This weekend was difficult as I was faced with my son’s homelessness. His addictions and behaviors have burned yet another bridge for him, this time he lost much himself as a few of his things were thrown out on the street, and the rest he hasn’t been able to retrieve.
Two emotions that tug at a mothers heart when her child is in need. Knowing that my child is struggling with these things nearly buckled my resolve. Standing firm in the moment when the call came “mom can I just stay there tonight”. Knowing full well that one night would have turned into two, then a week, maybe a month. And all that we have chosen to guard against would have come crashing down on us once again.
The phone slammed down on us as we said “I’m sorry but you just can’t”
Numerous calls came, calls we would not answer. About 30 minutes later, the next call came and he said “I know I can’t stay but can you help me, I’m going to go back to a rehab and I will need a few things”. Relieved that our resolve to hold fast when my heart strings were pulled taunt and ready to break gave my heart a lift.
“Yes, I can help you with that, but I couldn’t let you back here, because it wouldn’t have been good for you or for us” I said. “I know mom, I know I need to do this to get my life back on track”
Back on track… where did it go off track? How did it go off track? If only I could answer those questions. If I could trace back to the very moment that the first choice was made to delve into the world of drugs, gangs, stealing, and all that has followed after it. I would go back in time and hold him so tight that he couldn’t go where ever it was that he went.
But there is no such thing as a “do over”. We don’t get to go back and rework the mistakes or retake different steps. We have only today, with its current 24 hours of promise. No more, and sometimes less. What he will make of this 24 hours is what is important, and what I contribute to it in the form of tough love applied firmly, or cowardly.
( Yes I must admit that yesterday while the phone calls came one after the other I hid in the basement. It was my only recourse as my mother’s heart was breaking. It was the only way I could keep from answering the phone. ) I am so very thankful to God that in my time of wavering He was there (in the basement) with me, helping me hang tough. Just as He must have the night His son, begging in prayer on his knees...
“Please if it’s at all possible, take this cup from me” (Matt 26:39 my paraphrase).
He understands what it is like to have your son ask for what seems like a sensible request…
"really Father do I have to go to the cross, isn’t there some other way"?
"Mom why can’t I stay just one night?"
Sensible requests, but had God not shown tough love you and I would not be able to have entrance into His presence. And If I don’t show tough love, my son may end up standing before God sooner than I want to think.
Lord Help me to do the hard stuff, to love just as you did that night your son came to you. Help me to see beyond the moment and see what is at stake. Help me to stand firm.