Wednesday, July 30, 2008

God promises us a Safe Landing, not a calm passage

Dear Son,

I am thankful that you call me when you are feeling depressed, afraid or you just want someone to talk to. I cannot put into words what that means to me-- I have waited many years for this!

I have so much I want to say to you, so much I pray that you can understand. Today, I want to share with you a few things I have learned. The title of today's blog is from a sign I saw in front of a church, while on vacation in Glen Ellen, California. Those words made me smile, because they are so true.

I am now 53 years old. I have been through a lot in those years-- pain, betrayal, financial problems, divorce, disappointment-- just a few experiences in my lifetime, but there are many more. My life finally feels restored and at peace, now that I seek to be with God in all of my decisions and times of trouble. I rely on His wisdom, I trust Him and I am thankful for God's mercy, forgiveness and love.

Last night, you were so upset because you and your sponsor have parted ways. I could hear your voice quavering, as you talked me on the cellphone. I wanted to hold and comfort my "boy", but you are now a tall young man who is about to turn 20 in three months. You are 2 hours away from me, so I could only try to encourage you.

I listened to your reasons why you were upset with your sponsor-- you felt he was disrespectful to you, hard on you, lacking compassion. You didn't like how much he used the "MF" word towards you (have you tracked how often you say the "f" word?) I don't doubt that you truly believe that he intimidated you to the point you no longer wanted him as your sponsor.

I have heard your sponsor's side of the story, for a mutual friend who has great integrity. Do you know what his side of the story is?

He was once a heroin addict, as you know. He's been in prison, and he's done terrible things to people. He has an anger management problem, and he knows it. He talks"tough" because he lived on the streets and in prisons. But, he is working the 12-steps, and you aren't.

This "gruff dude" cares about you, B. Maybe he's not going to sugar-coat how he talks to you, but he feels hurt too. He feels that you only called him when you wanted something-- when you wanted him to give you work, so that you could get paid under the table. You called if you wanted to play golf, knowing that he gets free passes. He feels hurt that you never called him just to talk. The only time that you called him was if you needed something.

My point, son, is that friendships and relationships need to be fed and nurtured. Addicts know how to manipulate and use people to get what they want.

I pray that you will stop and do a personal inventory before you call someone from your cellphone (that your father pays for, by the way). I am speaking from experience, because I used to call friends if I needed something-- or just to whine about my problems, or to complain.

One day, a friend dumped me for that very reason. Wow! That was a huge wake up call for me!

You have quite a few friends who love and care about you. You know that you are dearly loved by your parents, your step-parents, your uncles, your cousin. You have the help and support you need by my best friend, who lives so close to you. Why not just call them, on occasion, just to say hello and ask how THEY are doing?

It's amazing how powerful it is, when we reach out and touch someone (like the old AT&T commercials)... when we call to lift their spirits. I have found that when I am feeling down, that if I encourage someone else who is struggling, it lifts my spirits too.

You are struggling, son. My heart aches at how each day is a struggle for you. You can't manage your money to make it last. You can't figure out how to shop for food, rather than blowing your money on unhealthy fast food. You can't stop driving around, wasting gas. You can't come home, because you are too green in your recovery. The risk of you returning back to using oxy-contin is too high, because the triggers you are so familiar with are here.

I believe that God is watching you struggle, because he wants to you cry out to him. All he asks of you is that you trust in Him. He sees and he feels your pain, and it grieves Him.

You have so many life skills to learn. You are so young, and I am watching you repeat many of the wrong paths that I took when I was your age. Fortunately, I have learned from my mistakes. Most importantly, I have learned the power and healing that comes when I admit to God that I have sinned...that I have hurt someone...that I have tried to take shortcuts that are not in God's will.

I can only try to encourage you, pray for you and do the best that I can not to enable you.

I am tossing and turning, at night... wondering what decision you will make, when you give up the apartment at the end of August.

I'm here, son. But, I will not support your decisions that are not honoring to God. Please don't forget that you are an addict who is brand new in his recovery.

I love you,


No comments: