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.

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