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Advancing Grace, Family Matters, Grace Based Parenting

Reaching Families in the Wilderness

Family Matters reaches parents in the lonely wilderness of extreme challenges – with the hope and healing of God’s grace!

Every parent embarks on the parenting journey with a mental picture of what lies ahead.  Few set out envisioning extreme adversity.  No, most set sail on the parenting cruise ship anticipating a photo book filled with smiling faces, beautiful sunsets, and sweet memories.  For one family, the seas turned choppy and they found themselves shipwrecked on a deserted island.  Their shipwreck came in the form of mental illness of not one, but two, of their precious children.  Their photos haven’t been so perfect.

For Chris and Teri, when they heard the news of their children’s diagnosis, they had no road map for how to navigate the terrain.  They faced the difficult reality that “a cure” was not something to seek or find.  Rather, a strategy for coping with and thriving in spite of their new reality should be their pursuit.

After searching high and low, they wandered into the Family Matters camp, and the fresh water of God’s grace was just what their parched lives needed.  After spending a year immersed in our resources and attending a Grace Based Parenting conference, Teri had this to say:

“…yes, swords can cut us and leave us with scars, and, yes, life can be a veritable wilderness. But, no, that isn’t all there is to it. Yes, we can survive all that. And we can find something far greater than survival in this particular now, even if now is the stigmatized, barren, painful wilderness of mental illness in your beloved child. Even there, we can find grace.”

Refreshed by God’s grace, and armed with the tools needed to navigate their journey, Chris and Teri have decided to serve as guides for other parents lost in the wilderness of mental illness and associated disorders.  Family Matters will be featuring Chris and Teri – and their Adventures in Grace – on the Family Matters blog this month.

Michael Tooker is the Director of Advancement for Family Matters, Michelle Broek is the Assistant Director of Advancement.  They spend much of their time figuring out ways to advance the message of Grace. Over the years at Family Matters, they have seen God change countless lives – only to see those very people go on to become passionate ambassadors for the message of Grace.  In the “Advancing Grace” series, Michael and Michelle share their favorite stories of people turned ambassadors for a life-changing message.
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