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  • Stacy Sanchez

Parenting Again?!!! : When Your Dreams Get Derailed

Woo hoo! My husband and I were empty-nesters! We raised our four children. All of our kids had moved on—even our adopted daughter, whom we had so many problems with, was out of the house. Praise God! We finally got to the point where we could breathe. Now we can travel. We can do everything we want to do. I could start writing and do everything that comes with that. We were excited, until…our grandson (my adopted daughter’s child) was dropped on our steps by the Department of Children’s Service. 

Becoming an Empty Nester—Ooops Not So Fast

Just when I thought I was entering the next wonderful season of life as an empty-nester, all my dreams came crashing down. My daughter's poor choices led to her losing custody of her son. And suddenly, my husband and I found ourselves becoming full-time parents again—this time to a traumatized little boy. 

“God, You want us to do this again?? Dealing with his mother’s issues almost ruined our marriage. I don’t know if I can do this again. And, we’re older now. I can’t do this!” 

I went into a depression. I did the best I could to help him, but I went into a deep funk...It was a hard mission to work through, and it took a long time because it was ugly. 

I was facing the ugly what he was doing to others. I was facing the ugly of what had been done to him. And I was facing the ugly of what was happening to my husband and I.

Hitting Rock Bottom and Surrendering to God

Those first few years of parenting my grandson were some of the hardest of my life. The trauma he had experienced manifested in so many difficult behaviors. I didn't know if I could keep going. That's when I had to fully surrender to God:

I hit the ground. Some people say they hit the ground on their knees. I hit the ground on my face...I was literally on my face before God, just crying out to God, just crying. I couldn't even breathe…

I heard God say, “Breathe to the rhythm of my love.”

Learning to Tear Down Lies and Live Beloved 

As I fought to regain my footing, God taught me how to tear down the lies that were crippling me with shame and unworthiness. When I heard an ugly thought in my head, I would say, “No!” to stop the thought from racing in my mind, and I’d act out tearing them down. I’d reach up my hands, grab hold of the thought, and tear it down because I could see that I was putting it up against God and His truth. As I pulled down the thought, I'd say out loud, “No! I am a child of God, living as one deeply loved by God.” That's what gave me strength. 

I started living the life of the beloved and learning what that was—that I was beloved. 

Jesus is the beloved and I am just as beloved as he is because I'm seen through Jesus.

If busyness is our drug, then rest will feel like stress. - Ian Simkins

One of the biggest lessons God is still teaching me is how to truly rest. Looking back, I can see how overly busy I was—it had become an addiction of sorts. 

Now whenever I start feeling that anxious need to fill my life up, I remember: that real rest and rejuvenation come from being still and knowing that I am His beloved. You are God’s beloved.

Reaching Other Grandparents Raising Grandkids

These days, my calling is to share my story to support other grandparents raising their grandchildren full-time. It has been freeing and liberating—it has given me new life knowing my story can help somebody else."

To all the grandparents doing the hard work of parenting again, you are not alone. I see you, and I'm cheering you on as a fellow traveler on this unexpected journey. 

May we all learn to breathe to the rhythm of God's unfailing, redeeming love.



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