On Friday two weeks ago, my husband and I retrieved our son from jail, where he had been for four months. He walked out wearing "world" clothing and carrying a Gideon Bible and a manila envelope containing his commisary receipts ("They said you can deduct this off your taxes, Mom."), one of his Algrebra notebooks (a tangible reminder of progress made), and a bar of "state soap" (Let the record reflect that Mom prays he never has to use "state soap" again).
We drove straight to Houston from the jail and spent the night at my aunt's house. It was an emotional and gut-wrenching experience. We fed him two good meals, we hugged and touched and talked and cried. And in less than twenty-four hours after getting him out of jail, we delivered him to a rehab facility in Houston. We took him to a place where we will not be able to see him or talk to him again for ninety days (the program is designed to last for two years). We have been able to write him, and he will be able to write us beginning next week.
I have asked God for many things in the last several years, some of them noble, and some of them not. It's hard to know what to ask God for in situations like this, there are no easy answers. I"ve asked God to end our pain, I've asked for strength to endure. I've begged for a miracle, for my son to be spontaneously healed of this disease.
My faith has been called into question at times because I tend to see the reality that this is a life-long battle that is rarely instantaneously cured. I’ve been walking this road with my son for nearly six years. I’ve seen a lot of programs, seen a lot of effort extended and known a lot of prayers were being offered up on our behalf. To be honest, I have seen very little “success” in dealing with addiction. In fact, I have seen so much failure that I wonder how the professionals can continue to do their work in the face of such overwhelming odds.
Sometimes, I think the miracle is simply the continued ability to put one foot in front of the other, trusting that there is enough grace to make it through each day.
Many times, I think of that verse in Samuel, "thus far, the Lord has helped us", and I am grateful.