Thursday, December 30, 2010

Romans 8:28

As this year comes to a close, it is  interesting to look back at the year and look at where we've been, appreciate any good changes, and look forward in the hopes of making other changes.  There is nothing like a life changing event to really shake you out of complacency. 

Last January, I would never have imagined that we would be where we are today.  Oddly enough, my son's addiction has been a gift to our family in many ways.  I would never have imagined how this could be until I went through this.  When a child, even an adult one, faces such a life threatening crisis, you will either roll over in the fetal position and give up or you will throw caution to the wind and fight like never before.  I must admit that I did find myself in the fetal position from time to time, but, only long enough to gather myself, pray for strength and direction, get mad and get up swinging. 

This year has taught me so much.  I have truly understood for the first time ever that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, in control.  I have learned to trust God and to stop fighting for control.  I have learned that I will not survive peacefully, unless I have surrendered my all to Christ.  I now know that even the most trivial (in my mind) of sins, separates me from God.  I know that miracles happen, big and small, when I follow God's will. 

This year I joined Al anon.  It is one of my life's greatest blessings.  Al Anon teaches me to take care of myself.  It teaches me to stop taking God's teachable moments away from my son.  It has taught me to allow God to restore sanity to my life.  It has taught me to mind my own business.  It has introduced me to such amazing people.  It has given me a wonderful safety net of people who know all about what I'm going through. 

This disease has brought me closer to friends and family.  It has shown me how loved and blessed that I really am.  It has made me more mindful of how important it is to constantly pray for my loved ones.  Since I'm not so busy trying to fix my son, I've started to dream again.  I've started to pursue some of my interests again.  I am excited for the first time in a long time. 

My husband and I are truly a team.  This disease has brought us so much closer.  He is learning through Alanon in a men's meeting.  We are learning to really follow God's will in every aspect of our family, business, and home life.  We are finally growing.  No more stuck in neutral or even going in reverse. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not happy that my son suffers from the effects of addiction.  I wish that he had never tried the first thing.  But, he did.  It is what it is.  It is the past.  Today, I am thankful that I was finally able to take a life experience that God gave me and actually learn something.  This time, after a few "poor me's", I stopped and asked "ok, what do I do?''  "Show me the way, Lord."  And guess what, he answered.  He didn't leave detailed instructions.  No, it was more like, trust me with him first....then I received peace.  Then it was a gift of sharing this story with all of you...then I had a desire to pursue writing and I received such closeness from you all and the gifts of your prayers.  Then my husband and I stripped away all of the useless unimportant aspects of our lives, tossed them in the can and are starting fresh.....that is so hopeful. 

I look back at 2010, and feel blessed.  I really do.  I feel excited.  I feel like shouting....Look what God CAN do!!  On July 25, 2010, I could never have imagined that this is how I'd feel, but I do.  On that date, I learned a truth that had been haunting my son for some time.  It is always best to get truth out in the open and deal with it.  I began by feeling paralyzed with fear and now feel comfort and joy.  Thanks be to God.  I look so forward to what's to come.  I can hardly wait to see what God will do this year.  My faith has grown....maybe not enough but it is growing.  Life is good. 

My son has a job.  He is excited.  He is making it on his own.  I'm not doing anything to support him except remind him that I love him and know that he can do it.  His confidence is growing.  My confidence in him is growing...little by little.  I think 2011 is gonna be amazing.  But, 2010 was pretty good too. 

Today my prayers are of Thanksgiving for my family, friends who are my family too, my son's sobriety, my husband's will to do what's right, my girls strength, my Al anon family, and for all of the gifts of health for my family members.  I don't really need black eyed peas or tamales for good luck this year (but I want them...).  I will continue praying for each of you in the new year and as always for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gifts of Christmas

This was my first Christmas.  Okay, not my first day to celebrate Christmas, but my first day to really get Christmas for what it really is.  I feel such joy that I feel as if I might explode.  I want to dance in the snow. I want to shout at the top of my lungs.  I have been richly spoiled this Christmas.  I do not deserve it.  I am so very thankful.

Last night, we took our children out to dinner.  We took ALL of our children out to dinner.  It was not perfect.  It was even awkward at times.  But, it was an opportunity to really see what God has been doing while we have been sitting in the dark.  We have been swinging between peaceful and frantic.  We have been stripped down.  We have had to give up our child to get a chance to get him back.  But, last night, I saw him.  I saw my real, authentic, clean, healthy, clear headed son.  He is even clearer than he was right after rehab.  I saw potential.  I saw possibilities.  I saw a young man instead of a compromised boy.  I saw hope.

It is not a done deal.  All is not safe, I know.  But, I see the handiwork of God.  I see miracles that I didn't even fathom.  It could be fearful to think of losing this again.  I am not afraid today.  Today, I am appreciating this gift.  You see, when my son left, I expected the worse.  Because, that is what I got when I was handling it on my own.  But, now he is in the hands of God and the beauty that comes from that touch was reflected last night.  It lit the room.  It has my heart ablaze with joy.

I got other gifts too.  I have this amazing circle of earthly angels praying for us, all of the time.  I am the richest person in town.  It is so amazing to me that when you change your focus from things of this earth to things of God, how you can truly feel joy.  It makes you want less material things because the "high" of receiving the gifts from God is unlike anything...ever!!!

Today my prayers are of Thanksgiving.  I am thankful to see that my son is still there.  I am thankful that there is hope.  I am so thankful for my friends and earthly angels.  I pray for strength to continue this long journey.  I pray to keep my eyes lifted up.  I pray for all of you, for health, happiness and strength to do what God has in store for you.  And, as always, a prayer for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Friday, December 24, 2010

In Process.....

Recovering from addiction is a journey.  We have been told many times that it is long journey.  It really isn't something that anyone really wants to hear.  In Al Anon, we learn that we also have a disease.  Our journey is also a long one.  This family disease is taking us all up and down the hills of recovery and around winding curves of understanding.  I say all of this to serve as a reminder that any one event that occurs is not the make or break event.  We are not (thankfully) a Lifetime movie where all is solved in 2 hours.  Our ending isn't one glamorous climactic ending. 

If we live our lives according to God's will, we may someday learn to stop looking for the "final" answer or the conclusion to the cliffhanger.  We may take the day or the moment and cherish it.  I have been praying really hard to know what to do next. 

I have had three people in the last few days pose the question to me, "what if he's not using?''  I have already totally subscribed to the theory that an addict will lie and lie.  So, I have ignored his telling me that he was clean.  Christmas is a hard time to be estranged from any loved one.  My husband and I were ready to trudge through this holiday without him, if it would be best for him.  Then, we received a visit from his 80 yr old grandfather, who is terribly hurt by all of this.  He has a hard time with our cutting him off.  This was very upsetting to our entire family.  We all want what's best for my son.  We all just have different ideas of how to do this.  This question of whether or not he was using started to nag at me a bit.  We had those mad because we didn't do enough and those mad because we did too much.  It makes your head swirl and makes you question.  I had to slow down and pray.  Then, out of the blue, I heard myself ask my husband if he wanted to go see my son to check on him, unannounced, so that we would truly see him as he is.  He too had been questioning, so he was all for going.

My heart began to pick up speed the closer we got.  I began to question myself.  I began to pray.  Am I doing this for only my sanity?  Will this set us back?  I prayed for guidance.  I prayed for a sign.  I prayed for my son.  We knocked and knocked on the door.  I didn't think he was home.  Then he came to the door.  He was instantly upset.  He said that he was getting over the loss of us and now here we were and it would be hard again.  Real stirred my heart but I was still unsure.  We took him to coffee and talked for about two hours.  It was awkward.  It is hard to trust.  But, he was taking care of himself.  He looked and sounded good, clean and sober.  He often got emotional.  He never asked for anything.  He was just hurt that we would cut him off.  But, I don't regret it.  Sometimes you must lose something to appreciate it. 

Do I think he has recovered?  I think he is in recovery.  I think that when he relapsed, he was in recovery.  He needed to see first hand that he could not do this.  Has he learned that lesson?  He thinks so but, maybe one day he will be strong and think he can do it and slip again.  Maybe not.  I don't know.  I think he is in process.  I think we are in process.   We are not defined by single events or moments in time, but by the sum of those moments and days and the direction we take.  No one can say we are good or bad.  No one, but God, knows the hearts of me or you or my son.  No one can say that this is good or bad.  It was for me a chance to check on him.  If he looked bad, I wanted another chance to fight for his life.  If he looked good, I wanted him to know we loved him so much.  I got to tell him.  I got to hug him.  I got to see that he still loved and missed us.  It was a gift.  I have still given him to God.  I still think he has a long journey.  But, I thank God for yesterday.  It was not the moment of surrender to go to rehab, he wasn't a dramatically totally turned around guy.  It was a step or two in a good direction.  I am thankful.  Merry Christmas to me. 

I want to leave you with this tale that was read to me at a family outpatient meeting.  I think it is important to remember the moral of this story in each of our lives and be grateful for all of the small victories, instead of holding out for the big finale.  Somehow I don't think our Lord writes for Hollywood.  His works are far better.  We just need the faith and patience to appreciate his works. 

A Chinese farmer has a stallion. One day the stallion runs away. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such bad luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
A few days later the stallion returns with three mares. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such good luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
The next week the farmer's son breaks his leg taming the wild mares. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such bad luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
A month later the Chinese army comes and demands all the young men soldier age. The farmer's son does not have to go because of his leg. The village people come to him and say, "Ah, such good luck!"
The farmer shrugs, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"
And so it goes...

Today I am thankful for the son.  I am thankful for my son.  I am thankful for this small victory.  I am thankful that my son just got a full time job.  More lessons from the ultimate teacher.  I pray for your Christmas miracle.  I pray for each moment to be fully appreciated.  And, I pray for the soul of Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fiat Lux

5:38pm CST today is but a moment in time.  It is a moment that is quilted with rich layers of meaning.   When God said let there be light, it brings up connotations of coming home late at night on a cloudy gray evening and after stumbling around feeling for the switch,  we are given sudden vision.  Before finding that switch, it can be a little frightening not knowing where you're stepping.  My mind can instantly write an astounding number of horror filled scenarios, with  terrible images of people lying in wait, standing just ready to lunge for me.  The instant that the room is flooded with light, there is instant relief. 

Sunlight gives us vitamin D.  It grows our vegetables.  It provides warmth.  It can be stored up and used for power.   Sunlight affects our bodies cortisol levels.  It affects our mood.  Light therapy is now used to treat swelling and pain. 

"God is light and in him is no darkness at all."   The calendar is set up to put an end to the lengthening nights and the shortening days at the time of Christ's birth.  His birth allows us to have the hope of heaven and an end to darkness.  These ideas of light permeate me with great curiosity.  While I do not understand the scientific principals regarding light, my heart believes that Christ represents this illumination that is so much bigger than our imaginations could ever fathom. 

This season makes my heart homesick for my son.  I live in utter darkness.  I don't really know how or what he's doing.  I don't know if he's eating.  I don't know what or how much he's using.  I don't know and probably don't want to know how he is surviving.  I don't know if he will ever decide to get help.  I don't know if I will hear from him on Christmas.  But, I do know that there will be a light at the end of this tunnel.  I know it because we are told to ask for the desires of our hearts, according to God's will, and it will be given to us.  I don't know how or when it will be given to me, but when it is, it will be like the light flooding the room with light.  It will be an instant feeling of safety.  It will be my Christmas. 

Today, I pray for God's light to help my son find his way home.  I thank him for both the symbolic and actual increase in light in my days ahead.  I thank him for all those little lights of friendship and prayer that he is placing along our path.  I pray for my granddaddy Henry and for the Henry in your family that his heart will also warm to the light of Christ.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Wisdom of Mary

9346-wedding-at-cana-duccio-di-buoninsegna.jpgToday is one week before Christmas.  I find myself struggling a lot lately.  I think it is because I am like a spiritual two year old.  While it is great to have childlike faith, I'm fairly certain that the immature selfish feelings I have are not something I should aspire to.  I want my son to go to rehab and I want it now.  I have been stamping my foot in prayer thinking that I should have my son at least hit bottom and want the treatment by Christmas.  Then, I switched to, I don't even know what or how to pray for my son so I'll just take to the recliner, dogs on my lap and ignore my life.  Then, I got mad and decided to start a fight with anyone who I felt contributed to the drug culture in anyway (see previous post).  You see I am the child who left the room when she didn't get her way, then decided to throw a fit for attention to get her way.  God is patient.  He didn't yell at me.  He just waited for me to wind down and be ready to listen.  Now, I am asking, "what do I do now?"

First, I read a blog about advent.  I learned for the ___th time that this season is about me pushing through all of the inconsistencies of my life, dealing with my sinful nature and most importantly, I need to wait.  Then I went to mass.  After mass I was reading about praying.  This article that I read discussed all of the effective ways to pray.  It mentioned the importance of private prayers, prayers we know from childhood, those we read and most importantly, the rosary.  Mary can ask for us the things that we need.    When I pray, I typically ask for what I want, without little regard for what's best.  I may throw in an obligatory, "if it be your will."  I may even mean it sometimes.  Other times, if I am totally honest, I am saying it, hoping that because I've said that, then I will be granted my desires.  It is such a struggle.  How foolish is it,  that I am trying to manipulate God.

When Mary had a problem, she pointed it out.  She didn't tell Jesus how to fix the problem.  No, she knew that she didn't have the supernatural vision that he did.  She had such complete faith, that his way would be so much more than any solution she could come up with.  At the wedding in Canaan, she simply pointed out that they were out of wine.  She didn't say, so send a few fellas after more.  She didn't say, be sure they get this kind or that kind.  She pointed out that the wine was gone.  Jesus not only replenished the wine, but he made sure that it was the best wine.  Why can't I quit telling him to send my son to rehab?  I really want that complete faith.  I'm trying.

Today my prayer is this, my son is a drug addict.  My son is chose drugs over you, Lord, over his family, over everything.  My son is living such a dangerous life.  I am so fearful.  I miss him.  Please help him.  Please help us.  Please help me to hear your words, live your will and help grow my faith.  I also pray for all others who live with addiction.  And as always, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stark Raving MAD!!!!

Whatever street you live on, you can count on every third house being affected by addiction.  To me, that is an astounding figure.  I must admit, I really never seriously paid adequate attention to all of the education that is out there on drug abuse, until now.  Now my radar is on high frequency. 

Do you remember the war on drugs?  I sort of do.  I just don't quite know what that war involved.  I do know that in the border towns of Mexico that the police are even afraid of the drug lords.  I know that these are huge battles that need more attention paid to them.  And, even as mad as I am over this disease, I'm not stupid enough to think that I could take them on.  But, there are other battles that I can wage. 

Right here in my hometown, I have been in three convenience stores that sell these pipes that I think are called bongs.  To me, I do not know why these wouldn't be considered paraphernalia.  I have never in all of my 46 years, seen anyone ever use one with tobacco products.  The one time I saw someone looking at them in the store it was four high school/college aged boys and I highly doubt that they were thinking of using a fine tobacco product in them.  In fact, one of those boys wore sunglasses inside and the other had nothing but hundred dollar bills in his wallet as he was paying.

I have learned that these pipes are only considered paraphernalia if they are being sold near marijuana.  When we are carded when we buy white out, have to show our licenses for cold and flu products, why shouldn't we have some restriction on buying a bong for heaven's sake?  Today, I went into the convenience store and took pictures of the bongs.  The owner came out, grabbed my arm, tried to get me to come back in the store and made me delete the pictures.  He was a big angry man.....bullying a middle aged woman.  What does that say to you?  To me, it says he knows it's wrong and doesn't care.  But, I care.  I am refusing to spend money in a store that sells paraphernalia.  I am going to draw as much attention to those that do as is legally allowed. 

There is a great problem out there.  The drug culture is much bigger than any of us probably realize.  I think it is a very violent one.  I think we all need to fight it in one way or another to protect each others kids.  I am going to pray for the wisdom to help in the way that our Lord wants me to.  For now, I need to check my anger at the door.  I need to be sure that I am trying to help the innocents and spiritually poor and not strike back because of my loss. 

It's hard to keep your motivations pure.  I will keep praying.  I will keep waiting.  I will try to bring more attention to this problem.  It is so important.  Today, I pray for calm.  I pray for guidance.  I pray for my son to want help.  I pray for God to break through so that he can want help.  And, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


As the holidays are approaching and the weather becomes a little bit frightful, then my mama bear instincts to protect and gather in my cubs ramps up a bit.  I've become rather impatient.  I've become out of sorts.  I've gone back to pleading with God. 

The wind is howling as I type.  I know that my son has no money.  I know that what he is getting to eat is bummed or stolen.  I know that his need to be separate from his family must come from addiction.  I know that most people who didn't have a job, phone, car or money, would not choose to live away unless there was an addictive, mind altering pull that made you give up everything good for you.  I know that he must feel terribly lost.  I know he probably feels hopeless. 

This is a hard reality to face.  I have been less than peaceful today.  I keep praying and begging.  I have been wanting what I want on my time.  This disturbs me because it means that I am selfish and lacking the faith that I need to have. 

Sin is an ugly thing.  It can be small and subtle.  It can be for me gluttony(with all of these holiday goodies) or sloth(with this cold weather).  It can be complaining about others instead of trying to bring happiness to others.  I find that in even these small things, I move ever so slightly away from God.  It is when this occurs that I lose my peace.  It is when I start lacking faith.  The biggest problem of all is when I am selfish.  I have decided to pray for blinders. 

Blinders are these flaps that they put on a horse's bridle that keep the horse from seeing off to the sides.  This makes the horse look straight ahead instead of looking at all of the distractions.  For a race horse this allows them to keep moving forward and not spooking at all of the other things going on all around.

I'd love to have blinders on so that I wouldn't look at others and think...well their family is all together for Christmas.  I want blinders on so that I won't think about all that he is giving up to live for addiction.  I want blinders on so that I will stop thinking about self. 

I need to look straight ahead and see what God can do.  I want the faith to look ahead and know that God isn't finished teaching him yet.  I want the peace back that is a gift when you trust.  I am working on my sinful nature.  I am fighting as hard as I know how. 

Today my prayer is for blinders for myself.  I pray that God helps my son deep down beyond the addiction to fight for his life and his soul.  I pray for my son to want help.  I pray for all of you to be closer to our God as we wait on our Lord.  And, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Using the Lessons of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Yesterday was the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  It was a little confusing at first to understand.  But, now I realize that it has to do with the fact that Mary was chosen at the point of her conception to be free from sin so that she could be the temple for Christ before he was born.  It is about her being clean and blemish free. 

I think that there are lessons everywhere.  I am always saying the little prayer (especially when I am feeling out of sorts), "please show me you will and help me to hear your words."  So, last night at mass, as I am listening to the readings and then the homily, I decided that the lesson here is to be vigilant about sin.  I must constantly pay attention to even the little things.  I must go to confession more often.  If I don't then
 I am not clean.  I am not an appropriate temple for the holy spirit.  I am distant from our Lord.  I am out of sorts. 

This out of sorts feeling is one that feels lost and lonely.  It is because my sins are separating me from God.  This is where I go to confession and start over.  This is where I stop looking at myself and start looking to others.  This is my lesson for this day. 

Today I pray for my son whom I miss more than I can say.  It is for my family to cope in a way that is pleasing to God.  It is for my son to have the courage and will to make a radical life change.  It is for all those of you who need vision to do God's will and it is for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Today is 18 days before Christmas.  In ways, I still feel like a little girl.  I remember waiting for Christmas and hoping that the gifts all wrapped up would be the things that I had dreamed about.  I couldn't wait to open them up.  I would sit under the tree and size them up one by one, shaking them, trying to decide what they might be.  I would daydream about what I would do with each particular gift.  I never was very good at being patient.  As one Dominican priest once told me, then God will give you more opportunities to practice patience!!

I've often wondered how Mary felt just before Jesus was born.  When I was expecting my son, my first born, I grew very impatient.  I felt so large.  I was so tired.  I tried exercise.  I tried walking.  I tried gardening, but instead of labor pains, I just got a sore back and sore muscles.  I bet Mary was a lot more spiritually mature than I will ever be.  I think I should just follow her lead and trust more. 

All that I want for Christmas, is for my son to go to rehab.  I want him to return to God and to our family.  I want him to return to God but I worry that it will take rehab and some degree of sobriety for him to get there, maybe not.  God can do anything.As you can see,   I'm still rattling the packages.  Trying to figure out something that is not my business.  I am trying to decide what God will put in my Christmas package.  Will he go to treatment?  Will this take far longer?  I don't know why I can't just trust a little more. 

I guess the best thing to do is to pray more each day.  I will pray for the desires of my heart and the patience and trust for God to help me along my path to Bethlehem.  Today, I also pray for all those who are sick and suffering.  I pray for my son to feel the love of God and find his way back to him.  I pray for Henry and those like Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Prodigal Son and I

The younger son said to his father, "Father, let me have the share of the estate that will come to me.."  So the father divided the property between them.  A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.  And he would willingly have filled himself with the husks the pigs were eating but no one would let him have them.  Then he came to his senses and said, "How many of my father's hired men have all the food they want and more, and here I am dying of hunger!  I will leave this place and go to my father and say:  Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;  I no longer deserve to be called your son;  treat me as one of your hired men.:  So he left the place and went back to his father. 

Henri J. M. Nouwen was a catholic priest who wrote the book, The Return of the Prodigal Son.  I bought and read that book several years ago.  I loved it because he talked about how we can all be  the son and the father and the brother.  Nouwen saw a poster of Rembrandt's painting and it was so moving for him that he got permission to sit in front of the actual painting for several hours to study it.  He also heard reactions of those who came by to look at it.  It spoke to him at the very core.  It speaks to me too.

My son has left this family.  He chose to do it.  Initially, it was hurtful that he was able to leave a place where we provided for and loved this child.  Our intentions were only good for him in this place.  Yet, he left it for a life of debauchery.  In my mind's eye, this could not be understood.  It was more than just leaving, it was a disrespect of all that he had been taught.  He was cutting loose from the families way of thinking and being and doing.  Having lost both of my parents, I couldn't fathom willingly giving up that unconditional love.  Or could I? 

Today I picked up my old book and skimmed over it again.  Nouwen describes both Rembrandt and himself as the son.  He talks of a spiritual leaving home.  When we choose a life that searches for happiness in money or success or personal comfort are we choosing to belong to God or to the world?  If we are looking for unconditional love from those of this world and base our happiness on being loved because we are smart or pretty or are serving their need at a particular point in time, will I ever find happiness?  Will I be "hooked" to trying harder and in a different way to gain love and acceptance from this world?  I will be a slave to all of the hurdles I am trying to jump through to get something that is unattainable.  When Nouwen describes this as addiction, I thought,  Oh my, I am the prodigal son.  I am no different than my son.  I am looking for acceptance and comfort in all the wrong places.  I have squandered my inheritance. 

The father could not force his son to stay home.  He knew that he must allow him to find his own way even though the cost could be great.  But, the great blessing was that not matter how many times he would leave, the father would be there to welcome him home with outstretched arms.  This is what our heavenly Father does for us over and over again.

Counselors speak about the need to hit bottom.  I have heard it over and over again.  It is now what we are waiting on to occur.  Leaving home takes you farther and farther from love.  It becomes harder and harder to live in the world that will entangle you in manipulations and struggles of this world.  There becomes no one to trust.  There is no one who truly cares unless you can be used for something that they want.  You stop seeing those that you might have something in common with.   Life looses meaning.  This isolation and loneliness, this feeling of no where to turn is the only way that opens your eyes to what you might have lost.  It is in this place that you might discover your true self. 

I know these things.  I have been in this place...and not too long ago.  I worried more about success in our business, who quit using us, who liked using us.  I forgot that this business isn't personal.  It is a means to pay for our needs.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I spent too much money when times were better.  I could have saved that for leaner times, but I squandered my inheritance.  I put more focus on financial gain that the time spent with my children....I left my country.  But, four months ago, after watching my son come home high as a kite, belligerent, irrational and worried for his life.  I made a turn in my path.  I watched my son in a drug hazed condition, shave his head, because he thought it would be more comfortable.  I watched this shell that was once my beautiful little boy mutilate himself.  I decided then and there, that my life had become meaningless.  I decided then and there that if God would help me back on the path towards Him, that I would look in the right place for love.  

I am still traveling back to where I can say that I am not worthy and hope to be taken back in.  I am praying on this day, that my son will soon find the place at the bottom and when he does, I pray that he will make the right choice.  I am thankful for this lesson.  I am thankful for prayer.  I am thankful for the bottom for it is from that place that I see the most clearly.  Today I pray that we all continue our daily journey with the Father.  I am thankful for all of the prayers said on our behalf.  And as always, I pray for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Casting Out

My husband is a great horseman.  I think he sometimes understands them better than he understands me.  He has taught me so much about their behavior.  To me, it seems as though we really aren't that far off from them with regard to our families.  In a Ferrel horse population, certain herd behaviors seem to exist.  Typically there is a lead mare who decides where they go, the route they take, she is responsible for finding water and teaching the young.  She is always out front and the rest of the herd follows her lead.  The stallion usually takes up the rear.  His job is to watch out for predators, protect the herd and continue to breed mares.  Usually there is only one stallion unless there is one young one who is allowed to be there who will take over when the other stallion becomes too old or is hurt.

With the mare taking charge, she also makes sure that all of the young horses are learning proper behavior. If a young horse gets out of line, she may warn him by laying her ears back, a little bite or if it is bad, maybe kicking at him.  If the horse really misbehaves, he is sent out of the herd.  Since there is safety in numbers, being alone is a very frightening endeavor.   It takes sometime outside the herd before he is allowed back in.

Dealing with a child who is an addict, you must be willing to change every thought you've ever had with regard to caring for you child.  We have fed, clothed, protected, taught, cheered, and loved no matter what. So, the idea of saying, "go away, don't come back until you want treatment", can seem so wrong.  It is very hard to say, "I don't know how you will get a job without a car or a phone."  It can be very hard letting go, knowing that he doesn't have money for groceries or laundry or anything.  But, it was his choice.  And he chose that lifestyle.  He knew up front what his options were.  Now he just has to really understand that we will stand by those consequences.  He needs a little time outside this family and the safety of it, to really understand the choice that he made.

Even in our domestic horses, our horse decides to act up a little when my husband goes out to catch her, he doesn't chase after her or try to bribe her with feed or treats.  He waves his hands and yells at her to go away.  He doesn't let her stop.  He keeps her moving.  He is part of her herd.  He keeps her away from the safety of his care.  He is correcting her.  He is teaching her the consequences of her behavior.  He is doing it so she will ultimately be a safe horse to handle.  She will find security in his leading her in the right direction.

True success is found when we create opportunities for others.  We must look at this as correction for our son that will create opportunities for him to gain knowledge and experience of dealing with his own natural consequences  of his actions.  This is how we can help him to succeed.  This how we can hopefully bring him back into our family one day.  We must remember that we are so much more than this particular circumstance.  My son is so much more than the circumstance he finds himself in.  We just won't know how much more until the veil of addiction has been lifted.

Today I am so thankful for the peace and strength that God has given me so that I can send my son away.  I am thankful that God has given me examples in his creation that show me that this is also a way of loving my son.  I am thankful for our family and the strides that we are all taking to do the right thing. I pray for my son and as always, for Henry.  In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.