I was trapped inside my house with some scary people outside trying to get in. My family was there and I kept “trying to convince them” to not go out. My two eldest sons kept telling me, “It’s ok Mom, we can handle it”. (Both struggle with SUD, one is functioning well and happy- the other is what this entire blog is based on)
I tried to pull them away from the door, like a worried Mom of curious toddlers who are determined to toddle out into the street. My boys went out anyway. In my dreamlike state, I remember thinking, at least they are together; which sadly, hasn’t happened in a year.
As I woke up from this nightmare, the following story was playing on my phone:
As I listened to the story of the prodigal son, tears stung my eyes. I didn’t put it on there, I didn’t search for it. What I did do- is pray daily – several times a day, for my son to have a spiritual awakening OR for someone to come into his life that could reach him, since I can’t.
It might sound weird, but everytime I hear the churn of it spinning, I get a sense of rightness in the world.
It might be the gratefulness I feel at having a comfortable home and even a washer, knowing that one of my flesh and blood doesn’t anymore😭. Or I might have always liked the rythmic sound of the washer as it washes away the days troubles, and just didn’t know it….
Quite possibly it takes me back to my pre-birth day as I was frolicking in my own “tub of water” preparing me for entrance into the chaos of the world. The washer mimicking the safety of the Mother’s womb with the steady rythmic movement of a portable love incubator with themuffled sounds entering into my safe space.
Then there’s the soap. The clean, fresh linen smell. Whether it’s the chemicals made to smell like a gentle breeze in a tele-tubby rolling hill grass field or a squirt of lemon onto a fresh leaf of lettuce; it brings feelings of comfort and peace.
Spring Cleaning, a much needed car wash the day before it rains, Saturday morning hair cuts with 20 other people waiting. All these seemingly mundane things are so important to our chafing off the struggles of the week & the dirt of yesterday so we can refresh and feel better even for a moment.
Spring is all that and more. Seeing the flowers peek through the ground makes the long hard winter a distant memory. Like chickens hatching out of a sharp cold shell into the warmth of the sun & breathing in the smell of the grass and frolicking in the refreshing water; we can use spring to breathe hope into our lives.
If you read my post on spring tides from Gary Lewis or you watched the trapped boats in the Suez canal on the news, you know that a Spring Tide came in to save the day.
Gary compares this to our ability to turn our problems over to a higher power.
“We enter the passage of our years seeking to float to our eternal destiny. Pride and selfishness obscures our view, and sin mires us down. Our unaided efforts are futile to effectuate our escape..
Our Savior’s atoning sacrifice comes to our rescue, if we choose to accept it. Like a rising tide, the blood of His sacrifice lifts our ponderous weight and breaks us free from the quicksand that binds us. We are damned in our progress no more.
Since it’s Easter week, I’m feeling very emotional and spiritual.
I haven’t always been so religious. I was raised halfway going to church and halfway not. In times of despair and stress, I turned for comfort in my higher power, such as when my brother took his own life when I was 12. Most times I was a anti-“fair-weather” friend to God. Some might say a hypocrite.
But whatever it is or WAS, now I find myself reveling in the calmness and sheer relief of turning over my problems and my Son’s journey to someone more able to handle it.
Powerlessness and pain will do that.
So this spring is different.
I have finally asked God for forgiveness of what I see as my sin’s and mistakes. I finally, at 53 years old, believe that Jesus sacrificed his life so that we don’t have to keep reliving our shame & suffering over & over again. He wants us to give up our pain & let go of our prideful stories of victimhood or even martyrdom. It’s disheartening to him to have us be miserable when he gave us this gift to be FREE of our pain.
I think it’s called Redemption.
The dictionary defines redemption as: 1. the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. 2. the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
“The blood was the price that set the captives free”
Even if you aren’t a believer, anyone can follow the act of redeeming themselves in order to make the best version of ourselves and spread goodness to those around us and especially to those suffering souls.
“The world is where the souls of men are held captive so no man is free. There is only one liberation and liberator of the souls of men in the world and it’s by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Men do not fight for liberty, but fight to remain in their captivities which they have grown accustom to. To be free is a spiritual reality not a physical one and so men fight wars and strive in vain thinking that wealth, might and individual rights set them free”.
Before I discovered Addiction so intimately within my own family, I would have written off this Video as just another religious kook.
But when you are dropped to your knees with such utter powerless & deep despair, you find yourself seeking out a God, any God- real fast. The sheer pain & fear along with the loss of someone you love dearly Even though that person is still alive, is humbling to say the least.
After basically going through the 5 stages of grief with the loss of this relationship, you start to actually have some compassion for them. Or at least I did…..or do. That s kindof where I am now.
My son. I miss the son I remember & love sooooo much. And even though I’m incredibly grateful that he is still breathing, the son I know & knew is not available right now.
He has an out to lunch sign on the door.
When I finally came to the realization that my adult child isn’t the sweet, innocent perfect person I had held onto believing for so long, I was devastated.
They ARE still loved immensely! And the biggest blessing Is that they CAN CHANGE at ANY time!
HOPE is a wonderful thing.
It’s all we got really.
Having a bad day? Hope gives you a new day tomorrow.
I’ve heard addicts say that is what they lacked the most( & needed from people) more than anything was hope. Because their illness tells them that it’s too late, they’re too far gone, why try anymore. Just get high and numb out then everything will be ok.
I am hoping that I can begin to have this kind of Christlike compassion for my boy and other addicts. Even when they don’t ACT as if they should deserve any mercy, they are still human beings having a horrible existence right now. Having to lie, cheat, steal to support a stupid evil powerful drug that has held them hostage for way too long.
I can’t imagine losing your mind that way, your Freedom, your family, everything you once cared about to become a slave to a THING.
Can you imagine the freedom, the love, the sheer JOY of being saved? Of having that hope spread through your body with more power than any Evil drug? Can you imagine how that would feel?
Consider the powerful artist painting above by Stephen Sawyer. It’s titled “Calvary”; meaning “it’s a pain that we associate with not only great sorrow but great victory.”
One interpretation in THIS article states that at this point the addict isn’t feeling any pain but it hurts Jesus when we hurt ourselves.”
He wanted to demonstrate that “When you’ve done it unto the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” In my past religious teaching I would have taken this as a ” oh well then it’s too late, I’m worthless because I have sinned against God & his son. But isn’t that the whole point of Calvary?
The artist went on to say “The Temple of God is within you …and … IF WE ALLOW IT – we can create a magnificent home for the Presence of God in our lives.”
I think there are many ways to interpret the message, one being that Jesus will take all our pain away if we only reach out.