Faith in the fire: When you love an addict (Part 2)

alone-with-his-thoughts_free_stock_photos_picjumbo_HNCK9089-1570x1047Continued from Part 1

The next thing I knew, Gordon wasn’t the focus in the room – I was. They were quickly and efficiently hoisting me up onto a gurney and wheeling me out into the hallway where they left me to come to my senses. I lay there in a stupor of sadness and madness. I was devastated that this was my drunk and bloody son in the other room. And I was mad at myself for being too weak to stay the course with him. Even if I got up off the bed, they weren’t going to let me back in there. Now I just had to sit and listen to howling and not be able to hold my son’s hand. I had to be alone with the feelings of embarrassment that I was the mother who couldn’t save her son from addiction, let alone stay on her feet in the presence of his wreckage. I didn’t know much at that time about being the parent of an addict, so I lay there in a pool of my own guilt while my son was being stitched up in the next room.

After we checked out, I brought Gordon home. He had not been living with us when this accident occurred. A few months after his 18th birthday in the middle of his senior year of high school, Gordon moved out of our house to live with friends – who I assumed were doing and selling drugs. But we could no longer corral or control him. His behavior in our home had become intolerable and we had to think of the welfare of the four children who still lived with us and needed a semi-normal life. Gordon was breaking out every night, and had reached the age of emancipation, so we had no choice but to let him move out.

But on this night after the accident, I brought Gordon back to our house and planned to put him to bed and deal with him in the morning. After we arrived home, Gordon turned to me in the car and flatly told me that he hated me. He told me that he would never want to become a Christian because I was the worst person he knew and if I was a Christian then the whole thing was a joke.

Again, I didn’t have any training in dealing with addicts at that time, and I hadn’t been to any support group meetings or read any literature. So hearing those words that night, after all that I had gone through because of his addiction, cut me like a knife. I didn’t know whether to hit him in his stitched up eye or burst into tears.

So I did nothing. I got out of the car, opened his door, and helped him into the house and up the stairs into his old room. I put him to bed and shut the door. I didn’t say a word.

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Lord, what do you have to say about this?

Sotmr clouds over the road

What do you when your world is falling apart and there’s no rewind button?

I’ll tell you what I do…I run to the Lord.  I wish I could say that it’s a neat, tidy, faith-filled, hallelujah chorus type of run.  It’s not.  I’m usually crying a messy cry – you know, the ugly cry – feeling sorry for myself, sad beyond words, overwhelmed, and wondering why ONE MORE piece of my life is under attack or getting flushed down the toilet.  I wish I could say that I come up with Bible verses right away to encourage myself in the Lord.  But I don’t always.  Sometimes it takes a while to find my way out of the paper bag.

But I have developed a good habit over the past few years, thanks to a dear friend of mine who practices this all the time.  I write down all of my fears, concerns, worries, stresses, and disappointments in my journal.  Then I ask Jesus what he thinks about it all.  And then…I wait.

My pen is poised and I wait upon the Lord to answer me. I pray and ask Him to make my heart open to hear his voice and then I start writing.  I don’t critique my writing. I just write until I am done.

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