You Are Not Alone: Lessening the Heartache by Dena Yohe

My friend Dena Yohe yesterday released her book You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids. I am so excited for her. Dena and I have walked the troubled child journey together for years—along with hundreds of others through the Prayer for Prodigals ministry we lead. She powerfully tells the story she lived with her daughter Renee, who was the inspiration for To Write Love on Her Arms.

Dena tells us about her book:

Let’s pause here for a moment. I want to clarify that this is not a how-to-change or fix-your-child book. I have no strategies for guaranteed success. No tips to avoid trouble. I can’t tell you how to do that.

Truly, you are not alone

But, parent, you are my focus. Lending you a hand as you try to cope with what might be the most excruciating experiences of your life is the whole point. My goal is to share what helped me, what got me through my darkest days, not knowing how the future would unfold.

Friend, fellow parent, when we’re willing to be honest, to share our pain with other hurting parents and hear others’ stories, something unexpected happens. A mysterious exchange takes place.Our discouragement lessens and we find the strength we lacked. We let go of despair and unearth fresh comfort, even community. We find courage to press on.

And then, at last, we realize we really aren’t alone. We can make it…together. If I’m able to continue on my journey without knowing how it will end, then maybe you can too. I may not know the future for my child, but I know Who holds it. I can trust God with all my tomorrows and all of Renee’s. With His help, you and I can find strength and comfort to carry us through our worst times.

You can survive and thrive

Again, I can’t tell you how to keep your child from making mistakes. But I can encourage and equip you with facts, tools, and resources. I can show you—weary, worn-out Mom or Dad— you can survive this nightmare. Not only that, I’m confident that one day—somehow—you can thrive again.

“Impossible,” you say. “How can you make such a ludicrous statement?” I can tell you how: from personal experience—from the core of my belief and foundation of my hope, based on the words of Jesus, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

These are the very things I want to unpack in the chapters of You Are Not Alone.

It’s my prayer that in this book you will find new hope and come to believe that you can thrive again. I’ll share my honest journey including mistakes made, eye-opening discoveries, and ways to cope you might not have thought of. You’ll read about truths God showed me and the steps I took that made all the difference.

You’ll find resources and hear from experts and from fellow parents on a similar path. Renee will also offer her personal insights where appropriate, providing a once-troubled child’s viewpoint. They’re things she wants you to know. I wish I had known them years ago. And each chapter will end with Scriptures that helped me. I hope they’ll help you, too.

You can know for sure: You are not alone! Hundreds of other parents are walking this path with you. And our God has promised that He will always be with you.

What about you? What is your hard journey?

You can order a copy of You Are Not Alone at


Dena has been on a purpose-filled adventure with Christ for 41 years. She was Cru staff for 15 years (part of that time in Russia), a Pastor’s wife (15 years), and a social worker prior to that. Dena and her husband, Tom, began Hope for Hurting Parents after ministering in this area for three years. This ministry was birthed out of her own pain with one of her daughters. Her pain has become her passion.  She and her husband come alongside parents whose children are involved in destructive choices and behaviors to offer encouragement, resources and hope on their difficult journey from pain to peace.  She has three wonderful children (31, 27 and 25) and two precious granddaughters. Her experiences include:  Leading support groups for parents; conducting seminars and conferences for churches and non-profits (Cru, Family Life and Youth for Christ).

She enjoys writing for her blog, Hope for Hurting Parents, her website, Hope for Hurting Parents and daily emails of encouragement parents sign up to receive.