To all those out there who have known the trial of parenting. Who have experienced the excitement and the pain, the hope and the sorrow, the sleepless nights, the burdens and the unfathomable joy of loving a child through brokenness. This is for you.
One of my best friends from childhood, who has walked this parenting journey with me, shares her heart and her battle to "let go" when everything within her, within us, wants to "hold on." May you find a piece of hope and encouragement as she allows me to reproduce part of her journey here:
It will be hard to understand my peace and my serenity unless I tell you of my nightmare.
Our eldest son was a senior in high school when he had a terrible accident that left him with a shattered ankle. A metal plate and nine screws later, he was on the road to healing. At least that is what we thought.
Coming from a family, and marrying into a family with a long line of the disease of addiction, I was well aware of the dangers of pain medication, and how quickly someone can become dependent. So, I became the pain killer police. Strictly following the doctors orders. Unfortunately, my son's disease was shaken awake.
For the next ten years, we lived in hell. Our son's addiction put a terrible strain on our marriage. It dissolved his relationships with his siblings and friends. It dismantled his self-confidence.
I would attend different meetings. I would speak with other parents in similar situations. One resounding commonality kept coming through to me... "LET GO-- AND LET GOD." Not an easy action for this mother. Because-- I got this. I can help him through this. After all... he's my flesh and blood.
I have always been a firm believer in Jesus Christ. But I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams that He would know what was best for my child. So... I held on tight. Really tight. Yes, I prayed. Yes, I begged for help and guidance. But I wouldn't release. All along, losing hope that someday my handsome son would return to us.
Everyday, God brought another chance to let go. Another crisis would arise. One needing immediate attention-- or so I thought. I would leap right in, and "come to the rescue"... again. Rescuing my son from his "pain"-- from himself. And again, prolonging the lesson God had in store for him. I felt I couldn't trust God with this one. Because... I just couldn't face what the Almighty may have planned.
He blessed me with this child. Could He possibly take him away from me?
No! I wouldn't allow that. I was fighting drug addiction... and Jesus! And THAT, my friends, is a very tiring thing. I guess I thought I was all that... and a bag of chips, too... didn't I?
After many sleepless nights... after I completely drained myself and exhausted every option... I finally heard God's words: GET OUT OF MY WAY. THIS IS MY CREATION. HE IS MINE. I LOVE HIM-- EVEN MORE THAN YOU DO.
Imagine that... God had this all along.
So... I did it. I let go. I fearfully pried my fingers off. I kissed and hugged him and told him I loved him dearly. But I would not watch him destroy himself. I asked him to leave our home.
This began the beginning of the end. With every day, I felt stronger in my decision to hand him over to God. Trusting and growing stronger in HIS master plan for our son. Praying, day into night. Night into day.
Then one day, it finally happened. Our son called and asked for help. He said he missed us. He said he was tired. Finally, our son was ready for recovery. He entered a very structured program, and is enjoying his life again. Learning to live without drugs. Learning to cope with life's ups and downs. He is celebrating ten months clean. Ten months out of the darkness.
We finally have our beloved son back, and God protected us from a tragic ending.
We live in a world filled with sin. We live in a world where I truly believe Satan is gathering souls. That is reality. I will continue to fight for the health and well-being of myself and all I love. But... I now know... I am not alone. I have the BEST FATHER standing next to me, giving me the strength to enjoy this beautiful life He's lovingly created for me. All I need to do, each day, is trust Him fully.