The Christmas holidays have passed, and my son has come and gone. He's back in his new state of Texas, and 20% finished with his electrician apprenticeship.
Let's back up to a week before Christmas. I had arranged for a nice hotel room, with a parking package, so that B could leave work on a Friday evening and catch his Saturday morning flight. He had a three hour drive to make, and I wanted for him to have plenty of time to get a good night's sleep. The hotel had a shuttle that would take him to the airport. B has never flown by himself, so I made things as easy and comfy as I could. It also cost a pretty penny, but I felt that he was worth it.
Then, his addictive/crisis-driven behavior kicked in. He procrastinated his leaving, until the very end. It's not worth my writing out all of the details, but he never left his place on time to enjoy the hotel that I spent money on. He overslept, instead, and raced to the airport... arriving just minutes before the last boarding call. In the meantime, I was upset and angry that he had so little regard for my hard-earned money, and careful planning.
I tossed and turned all night long, praying that my son would get to the airport. I had horrific thoughts of his missing the flight and the expense of rerouting him-- and most of all, that I'd miss at least one day of the precious week I was so looking forward to spending with him. My husband and I joined hands and prayed that the Good Lord would make this disaster work out in a good way. He did, and I headed for the drive to the airport. I decided to let go of the wasted hotel room, and my disappointment. I just wanted to see my son, and so I pushed my negative feelings aside.
When B came off the plane, I saw a tall and very thin young man. His cheekbones were prominent. My first motherly thought was that I had a week to try and feed him, of course! He was soaking in the beautiful green mountains (we finally got some rain in California), and we fell into comfortable chatter. I was beaming with joy.
Each day flew by. I made dinner, so his best friend could join us. We laughed, and had a great evening. I knew that B needed to see his old friends. So, off they went, and I settled back into relaxing at home with my wonderful husband.
The emotions I felt, seeing B back under our roof were all over the place. I could see the addictive behavior in him. Frankly, it worried me. My son is not using heroin again, of that I am sure. The first good sign, is that he has money. Physically, the ravages of heroin isn't showing. However, I noticed he's drinking-- and that made me uncomfortable. Common sense tells me that addicts shouldn't drink. We don't keep a lot of alcohol in our home, and he wasn't frantically looking for it. Still, he tied one on with his friends a couple of times and I am very concerned that his addictive brain will want alcohol to replace his heroin use. I had to push back my fears and ask God to take the wheel on that one. My worrying isn't going to solve a thing. Still, old fears started to creep back. Let go, let God.
It is said that parents of addicts should never blame ourselves for our kid's addictions. However, I could see negative behaviors in B that made me wonder... "did I teach him that?" My son is a master procrastinator, and it has led him to have a lot of disappointments in life. His forgetfulness, and lack of planning skills, leads to a lot of drama in his life. My husband remarked that my son is "crisis driven", and I hate to admit that it seems that way.
My emotions were all over the place, while he was here. I was so happy to see my son, and I enjoyed talking to him. We watched a movie together, and explored our beautiful coast of California, along with his best friend (who I like). I was thrilled to watch him soaking in our local scenic park, and inhaling the scent of the Pacific Ocean. I bought him much needed clothes, and was happy to do so. The week flew by so fast, and before I knew it, we were taking him back to the airport.
I can tell that B really wants to return to California. He doesn't want to give up becoming an electrician, either. My heart would love to have him closer, but I need to let him go-- and pray he finds his way, and that he completes the five-year program. I am cheering him on, when he feels discouraged. Five years seems like a long time, but he also knows that this is a career that will pay him well and lead to job security. Plus, he loves it.
Seeing B, this time, and saying goodbye made me face something that I have been in denial of for a long time. I truly have to let my son go. As I washed his bed linens, and returned his former bedroom into the guest room it has now become-- I need to accept that he will never live here again. He knows it, and I know it. My heart hasn't quite accepted it, yet. I'm working on it.
My son is now a man. He is an addict, and he will always have to fight the urge to not self-medicate himself. I am a God-loving mom, who has changed my own life because of my faith in Him. To me, it seems that my son's millennial generation is moving away from Christianity more than ever before. With all the gay marriage controversy-- and even traditional marriage values seeming less important-- it seems (to me) that Christians are under attack now more than ever. My own son labeled me as intolerant, last week. My answer to that is that I am living my life according to God's written word. It is not for me to rewrite what the bible says. If am intolerant to how the world is moving away from biblical truths-- then he is intolerant for condemning me for wanting to live my life to please God. I think he got my point, as he never said that to me again.
I also said that it is my belief that so many people condemn biblical truth, because they don't want to give up the things that they want to do. I should know, because I lived a life so far from God, for so many years. Now, the things I once thought made me happy no longer matter to me. Yes, I'm still a sinner and I make mistakes all the time. Only, now, I know it and I feel shame. I am a much more forgiving person than I once was, and have more peace in my life because of it.
The first night that B was back in Texas, my heart grieved for his presence all over again. But that voice inside me reminded me-- God blessed me with my son. I need to let him go, and trust that God has a plan for him. I cannot force my son to renew his faith in God. I can, however, pray for him every single day. That is exactly what I do.
In closing, with this journal entry, below is the scripture that our pastor spoke about yesterday. He, himself, has a daughter that hit rock bottom with alcohol and drug addiction. She is now clean and sober, and has returned to having a relationship with Jesus Christ. She is currently serving as a missionary in Mexico. I don't see my son going that route. What I pray for my son, is that he would see he doesn't need anxiety medication, weed or drugs to make him feel happy. I've never shared my personal testimony as to why I gave my heart and soul to God. I will say that because of my faith, I have found peace in my life.
I pray that for son, and anyone who might read these thoughts that come from my heart. This parable reminds me to pray that my son's "hard soil" would be softened and that his faith would take root and grow.
3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”