The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
As I walk in the newness of this next chapter of life I am discovering more about me and how important change can be to our growth. Many times as we grow into the plans and purposes of God we will find there are things we must let go of in order to move forward. Some times what it looks like on the outside is not what is going on in the inside.
As a parent my heart’s desire was to get my children through life with as little heartache, loss and rejection so they would experience a life of success and love. That desire and prayer of mine never changed.
In my efforts to do everything right it did not always turn out right. As parents we do our best with what we’ve learned from watching others, books we’ve read and from our parents. But the most important part of being a mother is having a mother’s heart which I believe God places within us. It is in that heart of love we learn more about God, our children and ourselves.
There is a book by Dr. Dobson, “Parenting Isn’t for Cowards” which is a great book on parenting but it was the title that first grabbed me because the truth is in our journey of parenthood there is no guarantee of a happy ending. Challenges in parenting can surface at any age but one thing for sure is once a parent, always a parent. Parenting always will look different through the stages of life our kids grow into, and we must be ready to go the distance in hopes of releasing them into the future God prepared for them, with the ability to be self-supporting and contributors to a better society.
Today there is still pain in my heart as I reflect on days past. The days that turned into months, and months into years before my younger son came home. His years away were spent in more of a daze as his brother and I worked hard to support and encourage him. The vision of how this would all come to an end was much different than where I find this relationship today. During these turbulent years as dysfunctional as it was it was difficult to move forward and to find complete happiness knowing what he was going through.
Before my son went away he was showing signs of distress. In my efforts to help him life became more difficult because he only wanted help from his father. Now this would have been fine had his dad been emotionally available to help him. During a very critical time for my son his father began building a new life and was too busy for him. Because of the ramifications and circumstances surrounding my divorce this added to my concern for my son. My fear for his safety and well-being influenced my desire to fight harder for him. Unfortunately, my son did not want my help nor did he have any desire to have me parent him in any way. This fight for him was perceived as an intent for me to control more of his life and not as an act of a mother’s love and concern for her child.
As most parents experience with teenagers they go through a rebellious stage. His rebellion began before the divorce and worsened after. It was during his first years of high school when he began losing interest in school work and his responsibilities. His ability to focus on things other than sports and girls became less and less important to him. As mother’s we know many times our effort to parent and help our children in a time when things are spiraling out of control can leave us frantic. This is how I felt during that time, frantic as I watched my son become more distant and rebellious. It wasn’t long before my efforts began to look like a controlling mother gone mad. The more I tried to get my son under control and keep him accountable the more he despised me. In his rebellion he began cutting school and getting into trouble with the law.
Fast forward and now we’re in a courtroom where I find myself fighting to keep my son’s father accountable for him by seeing that he finish school and stay out of trouble. My fight in this battle was meant for good, not evil. It was done in love for my son in hopes of seeing him have a productive and healthy future.
My son like many kids of divorced parents wanted to live with his dad. The courts allowed this due to his age and the testimony of my son which stated I was trying to control him and his life by calling the school to see if he attended, did his homework, and by wanting to know if he was safe and staying out of trouble on the weekends. I thought I was doing what any caring loving mother would do who desires only the best for their child. Unfortunately, in our situation my son did not like me very much and considered me a control freak trying to ruin his life. In the midst of having all my parenting rights removed because of his age, and he and his father assuring the court they had everything under control I walked out of court that day an unwanted mother. For me my marriage was over, but not my responsibility and love for my son.
As the days progressed I began to hear from friends how he was on the road to destruction. The more I tried to help the more twisted the lies of his father became toward me and my intentions towards my son. My hands and heart were tied.
Until Six-months later and 3 days after his 18 birthday he was arrested.
It was early morning as I sat down at my desk and began playing my messages when I was greeted with the voice of my son. His call was informing me he was in County Jail and needed me. As I gasped for air I dialed his dad’s number because believe it or not I had no idea where county jail was located. Yes, I had been married to a police officer and knew where the Police Dept. was but I don’t ever remember having been to County Jail.
Needless to say, I was given the address and hung up on.
Once again, things were about to change and I was going to embark on an even deeper darker road taking me to places I never wanted to go. Surrounding me with people I never thought to have a thought about. And bringing me closer to a God I thought I knew everything I needed to know about in my life time.