Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On counting my blessings

Throughout the day, my thoughts are drawn back to my son. I wonder where he is, and how he is doing. I can't help myself.

My best friend and I have made a pact that we can only talk about B during our lunch hours-- when neither of our husbands can hear us. She, being my "sister I never had" is as concerned about my son as though he is hers, too. We both agree that we have perseverance and ambition in common. That's why we both share a feeling of helplessness with B's struggle. We both wish he'd pick up his day planner and resume's that he's forgotten at her house two days ago.

B is struggling in a big way. He is struggling with a brain that wants to use. He's been calling his sponsor, but B isn't going to meetings every day. I fear that B has put his new friends (from the recovery center) before finding a full-time job. My son is forgetful-- and he isn't taking care of finding a doctor to monitor his diabetes. B is very unfocused and he is leaving himself highly vulnerable to the temptation of drugs.

Frankly, it scares me half to death and my worries and fears haunt my dreams and my sleep.

This morning, I woke up to beautiful clear skies. The heat wave has passed. As I drove down the steep hill in my neighborhood, overlooking the beautiful mountains... I recalled Psalm 100:

Psalm 100

A psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
So, I began to make a mental list of my blessings, and I praised God for all of them:
- My home, that I appreciate and that I live in the United States of America
- My family, my wonderful and supportive friends
- My marriage to a man who is loving and supportive and wonderful and all that I have hoped for in a husband
- My finances, that I am free of debt and that I can afford to eat well and that I have savings...and that I am not afraid of ending up homeless
- My job, that I work for a school district and I know exactly how much my paycheck will be...that I have paid benefits, retirement and a month off in July. I love the students and the excitement of what I do-- I am never bored.
Last, but not least-- I praised God that my son is alive...that he is not dead from an overdose, or that he was shot in a bad drug deal, that he's not in an intensive care ward due to complications of his diabetes, that my son was able to go into an excellent rehab center, that there is a modest trust fund that can help him (hopefully) get on his feet...that God has been so merciful to B.

By the time I finished listing all the blessings I have-- and praising God, I felt my joy return.

So, for the entire day I was able to work at a steady pace, to catch up with a pile of paperwork on my desk... I got to laugh with my best friend, during our lunch hours, on our cellphones (and we didn't talk about B longer than 3 minutes).

It's so easy for us to become lost in our sorrows. I wonder...does my son really see his own blessings? Does he fully appreciate all that God has done for him?

I have no doubt that my son is afraid of relapsing. He's so lost in how to make ends meet. I think that he continues to burn through his weekly stipend on gas money, so that he can drive around and distract himself from the responsibilities of life that he needs to take care of-- finances, health and spiritual.

So, today, I'm feeling as the the Lord is my rock and my comfort. Without my daily prayer time, I could easily get lost in my own pity party.

Counting my many blessings is good medicine.


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