I always prayed for God to show me what I needed to know when it came to my kids. I prayed z he would reveal what they needed from me emotionally, spiritually, or in any way. I hoped to keep them safe and moving in a positive direction.
The first time God responded to my prayers, I was shocked and afraid that He does that- you know, respond. People say all the time, “You can’t hear God.”I have to disagree, I have heard him on multiple occasions, my friend. This story is one of those times.
My son was in middle school when we began having problems. He became secretive and seemed different. Constantly grounded due to poor choices and having all his stuff taken away, we could not reach him. My husband and I had numerous fights over what to do. We did not handle things well. I regret not doing things differently. We should have sought help from the professionals. I know pride in one of us prevented that. We had little knowledge of the resources available to parents in our situation. Shame corrupted our good senses.
One morning God told me to check my son’s room. I heard those words in my heart. With some hesitation, I decided to obey.
I stood there asking God, “Why am I in here, where do you want me to look? What am I looking for?”
I looked silly as I searched for the unknown. Shaking my head and feeling crazy, I heard, “check the jacket pocket hanging up in the closet.”
I made my way to the closet, the weight of each step exhausting. In reality, I didn’t want to know. I searched the pockets cautiously, hoping God was wrong (yes, I hoped He, God, was wrong.)
However, He was right.
There in the pocket of the jacket hanging up in the closet were a pipe and a lighter. My first encounter with paraphernalia. My son was in 8th grade. I was devastated.
Every excuse I could conjure up frantically jumped out of my mouth- it is not his; it is his friends. He has not tried it; he just has the pipe here. And on and on.
I began to cry.
I cried because I knew my child was lost, and I did not know how to help. I cried because it hurt to know we missed this. I cried because at that moment I felt like the biggest failure in the world.
All I could tell God was, “I’m sorry.”
At the end of it all, I thought I failed Him, too. How do we not feel that failure? God entrusts these children to us, it is my responsibility to raise them. The last thing you want to raise them into is drugs or alcohol.
What we want and what we get in life do not always align. Our power is limited to outside their free will.
I stopped to thank God that day. I thanked Him for showing me what He needed me to know, even if it tore me to pieces. I thanked Him in my fear of what came next. I thanked Him for being faithful through the good and the bad, and I thanked Him for loving my son enough to open our eyes to the truth.
We often say, “The truth hurts.” That may be an understatement in some cases. This was the beginning of a journey that began 19 years ago. The truth didn’t just hurt, it fully crushed me at times.
Today, years later, I continue to thank God for his faithfulness through the journey of addiction. I never could have imagined everything we’ve gone through for almost two decades.
I used to wonder why. Was I being punished? Did I have to pay for all my sins? Was Satan winning?
No, to all those victim-leaning questions.
Positive thought- We gain more trust and faith when we remember to thank God first, and react second.