and realize that you blessed this child too. That’s love. That’s the gift you got to have despite the loss.

    5. Yes he is. Courage is doing the right thing even when we feel afraid. You are a mighty warrior. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus

    6. God bless you. I cannot imagine the pain. I have a daughter with Autism who has kidney and heart issues and I sometimes wonder what I would do if something happened to her. I don’t think I could go on. May God be with you.

    7. Death holds more power over us when we think of it as the end of life. That’s why the beautiful story showing hope as the best gift is so profoundly true. When we believe in the eternal life Jesus provided for us, death is merely a change of address. Yes, we will miss them until we cross over. But compared to eternity, this mortal existence is but a breath of time. It seems bigger to us because it’s all most of us are aware of. You are already an eternal being, you are created that way. Spending more time communing with our Heavenly Father helps blur the line of death that exists between heaven and earth. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Living loved and at peace means living with eternity in our hearts.

    8. I read your letter and I understand the grief, pain, hardship, total transformation of you and your former life. So sorry for your loss of your precious daughter. I lost my daughter Jackie in 2008. She was 27 yes old and my husband and I found her sleeping in her bed! The realization that she had died was shocking!
      She had not been sick but Jackie was a beautiful little girl to me. Jackie was born with brain damage and my only child. She died on my birthday as well.
      I can remember not crying but watching the paramedics working on her to get her to breath. I know she is with God but my heart dies daily because she was my life. The emotional pain and the rethinking of that night is always playing in my head and heart. I feel some people think because she was so delayed and non verbal that it would not hurt as bad. I thank God she died pearfully in her sleep, no pain. But I feel somehow responsible and I miss her so much. My heart is missing a big part of who I am and as the years go by it has not gotten any better?

    9. I was separated from my 17 year old daughter on March 21, 2107. She was the joy of my life. She and her friiend were killed in a car accident on a beautiful sunny spring day. I didn’t get to see her cheer this fall for her senior year, there won’t be prom, graduation, or beginning college as we had planned. But our plans are in vain because God is in control. We are all going to die, but we were not created for that. We were created for relationship with God. He has gone to prepare a place for us. He is making all things new. Our life is a vapor and very soon I will be reunited with my daughter and then it will be forever and He will wipe every tear from our eyes. I have to choose each day to allow God to use this suffering for His glory. Your daughter is not gone forever!! If your faith and trust is in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection then you will be reunited.
      2 Corinthians 4:18
      “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

  21. He is ALWAYS faithful.. As I too have traveled an unfamiliar, uncharted journey… I know I have not been alone.. and just as He promised… I can now see the trail of my tears in despair have become flowers in my field of JOY…

  22. I watched my beloved husband die, and I cried and cried to empty my heart of the sorrow I felt. I have met a new love, one who loves me also, I needed to cry to make room for new love. This new love is so new I don’t trust it sometimes. God will guide me in my doubt and unbelief. I accept that God knows best for me, I must let go of the tethers that hold me down so I can soar.

    1. Marsha, You will be able to love again. And don’t feel guilty. There IS no marriage in Heaven, but there IS LOVE.

  23. Hope is as God has provided for us, you have to weather the storm, before you see the light, isn’t life great!

  24. My gift is 33 years old. His name is Sean, which means “gift from God”. He was a gift that I did not want at first. He was not the gift I was expecting either. I cried so many days, weeks, months. Wondering what I had done to deserve this gift. It was just too heavy. Autism, mental retardation, non verbal, will never be able to live on his own. Now 33 years later….the joy flows where there used to be only tears. The life lessons I have learned could only come from this amazing gift from God. Nothing is too heavy for God to carry. One thing that my precious Mother told me before she went home to God will stay in my heart forever…”It isn’t always a matter of getting the child you needed, but a matter of that child getting the parent he needed”. God trusted me to parent this young man/child and I couldn’t be more honored to be his Mother. The ultimate gift is knowing that God trusted me to be the parent that Sean needed. I hope I never let either of them down.

  25. This is truly beautiful and very timely for me. My 63 year old father has been suffering with dementia and Parkinson’s. There is no cure or treatment. We can simply sit and watch him leave us little by little, at least That’s what I thought. I had trouble finding the hope through the darkness. But there is hope. God has helped me carry this sorrow and shown me how to live in the present and be thankful for the “now.” Having hope is the best gift I could have been given.

    1. My ex-husband is also suffering from dementia. For this reason, I began researching treatments and came across something called Tumeric. There is also something new called Cannabis Oil. Maybe you will want to talk to his physician or a nutritionist about new products such as these on the horizon that may help this problem.

      I wish you and your dad the very best.

    2. My father also is battling dementia. We had to place him in a long term care facility this summer because he just became too much for my sweet mother to care for. This whole situation has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I am 40 years old, I struggle with understanding why I have a parent with such advanced Alzheimer’s. I agree with you, however, God provides us with hope. I cling to that every day. And I know I am not alone in this battle and that gives me peace. Prayers to you.

      1. I just lost both parents 12 weeks apart. My mother had Dementia for 5 years. I blogged through that journey at
        The day after my mothers funeral my 3yo grandson was diagnosed with Cancer. Nothing prepared me for the heart-shattering pain we are going through right now

    3. There may be hope for Parkinson’s. Read Chapter 2 (esp) in “The Brain’s Way of Healing” by Dr. Norman Doidge. It is amazing!!

  26. This is truly beautiful. I am sitting here sobbing salty tears. You touched my heart. HOPE is all I have. My trust in Gods love & grace & his strength carry me through. 2016 has been a horrific year for my family. So much hurt, loss and betrayal. I cling to hope that my family is restored whole and my broken heart is filled back with love. Thank you for this journal. It was heartfelt and so meaningful. Happy new year ❤️

  27. A friend sent this to me and I cried reading it. I feel like I’ve been carrying the gift far too long. The salty tears still flow. I think I’ve even set it down and tried to walk away from it but i can’t. And in spite of it all, I trust God! I always have and I always will! I just want to get out of the darkness and see the true gift. I’m ready for it!

  28. We serve a miraculous and loving God. We may not always understand what the Lord sets before us, but remember he always has a plan. He knows our destiny. Obstacles are put in our way for us to continue to grow and show our faith. Read Job in the Bible… no matter what he went through he never denied God. God bless all of you , may you find peace, healing of your hearts, and know that God is for us and never against us.?

  29. My warward son. He too broke my heart at his leaving. I was a teen Runaway n biomother never forgave me. I Do not hold it against my child because I get it. He had to get away to Survive his own way. to Live his life in his terms. His choices are his. at times I drive by n see homeless huddled in the cold n Weep bitter tears. I slept out in a park bench once. I was taken to a youth homeless shelter. I called them because I was alnost Abducted n raped Three times. n Angels whispered Run cross the street. or get up Get going. There catch the bus… N I was tired hungry cold n dirty. But being home felt A worst torture to my 15 yrs.5I Survived. n know my kid Will Survive too. But I still weep when I dont know where he is or if hebis good or doing bad things or if he ate that day. or if he is doing vices n that will be the last day he lives. I weep because I carried him nine months n Wantee him n Felt I would not feel Alone if I had a child so young. He messages me n He asked me to forgive him. But I got Nothing to forgive him. I Love him. n Pray for him. Biomother took him away from me right before I lost him to whatever his burden is.. N I could not help him. She kicked him out. n Yes he deserved it. Yes I would have kicked him out too. Still He is my baby. my sin who I Love so much . He wont tell me where he is. I respect it. He knows where I am. my door is here open for him n my Love as his mother too. I left him in Gods hands because He was not safe in mine anymore. If I could save him I will. but His journey Is now In Gods hands. only God has him. Its hard to explain but since I released him to Gods hands I felt He is Going to be Fine more than before when I kept Him n his actions Round n round in my heart n mind. I could not live like that. most days I hace Peace. I sleep ok. I spent years Since He started acting out Living Such Fear n Hurt.. My youngest one day said “You dont see me anymore. Its all You do Think of Him day n night. You are killing yourself mommy. I need You too. Im your child too. The babie need You. He is killing Us. He is destroying our family n You are letting him. I Love him Too. But I Love U too. Mommy U dont see me here suffering too. ” That changed me putting our lives on hold for him. I still worked so hard to help him. But also to Build good days into my daughters life n our babies. Now my 19 yrs old baby girl. Saint That she is. Lovely Woman. My baby girl found a lump in her breast n it was the size of a pea n Now in a few weeks it grew n grew so fast n agressive. She has pain in her armpit n On her breast. She is working taking care of my youngest sister kids while she is in a program. So she can get a job n provide for the kids. my Daughter put her dreams on hold to help the babies. an infant n a toddler. I think She is barely unserstanding the Reality of what this could mean. I did not want to scare her. n Tried to not show my fear. But A Great n terrible fear is consuming me. I cannot face Life if anything ever happened to her. She is my Rock. My Hero. My Only Best friend. We share so much geeky Likes n dreams n Loves. We get each others quirkiness. When I get sick. I could face it. It Runs on both sides of my family. It runs on her Fathers side too. But I expected it n never Fear it. Because My Child is facing this. N From what I read n researchef. I should be Concerned. I was Pre Med. n Just have this gut feeling. Its not going to ne good news or An easy journey for her. I lost a younger sistet I never knew I had Only 16 yrs old. So agressive her cancer was that she was gone so fast. This is now my constant nighmare I face. When I found this post. I started to cry. Because This Burden I carried… for so long In my short life I only known burden n Hope. Til now. I cannot seem to find Hope. I Cannot get her in to get a mamograph fast enough . I feel every wasted day Is one day she does not have to lose . The Cancer Woman Clinic wherevwe live will take her. now the problem is getting a referal n insurance agreeing to have her seen there. State of the Art. Best in thr Area. That is where she is going. If I have To move Tomorrow. Hope. This place Is Hope. n I am not able to Make it happen.

    1. Sending love and light to you and your children. And most of all hope. I know you will do all you can for your children.

    2. I am moved to tears. Don’t give up on hope..As long as you breathe, there is hope for a miracle. May God bless you and your loved one and lift your spirit with love and hope! Take Care

    3. Don’t give up!! God sees what is happening. Jesus Christ will heal your precious daughter!! Our children do Not die for our mistakes nor sins!! Keep praying in Jesus Christ Name because He hears you and wants to heal your daughter!! Never give up, Never give in to doubt or uncertainty!! God will give your daughter a miracle for yours and her faith in Jesus Christ healing Touch. Never stop praying for your daughters healing!! God never gives up on us and He will Never give up on you or your daughter!!! Keep praying in Jesus.Christ Our Lord and Saviors Name!!!
      Thank Him for it is Already done!

    4. Praying for you and your family. I’m so tired of people telling me God will see you through this, but it’s true. HE is the ONLY reason I am still standing.

    5. God is able . God is able . God is faithful . ALWAYS FAITHFUL . Prayers for you in the precious name of Jesus .

  30. This brought me to tears. My dear friend sent this to me today because I am trying so hard to follow Gods expectation of me on dealing with my spouse through a painful divorce. I have been praying to God to give me the endurance to see HIS plan in all of this. As I read each person’s story my heart just burst wide open with a thought that we are all sisters in our journeys and I pray that God covers each one of you with hope, love, and light.

  31. I won’t share my grief here for everyone is fighting their own battles. This blog was beautiful and captivating. But the comments section was even more moving. It gives me Hope their are still such kind, empathetic, supportive people in this world genuinely willing to lift up others. Thank you all for being my light today!

  32. The stones. Piled up. Each one added to the pile. If I think one is going to lighten, another is added. So many. I walk stooped over, dragging them with all my strength. I know much about tears and less about joy, although time has brought more peace. In heaven there will be light; but here, there are no promises.

      1. And one day it will happen. You may not even notice it at first, you are so used to the load. You may even be frightened by the lightness because in the burden you were safe. But then you realize the lightness is the Lord and you learn to smile again. Trust God…He is faithful…always.

  33. So all these tears I cry for my son will turn to joy. I hope so. I’ve never been so heartbroken with my family as I have my son. I don’t know why it just hurts cause he’s chosen to live out on the street and be free and not controlled by anyone. But then I find him and he’s cold or its raining so he comes home for a few days then he’s gone again!! I just accept it cause I’m not making him leave. He’s doing it on his own so I shouldn’t be tearing myself up over it. As long as he knows there is a safe place for him to go I feel better. I just wish and pray he grows up mentally. He’s stuck in a carefree no worries age and he’s 28! I lose hope a lot seeing others living their lives with family and friends and he’s choosing street life. I know I shouldn’t compare to others. But I do envy sometimes cause I miss my family being together! I know I need to not envy it’s not right. I will just keep praying for peace in my life and for my son to be himself again

    1. I’ve worked with former street kids. Your prayers are not in vein. I’m holding out hope for you today. ❤️

    2. Andra, My heart feels for you as I have spoken many of the same words you have. Not outloud. You are stronger and braver than I am. My son suffers psychosis. Does your son? It is something that can not be understood. Praying for you and sending you peace and love. There are 2 things I hope to never give up on…Faith and Hope.

        1. Trave, I’m just now finding this thread. I hope you are still reading this thread.
          I’m the mother of 2 sons. One has psychosis/schizoaffective disorder. The other son is fine, but confused and maybe scared by his brother’s condition. How are you handling it?

          You asked for advice for your mother. The thing that helped me the most was participating in a free NAMI program called Family to Family. The program is run like a class, with a leader presenting scientifically based info about various disorders, including schizophrenia. The leader is usually not a professional, but the material she presents is prepared and scripted for her by professionals. The leader is usually a parent or spouse of someone who is mentally ill. So she has been through an ordeal in her own family (or is still going through it) and can relate very well to your situation. The fact that she capable of leading the group program is reassuring proof that humans can get through this catastrophe with their own minds and loving hearts intact.

          Usually one of the sessions will be devoted to practicing ways to talk to improve communication with the ill family member (since psychosis often causes any discussion to descend into bizarre accusations or defensive silence). That was very practical info, very helpful.

          But the thing that was MOST helpful was discovering that most of the other parents, brothers, and sisters who were in almost exactly the same boat I was. It took a few sessions before any of us got to know one another well enough to let down our guards and reveal what was really happening in our families. I discovered that nearly all the people in the room were more like me than I could have ever imagined. When I realized that I’m not really alone in this situation, I felt stronger and more secure. That helped me cope and move forward.

          So my best advice to both you and your mother is: look up NAMI in your area and see if they have an active chapter. Take the Family to Family program. (Depending on how you and your mother are getting along together, you might choose to attend together or separately.) Latch onto a few friends with similar experiences who truly “get” what you’re going through. Stick with them as you move forward. You can make it through these troubled times, even though it’s slow and hard. Things can get better.

          My best thoughts and wishes go out to you and your family.

    3. Andra, your son may have schizophrenia. I am going through the same thing with my own 28 year old son. It is heartbreaking and very, very worrisome. I’m sorry this is happening to you. Let’s pray for each other’s sons. God bless you and give you strength, wisdom, and peace.

    4. There is hope! I have felt this bitterness, sadness, guilt, extreme anger, and so many other emotions that go with an adult child who leaves. There are not enough words to express the sorrows and confusion that go unexplained with your child’s choices. It stressed all parts of my world. There is hope though! Some days I only weeped for my loss but now I KNOW those moans were understood by God at the deepest level of my spirit. At times I could only be thankful that my daughter was alive. My focus, though, shifted to “Thy will be done” and my entire family had so many lessons to grow through. It was such a dark time….I pray that His peace that passes all understanding will surround you. Realize that God has a special calling on his life or Satan would not be placing an all out effort to thwart those plans. Recognize the power of God and watch expecting greatness to happen!! It’s all in his timing!!

    5. I too will pray for your family. You are amazing and some day your son will come back and join you on this journey of life and family. ♥

    6. I totally understand what you speak. Both my sons were in the streets due to looking for themselves. Alcohol and street drugs were their friends. My God had the plan along. Wasn’t easy. Oldest loves the Lord. Clean and sober many years. Youngest raising his three youngest. Clean and sober, years. All by the Grace of God. Hope kept me alive to see today. Where both my sons could, also, live in Hope for a better tomorrow.

    7. No promises. But we have God and if you look hard enough he will show little blessings all day every day. In the little things. Hold on to your son like nothing else. Keep praying. I lost my son this year on his 27th birthday. Our relationship was not good. But I know he loves me and lets me know every now and again. Stay strong and keep up the good fight Mom…he is your gift!!!

    8. I feel like you told my story. My son struggles with alcoholism but more than that he just won’t grow up. God made him this way for a reason. I don’t know the reason now but hopefully one day He will reveal it to us.

  34. My mother suffers from ALS… My 2 sisters and I are her only caregivers which she requires 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We all have children and families and full time jobs of our own but we still just do what has to be done. Now this isn’t without great compromise or sacrifice on our parts but Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for me, so caring for my mother is, is nothing but an honor and a privledge, for that’s what we do for those we love and respect. I reap many emotional rewards in seeing her happy and comfortable regardless of my daily stresses or battles but because she’s being cared for and all but spoiled by those that love her whole heartedly instead of strangers, or completely neglected by all. You never know the impact others will have on your life. Just like you will never know the impact you will have on theirs. Speak the truth and from the heart. And mean everything you speak out loud because someone is always listening. Look up and pray. Even if that’s all you have to look forward to. One day, God will reward you and see you through it all to something much greater. And oh will it be so much greater than this.

    1. I feel your pain and admire you and your sisters for being diligent & taking care of your Mom. My Dad died of ALS in 2000, my Mom was his primary care giver & it was all she could do to take care of him. My 2 sisters and I tried to help out but we all worked & had families. Also 2 of us lived a couple of hrs away so it made it difficult. But we did what we could. And yes you are right prayers and faith are what get you thru. My prayer is they will find a cure for this horrible disease and I will remember you, Lisa, & your family in my prayers.

      1. My Mom was recently diagnosed with ALS. I have prayed for God to show me the light in this horrible disease. The light for me is my Mom and her faith and grace.

  35. This is beautiful. I lost my 3 little girls, not to death but to hate, and it has been 3 years in which every day has gotten darker, and hope has become a memory along with all the moments of joy I had in the 15 years I had the priviledge of mothering my sweet blessings before they flew away. They just went along with their dad and step mom to relieve the pressure they were getting and have no idea what it has done to my life(or theirs). They were the loves of my life and I dont even know each moment if they are hurt, sick, happy…feeling loved? I am living a death sentence and have committed no crime. I have since lost everything I built in life for my kids, and everyone I held dear, along with my sweet angel Naomi being my youngest daughter who is still with me and at 7 has known me longer than anyone remaining in my life. Your heavy painful burden describes my life and the only way to explain my survival is God. So their has to be hope. Or he wouldnt have bothered to carry me this far…. Thank you.

    1. Amen. You are not a lone in your deep pain. You are the first person I have heard about who has shared similar situation as me. Each day takes His strength to get through. Remember He knows the desires of our heart for our children. You will be reunited and the love and joy will be like never before when that happens. I wish we could be friends. Hugs and hope to you.

    2. Awww I pray God will wrap His loving arms around you and comfort your brokenness as only He can do. There is a peace that passes all understanding. I pray that you get to tap into that. And that He will carry you through your darkest hrs. Love in Christ.

    3. You are not alone. I have experienced the same. My husband and I were married for 30 years and he walked out in February. I don’t know where he is or who he is with. My divorce is not final yet. God led me to a divorce care class in June and I am still attending. There are 3 parts to this divorce care class, I am in part 2. I am learning so much about myself and how to move on. God will guide you through this but I highly recommend you get in divorce care. My son sided with his dad as well because I believe my son knows what his dad has been doing. I do know that God wants to heal your heart and wants you to have his joy once again. He has come to give you life and life abundantly.

    4. I have been fighting for my 4 boys 2 sets of twins ages 12 and almost 9 for 6 years. They have been told I abandoned them, that I didn’t want them and it has been made to appear that way since the “fictitious family” they live with decides when and if I get to see them and after the woman tried to punch after my visit end of April she went and got a restraining order ceasing visits until family counseling had begun then shot down every counselor presented. I have a two year old daughter who relentlessly asks for her brothers and 4 boys who know very little about my daughter. I keep my head up and look to God for my peace and comfort and signs he is bringing my babies home. I have cried so any years that I just know there’s going to be a huge amount of joy and my hurt has ached so deeply there is an abundant amount of room for love. I know the day is coming when my family will be one again, reunited with the love of God guiding us p

    5. Please don’t give up hope!! God is faithful. I cannot imagine how hard this is for you but I believe God will bring them around because of who He is

    6. I understand your hurt. My daughter has gone with her father and girlfriend too. It has been four years now and I have felt the hatred too.
      I have almost lost Hope a few times…but I am struggling to have it. We cannot continue with out Hope.

    7. I’m not sure if anyone is still reading this thread. If so I just wanted to say don’t lose hope. I was in a similar situation not too long ago. Well it was longer ago than I remember simply because I remember the pain like it was yesterday. I lost my youngest daughter much in the same way when she was 12. She went to her fathers for the weekend and never came home. What I didn’t know when she left was the reason she didn’t come home. After three months of not seeing her, my oldest daughter came by the information from one of my youngest daughters school mates that my youngest step-son had been molesting my daughter. To make a long story short my daughters father told her all sorts of lies about me. I didn’t want her back, I believed my step-son didn’t do it. Things like that. He kept me from seeing my daughter for 5 long years. I fought, I prayed, I cried, I wanted to die but though it all I had my oldest daughter to think about. She was suffering too. Life went on as best as it could without her there. We did everything we could to get her home. Five years later when she was 17 she called her sister (my oldest daughter) to get her and I to come get her, which of course we did. She came back with just the clothes on her back. She was very ill. She had major depression, anxiety and anorexia all (untreated). She was cutting herself as well. She came back to us by Gods grace. After a couple of months I realized I couldn’t help her to get better without professional help. She went to a psych in-patient hospital for 10 days and leaving her there was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do second to the time I spent without her. But, she got better. She is now 24 married with two daughters of her own. We have a great relationship. So please anyone struggling with this type of situation don’t give up hope. Kids are resilient, and a lot smarter than we give them credit for. When they get a little older and a little more courage to stand up for what they want they will right the wrong on their own with God’s help. I am living proof of that. Always remember if God brought you to it, he will bring you through it. I hope this helped. Prayers for you all!!

  36. I was recently release to go back to work after a year of being off work from a terrible car wreck that nearly cost me my life. Has suffered some pretty serious concussions and long term memory loss. I didn’t drive for nearly a year so I couldn’t do the up keep on my family plots at the cemetery. But because of so much of the memories missing when I did get to go see the graves where my father, brother, and grandfather all lay and clean the plots and the untimely loss of my Dad and my brother hit me so hard. I have had to quietly relive the losses. The doctors have said there is no actual brain damage, of which I am eternally grateful. But I lost not all, but memories of whole people and experiences.
    And I don’t know how to explain it out loud I just get angry..and start cleaning something.

  37. So beautiful. I lost my husband of 45 years — a perfect soul mate and the love of my life over all those years — just 4 months ago. I’ve been wondering in the darkness of grief every day. Your words are a help, to help guide me toward a brighter day of hope, and perhaps even a return of joy.

  38. Well, this is just what I needed and I know in my heart it came from God through your beautiful words, Lisa! I have shared on fb and have liked your page. God continue to bless you as you use your beautiful gift from Him to bless others. ❤️?

  39. WOW this was a prak into the souls of many as I read the comments including mine… once again reminded we all share so much in common when it comes to the heart and soul of life.. beautiful piece thank you for capturing a turning point in my life with words it is good to revisit.

  40. Thanks for this beautiful post, Lisa! I believe that God used this to speak words of comfort, and hope, to me, as I’ve been struggling with something that God put on my heart yesterday (my own difficult gift).

  41. Lisa
    Your words touched me at a time when very few others have . I lost my 17 year old daughter less than a month ago after she was hit by a train. She was a beautiful , intelligent, caring soul who touched the lives of many . Her catch phrase she was known for was “hello beautiful ” not in reference to herself but because that was how she greeted one and all …I feel so lost and a pain so deep some days I fear I cannot survive it , your words gave me pause however that with time and the Lords grace their still is hope …. I find myself reading your words often to help give me the strength to carry on for myself , my children and my husband with the hope that at the end of this unwrapping I will find that precious gift you so aptly described … Know that your sharing of your journey has touched me and for that I am eternally grateful . I wish you and your beautiful family many years of love, hope and memories .

    1. “I feel so lost and a pain so deep some days I feel I cannot survive it.” Best description I have ever read or heard to describe the loss – twice, at different times – of my children. I remember the first time feeling what felt like wings enfolding me. It’s been 28 years and 8 years – the feelings are now easier I believe because of their children and grandchildren. No day passes without “hearing” their voices. The grace of God is so welcome.

    2. I just have to express my deep sorrow and sympathy to you for the loss of your beautiful daughter. My Momma’s cousin was also killed by a train more than 30 years ago and I can still remember the deep grief felt at that time and her deep hurt she still feels. I know that his mother went on-because she had to but life was never the same. I pray for you. Deeply. I am a mother to a 19 year old son. I do not know you but please know that I care about you and your family.
      Hello beautiful!

  42. Thank you so much for this! I feel like you were writing from my heart. This is me right now my gift is heavy and at times feels more like a burden. My father passed away in September. The night before I was at a revival. I was praying for my father but more than that I was praying to be released of a burden I carried for years. I physically released my father into the hands of the Lord that night. He passed away suddenly in an accident the next day. Less than 24 hours after my prayers. I know that sounds heavy and many have taken what I say the wrong way. I do not blame myself. I just know this was Gods way not mine of taking my burdens. A heavy unexpected gift was placed in my hands and I know in time joy will come light will come. I have been trying to put it all into words for everyone to understand. These are those words! Again thank you so much! God Bless you, Kimber.

  43. Thank you Lisa for speaking the words of my soul. I felt that the gift God gave me 25 years ago a son who is autistic, was just to much to bear, but each day I give thanks as I see him still growing and doing things that everyone said he was incapable of doing. God bless you and your family.

  44. I’m not very religious, but this even touched me. I had to watch my identical twin boys pass away one by one earlier this year, after delivering them at 29 weeks in April of this year. I felt this exact way. I feel in my own heart and soul that it was my 2 year old son that was my light, and my hope. He was, and still is my piece of innocence and pure love that we don’t get to experience very much in our lives. Thank you for sharing this story.

    1. If you would like to read or study the Bible, I would love to do this with you. I am sending hugs and am praying for you and your family.

    2. Mandy,

      I am so sorry for your loss. Recently, my son lost his 6 day battle for life after being born at 34 weeks. i still bare the constant reminder of milk that seemingly won’t dry up. This blog post expressed my emotions pretty well as I struggle. I have hope that my son is whole and happy now. That we will be reunited one day and I will be able to raise him if I am worthy.

      The teachings in this have brought me peace as well. I hope that your healing process goes well.

  45. Lisa. I have your HOPE RING I wear it often … dealing with my own gift from God…a little different from your gift mine is my mom…. she is sickly and I am her caregiver very lonely job but I’m all she has. I hope someday I can find your strength and hope from God thu alll my tears. Xxoo

    1. I took care of my mom till she took her last breath. I know what you’re going through. God bless you and may He give you strength, peace and above all, love

  46. Lisa-
    How eloquent and beautiful are the words you’ve chosen to share. Thank you. As you well know, our “gifts” come in many forms. A couple of years ago, my gifts were the loss of two pregnancies; and today, my gift is the recent diagnosis of MS. Both challenges felt too great to bear. I will always be healing from my miscarriages, and I’m still crying as I learn to hold and accept this crazy disease. So I thank you for reminding me that the tears are good, that with them, comes joy; and that ultimately, in the end there will always be hope.

  47. Cleansing tears…thank you for allowing my soul to be cleansed. My beautiful gift is 17 and the closest thing to heaven. I often asked myself why when I learned of his autism diagnosis. I now ask God why would He see me so worthy to be the mother of this most beautiful soul. I’m so grateful today for my precious boy. He has molded my heart and tapped into parts of my soul, I never knew I had❤️

  48. Thank you for sharing this. My heart feels like it has been ripped out of my chest. I miss my husband He left and has never talked to me 3 mo.I cry, but know God wI’ll heal my heart.

  49. You have expressed so eloquently what I feel in my own heart. My husband and I received our very special gift from God 27 years ago. The love, the joy, and the laughter eclipse the struggles and tears again and again……thank you so much for sharing

  50. Thank you so much for writing this! My life feels like it’s been ripped apart! My husband of 42 years passed 3 months ago! I have never been in such darkness and cried so many tears as I am now!! Your words resonated with my broken heart!!

    1. Hugs Darlene… I was widowed 11 years ago at the age of 50… 2 months shy of our 30th anniversary. Look for the FB page Second Firsts… you will find comfort in the support of others.
      I recently purchased Lisa’s love and loss ring… it is beautiful.

  51. Thank you for this beautiful piece of your heart. I wept as I read it! I liked it so much that I am sharing it at a friend’s baby shower, tomorrow night(giving you credit, of course)! Thank you! This truly blessed my heart!

  52. what you wrote is so beautiful. i know it came from deep within your heart. and now you see hope. i am in the midst of a divorce from an emotionally abusive husband who had many affairs, teaching life skills to my high functioning autistic son, and battling neurologic chronic lyme disease that has left me disabled and unable to drive or work. but God is working miracles in me. He, too, left a gift in my hands that is way too heavy to carry and with it brought more tears and sobs that i didn’t know were in me. and i couldn’t see the next minute. then my sister told me psalm 40:1-3. so many times on my knees crying hard. but god has provided for me in so many miraculous ways, beyond what i could ever have hoped or believed. many days are hard still, but there is hope. i pray that my boys will give me your stacking rings for Christmas with their precious names on them so i can hold them close…..even tho i hold them in my heart every minute.
    thank you for your blog, and your beautiful stacking rings. maybe someday a passage ring….that has gotten me thru these years of my life.

  53. Hi Lisa, I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and I’m always so impressed with your positivity and outlook on life. A good friend of mine had a baby boy 3 months ago and he was recently diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome, his symptoms sound very similar to David’s and I wondered if that is also his diagnosis. Even if it’s not, I want her to read your story because it is so uplifting and would give her a lot of hope. Your heart and words are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your family.

  54. Lisa, you are truly a gift from God. He has given you the gift of words to help others through the
    darkness they may be going through. You are truly and inspiration.

  55. I cried so much after reading this. I just lost a pregnancy, a baby boy. I’m not near to seeing the “light” yet. It all still feels too raw. However, I did find beauty in what you wrote.

  56. Wow. Just, wow. I love the imagery and the descriptions. And the idea of the the tears leaving to make room for joy is a powerful visualization. Thank you.

  57. This is so beautiful. As I read this it reminded me of a very dark time in my life two years ago and without the tears, faith and God carrying me and “the gift” I would never have made it.

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