Friday, May 15, 2009

Chapter 8 : Overcoming the Fear of the Unknown

The authors words are in red

In the first section of this chapter as Micca relates her son Mitch's narrow escape from harm in a car accident she speaks of the miracle that he wasn't hurt. God's hand was upon him. Unfortunately that same night a young man from their church killed himself and undoubtedly devastated his mother in doing so. Micca writes " I could have been her"

That short phrase sent me back a couple of months. A short time before I learned that my oldest son was a heroin addict I purchased a book written by Ruth Bell Graham called Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Words of Encouragement For Those Who Wait. I purchased the book because my son had walked away from his faith and seemed to be floundering in life, I had seen him struggle with drugs but had no idea the extent of his addiction.

 The forward to the book is written by her daughter Gigi who herself is a mom of a prodigal that Ruth writes about. In the forward she tells a story of a woman who had come to hear Ruth speak and afterwards approached her to ask if she thought that she would see her son in heaven. "My son died of an overdose of drugs" she said. Ruth, full of God's grace responded by asking the question "if you heard a timid knock on your door one day, and you answered the knock only to find your child standing there, bruised, wounded, bleeding, dirty and tattered, what would you do? Slam the door in his face? Or would you throw open the door and welcome him into your arms?

Barely a week after I received the book I discovered that my son was a heroin addict and within two weeks of that day he was gone. I remember thinking "I don't want to be that mom"! I also remember hearing a voice in my head say "You ARE that mom".  While that thought did torment me for a time I knew immediately that it was NOT from God. Recognizing that was the first step in overcoming the debilitating effects of fear. Unfortunately, my battle had just begun.

Micca writes "usually our concerns never come to pass anyway". I wish I could say this was true for me. While the fear of losing Brett to an overdose has not come to pass one other fear did. Over the past five years there have been several times that he has left our home for weeks and months at a time. We had minimal to no contact with him during these periods. During those times I used to flinch when I would hear sirens. I watched the evening news with much trepidation. It was as if in the back of my mind somewhere I knew he would be on the news some day.

I recall watching the  latter part of a news story on a Thursday evening about a young man who attempted to hold up a pharmacy. I saw the man being led away in handcuffs. He had a hoodie pulled over his face and his name was not released. I remember clearly thinking that could be Brett. I shuddered at the thought but shrugged it off. The following day I was sitting at my computer around 6:00 pm when a dear friend called.

 "Hey Tina, how are you doing?"
 "I'm fine Pam, how are you?" 
"Oh sweetie, you don't know....... 
My heart began to pound.
 "No,.... what?"
 I don't want to be the one to tell you. 
"Tell me what?"
"The news" she said." There was a drug store....". 
Immediately, the story from the night before came to mind. 
"Oh my God, that was Brett wasn't it"
 "Yes dear, they showed his picture". 
I have to go....

One of my worst fears had come true. 

I praise God for her. I praise Him that he spared me the shock of witnessing the story first hand. There is no other way I would have rather heard the news. She is a loving christian woman full of mercy and grace. My husband was out of town on a business trip not due back until the following day.

Words cannot describe the depth of despair I found myself immersed in. The next few weeks were difficult to say the least. As difficult as they were I can say that alongside of the worst emotional pain I've ever experienced came the feeling of the presence of God in a more powerful way than I have ever experienced.

 Micca quotes Isaiah 43:2-3. Oh how I love this passage! It has been put to music and when I see it posted in our bulletin I know to pull out my tissue for it always evokes such strong feelings of love and adoration I can but scarcely contain myself when I sing it!

 I remember distinctly God bringing me to Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. As I read those words I thought "isn't THAT the truth"!! My days of late have had all kinds of trouble. That being said,  all of my worries had not changed the future I had dreaded. They did rob me of peace many times though. I am determined to not let that happen again. 

If you've read my recent posts you know that God has shown himself in a mighty way. I am not walking in fear anymore. I am walking with God, one day at a time. Choosing to look to the wonderful answers to prayer I have witnessed. Continuing to seek Him for wisdom every day as I read His word. 

Micca writes " Something amazing happens when we faithfully cry out to the Lord, believing in His perfect care. Our faith suddenly becomes stronger than our fear". Yes it does, even when in our grief we cannot see it, we continue to get up each day and seek him until one day we get up and realize the pain has subsided, and what is left is a wonderful peace and joy that comes with knowing the Father.

As for the future. Yes there are many unknowns, some of which may not be easy. One thing I know for sure is that regardless of what the future will bring I am more convinced than ever that there is nothing that will come that can take away the love I have in Christ. I am stronger now than I was four months ago. I have seen the power of God in my life and in the life of my son. I look to the future now with great anticipation rather than fear.  For I know that 
"Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world".


katdish said...

Oh my goodness! What a beautiful example of God's grace you are. I am so happy that you stumbled upon my blog. I have been in the depths of sin only to be rescued. There is always hope. There is always mercy. Praying for you and your family.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Tina, thanks for your comment. I had to come over to see what you referenced about our stories couldn't be any more different yet similiar.

I see have a prodigal son on whom you are waiting...I have a prodigal beloved (biblical spouse) on whom I'm waiting.

I guess I've never been over here to your parts.

Is there a special post or two that tells your story in a nut shell?

When is the last time you spoke to your son? Do you know his location?

If those are too painful, please forgive me and disregard.

Tina said...

Hmm as far as one or two posts I'm not sure. I think I've shared most of it in the more recent posts.

Yes, we are waiting.

For me, Brett has turned his life back to Christ but he is in jail and we don't know when he will be home. He hasn't had his trial yet.

I know that I cannot let his actions and his life dictate my happiness. I know with my head that my joy and peace should come from God but so much of my heart is wrapped up in my kids that to have joy in my life when my oldest child is caught in heroin addiction and in jail. Well that is only done in the power of the Holy Spirit. A couple of months ago I wasn't sure but now I see.

I spoke with him this evening and see him twice a week. I know we have a long road ahead but I no longer walk in daily pain, I have hope and faith that regardless of what comes I will persevere.

In Him,

Heather said...

Oh this was so good Tina! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I know it isn't easy, and God doesn't promise that it will be, but Praise God he promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that He is near to the brokenhearted.

I didn't get to post on this chapter, but am planning on posting on the coming one (God willing!!!!) It has been a busy few weeks, and with all the things God has been bringing up to me, who knows when I will actually get to posting!

Love you, and thanks for taking us on the journey with you!