Life with a prodigal is not easy. 

It’s never what families plan as they raise sons and daughters. The truth is even good kids rebel, and engaged parents can end up with a prodigal. It’s the last thing they expected to happen as they watch children slip away into a culture that tells them the Bible isn’t true, sin is no big deal or God isn’t real.

Horrified moms and dads watch their children walk away from everything they know.

For the last year, the Moms of Adult Prodigals group has been meeting at Southeast Christian Church.

“As we met women along the way who were praying for their children, God made it loud and clear that we were to gather to encourage one another, and our network grew,” said Lisa Preuett, who facilitates the group. “In the end, it isn’t just about our prodigals, it is about God doing a work in us.”

Those in the small group deal with children in addiction, same-sex attraction, wandering away from faith and family. Gatherings are informal, designed to let moms know they are not alone.

“As we pray for our children, we see glimmers of hope,” Preuett said. “It may be a text, a phone call, a visit. Some haven’t seen their children for years. Others have children in jail or a treatment center. When we sit together, our hearts are full of grief, but there’s hope giving all of it to God.”

Those who go to the group will find a warm welcome, a relaxed atmosphere. There is no structured Bible study, though they do read “Praying for Your Prodigal” by the late Kristen Sauder.

“Our response to our children is to love them and pray His Word over them daily. What we go through with prodigal children gives us a small glimpse of the unconditional love God has for us,” Preuett said. “This group is a place to connect and be encouraged, to know that you’re not alone.”