Sunday, May 31, 2009

As clean as clean can be... and my testimony

I'm tired, because I'm not a night owl. I was up past midnight blogging and praying and thinking about my son. Normally, I'm asleep between 9:30-10:00pm. Fortunately, I managed to fall asleep, but I woke up around 5:30am. Of course, my first thought was my son. My thoughts kept asking "why"?

Typically, my husband and I leave for church by 8:45am. This morning, I decided I was not going to leave my house until B woke up. I had to make sure that we got a urine sample, first thing in the morning.

While waiting for B to wake up, my husband and I talked in our usual low voices. My husband is an amazing person. He rarely flies off the handle. He's a right-brain sort of guy (like me) who thinks things through, very systematically. That's why he's a computer IT kinda guy.

Me... I'm a right brainer. I think systematically, too. I'm also an emotional wreck, when I am under stress. I get bitchy, cranky and I fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. I say this with shame and regret. This is when I most behave like my mother used to.

My husband stays calm, loving and supportive when I'm falling apart. I thanked him, this morning, for how supportive he is of my son. Many men would have left me, at this point-- or, at the least, I wouldn't blame other men for putting me in a position to make a choice.

What I see in my husband is that he truly cares about my son. "C" could see the pain in my heart. Having to throw my son out of our home scares me more than you could know.

But, I digress--

B woke up about 9:00. He came for his suboxone and C asked him for a urine sample. Without hesitation, B obligingly filled the bottle to pretty full. C looked at the urine, which appeared to be a bit cloudy and then he checked the temperature. It was at normal body temperature.

I felt as though I was going to vomit, I was so nervous.

Clean for opiates. Clean for cocaine. Dirty for THC.

This may sound weird, but all I cared about was that he's clean for opiates. I'm not concerned about THC. Yes, it's a drug... but heroin is far worse then smoking weed.

Where do we go from here? My son has to do a clean sweep of his room, and C (who is very thorough) will do a second clean sweep.

Were the foils that we found old? Only God and B know the truth.

C and I will abide by our rules. Test positive for opiates, you're out. Period.

We will continue to test more often, this week.

Before I end today's posting, I want to speak about my spirituality. I was reading two very interesting posts from the blog "Mom and Dad". If you haven't read their blog, I encourage you to do so. My heart aches for their situation-- which is far worse than mine. I say that, because their son has been incarcerated and he is shooting heroin. Still, when a child is drug addict and/or alcoholic, it's heart breaking-- and there is no clear litmus test on whose situation is the worst. It's all relative.

The point I'm trying to make is that I probably got a little carried away in talking about my faith and love of God on their comment section. I should reserve that for my own blog.

My blog was created a year ago, last April, at a time when my relationship with the Lord was on fire. Being human, my relationship with God has teetered between being very strong to being complacent. I find that I cling to God when I am in the deepest of trouble. When my life seems to be going well, I tend to spend less time with God. That's very typical, because that's how our human nature is.

I read Ron's honest opinion about not feeling he needs a Higher Power. I fully understand this, and I respect his honesty.

If you read my blog on a regular basis. I am thankful that you do. If you are not a believer in God, I hope that I don't turn anyone off when I speak of Him. I try to blog about my experience as a way to help me process my thoughts and feelings. If what I write blesses others, then I feel that I am doing God's work and I find healing in this.

I blew the whole concept of God off for many years. Here's my synopsis of why I believed that God did not exist:

If God is real, why does he allow suffering.
If God is real, why does he allow innocent people to suffer and die?
If God is real, why doesn't he help me?
How could God allow his own son to die on the cross? How could he be a loving God?
(Hint. The answers are in the bible.)

Other reasons I turned my back on God is that I did not want to live by his commandments. I believed that the Ten Commandments were impossible for me to obey. I simply didn't want to obey them.
I also believed that there was no way that I could measure up to God's standards.
(Since then, I've learned that God knows this. We are sinners, by nature. That's why Jesus died for us, to be forgiven...a difficult concept to grasp, unless you read about Jesus's life, in the bible.)

What changed my life was a very slow and gradual process. It began with finding the right kind of church. My only experience was being raised in a Catholic Church. If you are Catholic, please know that I am not personally attacking your faith. I am sharing my own experience--
I found that Catholic services and faith only made me feel guilty. I could not relate to the whole concept of confessing my sins to a priest. I did not like the long and boring mass services and the organ music, and memorizing prayers and all the stringent rules of Catholicism.

My turning point was when I became a divorced woman, and I was told I could no longer receive "communion" and I had lost my rites per Catholic doctrine.

For many years, I lived my life with drugs, sex and rock and roll. My life was a difficult one, with failed relationships and marriages. I was an angry person, with anger issues and low self-esteem. I figured that there was no way that God could love me, so I was going to live it up and go to hell anyway.

In 1996, I received a postcard inviting me to a new church in my area. The pastor wore Dockers and Hawaiian shirts. We drank coffee in the gym of a public high school, and I heard worship music that rocked! The pastor made the bible apply to real life-- he helped me to understand how to read the bible and how to find a version of the Word that was free of "thee's and thous".

One day, he had a call to those who want to accept Jesus in their life. I remember jumping to my feet and coming forward and someone praying over me. Did I feel the Holy Spirit?


I continued to live my life as a hypocrite Monday - Saturday and then I'd come to worship on Sunday. I was still an angry woman with a lot of issues. I did not think I could ever measure up to God's standards.

Slowly... little by little... my heart began to change. This is what I believe is God's work in us. I finally began to know a totally different God than what my Catholic school upbringing taught me.

I learned that God loves us-- one and all. I found these promises throughout the Old and New Testament.

I began to understand that Satan is real and that we are living in his domain. God allows us to suffer our own consequences, as we allow our own children to suffer theirs. I began to relate to my relationship with God as I began to relate my relationship as parent to my own son.

It's a difficult job.

There is so much hypocrisy among Christians. There are "so-called" Christians who embarrass me, to no end. These are the self-righteous and judgmental folks who stand on their soap box and judge others.

Judge not, lest you be judged, folks.

I fully understand why people reject organized religion. I do, too. What disappoints me, is when I meet people who criticize the bible. Without fail, if I have the courage to ask this challenging question-- "have you read the bible from cover to cover"? the answer is no. Those who answer "yes", I find aren't being honest. I'm not a bible scholar, but I certainly have a pretty in depth knowledge of it. If I ask them about parts of the bible, they look blank. Scripture is often misquoted. You have to read the entire chapter, not cherry pick one verse.

This is my great challenge as a woman who wishes to be a Godly wife and mother. The crux of my personal relationship with God is to be a follower of Jesus. That is what the word "Christian" is. My heart breaks when I meet "Christians" who pick and choose the sections of God's written word that they want to follow.

Proposition 8 (gay marriage) has opened up an ugly debate. I have had to defend my beliefs, as a Christian. I am not judgmental! I veer away from discussing politics, because it's an invitation to ugly debates. Proposition 8 is a challenge to the bible. True Jesus loving Christians have never felt more vulnerable to being judged, when we are only trying to be faithful to God's word. Christians are attacking fellow Christians if they don't try to change God's word.

As a Christian, the most difficult part has been being attacked for following what the Bible tells us to do. I cannot re-write it! While the Old Testament was written thousands of years ago, God is timeless. His Word has not expired.

Part of being a Christian means that I need to be brave enough to stick to God's word. I've been challenged, ridiculed and I try to stay calm and kind through all of it. I pray for those who attack my faith and call it ridiculous.

My faith is very strong, and I do believe that God loves each and every one of us. We are all sinners, and I am a big one.

God's work in me has been to help me be more aware of my weaknesses. When I am upset, there are times I go to God in prayer. It calms me. It gives me clarity. It's not fool proof. There are times when I revert to my old self, and I feel bad. That's what repentance is all about-- humbling myself before God, admitting my mistake and making ammends to others. This sounds like the 12-Steps, doesn't it?

I believe that God has answered many of my prayers. He has restored my finances, and given me Godly wisdom in how to be smarter with money.

He has blessed me with a wonderful husband. Before God, I doubt I would have been the kind of woman that C would have been attracted to.

He has given me a bigger heart of compassion for others. I am learning to serve God in my ministry with high school kids.

He has taught me the most important lesson in life-- God has changed my heart to be one of forgiveness. Before God, I was a bitter person who held grudges for a long time. I can honestly say that I don't hate anyone. I have forgiven things people who have betrayed and hurt me.

My heart has been healed of a lot of pain, and I have put my abusive childhood behind me.

The biggest change of all is that I am more away of the difference between right and wrong, according to the Ten Commandments. I am more truthful and I make different choices, when faced with temptation. Am I better than non-Christians?

Are you kidding? No. I try to be the kind of person who is filled with joy and who won't stab you in the back. I try to be a good and faithful friend, whether or not your are a Christian.

I value integrity more than anything.

I give God all the glory for changing me.

What I do know is that without my faith in God, I would not have been able to change my life.
Please allow me to share with all of you (who haven't stopped reading when I began to talk about God) a bible verse that speaks to my heart. This sums of my faith in God. It's a tough act to follow, but I try to live it one day at a time.

Galations 5:16-26
Life by the Spirit
16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

If you are reading this posting, still, thank you for listening.

Prayer is a powerful thing. God hears them, when they come from the heart. He will answer them according to His will-- not ours.


Mom of a Drug Addict


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Hi!!! I felt a connection with you the first time I read your blog, and now I feel it even more. We have so much in common! You are also the only other person I am aware of that is using suboxone to help your son, it seems to be making a big difference for mine. He also tested pos. for THC and I also didn't really care. The Opiates, Cocaine and all other stuff was NEG.

Also like you, I was raised a Catholic and then in 1990 (after years of sex, drugs and rock and roll) I found a Christian church with a Dockers/Hawaiian shirt pastor (some people are not able to grasp the significance of this if they were not raised in a very strict and traditional church like we were).

I did all the right things and loved God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. But then about a year and a half ago I started doubitng it all to the point that I actually labeled myself an atheist for awhile, and I never imagined I'd reconsider God.

But I have been reconsidering. I have been praying. I still don't know if I can believe in the Bible or the concept of Hell. Its all very confusing to me. I have read the Bible cover to cover several times and attended countless Bible Studies, retreats, seminars, prayer groups...even worked for a Christian ministry (one of the biggest in the world) for 18 years till I got laid off on May 15!!

So anyhow....I loved reading your thoughts and hope I did not take too much space here sharing mine.

Charli said...

The saliva tests are slightly more expensive, but if you're afraid he's using fake urine (or an additive)it may be worth it. Knowing addicts (and I hate to say this) the paraphenalia was not old. They do lose track of stuff, but... My husband is a clean addict (meth). I have relatives who used heroine. I asked my cousin about your situation (I never had to deal with foils snd such). The response was if he's cleaned his room already, he's not going to have a bunch of "old" foils turn up. Sorry. Meth is sneaker;scratches on CD cases, rolled up dollar bills, dimanteled ball points, compact mirrors in weird places. I am praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with my daughters addiction for five years. It is confounded by her Mothers weakness. My daughter is a manipulation genious when it comes to drugs so her mother was an easy target for money. Finally her Mother grew a backbone and called 911. This is the first of many steps your child neeeds to regain control of his life. You cannot enable them. no car no money no jewelry left around the house and no cell phone. oxy, roxy or whatever their habits are are in fact a devil's drug. They turn pain to pleasure ultimately leading to confuion , chaos and death. You need to take control and if you cant call the police and get the child help..