This story is written with permission from my friend. I won't use names because I'm not so good at making names up anyway.
Back in the 80's, I met a girl at work and we became good friends and have been friends since. Her son was about 5 when we met and he was just the cutest little boy, full of the love of God and mischeif, like all little boys! Her son was a little younger than my youngest son. My friend and I worked in the field of Juvenile Delinquency and she, specifically in the prevention area. That was a little joke on the both of us! Do as we say do as professionals, don't do as we do as parents. (That used to go through my mind as I would be talking to parents).
Fast forward many years, and my friend and I both have a child with drug problems.
Her son married young and he and his wife had twins 8 months after my friend had a baby girl! She wasn't supposed to be able to have any more children, but as we all know, God has different plans for most of us... she became a new mother and a new grandmother at the same time! Soon after the twins, there came another little boy, soon after him, another little boy and 6 months ago still another little boy. Five little boys born to drug using parents. And my friend's heart broke time and time again.
During this time, these young parents got more and more involved in drugs....my friend's son was arrested, spent some time in rehab and came home to start over. But any of you who have children with drug problems know that they love the drug more than anything or anyone else, even their children. So it began again....and living in a small town, veryyyyy small, my friend would hear and see things going on and she and her husband began trying to make sure the children were being cared for properly.
With the help of the great grandparents, a mobile home was put on the same land my friend lives on and they tried diligently to get this little family involved in church and anything else healthy. But they remained on that path that leads to destruction and things just went downhill. Money that should have bought groceries, bought drugs. The couple would move back and forth between two small cities where they have family. They would separate, get back together, separate.....and so on...
Never a pretty picture, and I'm telling the prettiest version.
Recently, my friend's son and his wife left town, breaking his probation and went to live with a grandparent in another state. In spite of the legal problems, everyone prayed that they could make a fresh start with a clean slate. But that just wasn't to be and they were soon back to their old ways. Stealing from family to buy drugs, getting into strange situations, just diving deeper and deeper into the culture that seeks to steak, kill and destroy our children.
This weekend, my friend and her daddy met her son and his wife and got the five boys. Talking to my friend, it was a heart tearing time when they actually met in the parking lot, took the children and their garbage bag of clothing and took them from their parents. The four year old is outwardly showing the most hurt, he was the self-appointed caretaker. He made sure the older ones got up in time for school and he held the babies when they needed to be held. One morning, the greatgrandmother found him asleep sitting up in a chair with an alarm clock in his lap so he could get his parents up in time to get the twins to school.
My friend asked me if I had ever cried so much that my eyelids hurt. Yes. I guess we all, with children who have gone astray have cried rivers of tears. Had our hearts broken because we knew their lives were so broken and yet, we had no control. We turn to our God and plead at the mercy seat for His intervention. Many of us as parents do this daily and have done so for many years.
We know God is in control, we know He has a plan.....so we stand....but in the standing, we hurt. We just hurt as those who have hope.
The children had to go with different parts of the family. The 6 month old baby is with my friend's brother and his wife who were privileged to help. The two year old is with my friend. The four year old and the eight year old twins are with my friend's dil's stepmother. They are all pretty close, but in different towns.
I pray and ask my blogging friends to pray that this young couple, these parents, are so lost without their children that they have a wake up call and get some help. And may God watch over them even as their families are watching over their children.
In the email I got from my friend this morning, she said "well, I have to go......I'm not used to getting a two year old ready for church anymore!" I also ask your prayers for my friend. So many of you know the reality of what she is facing and the terrible pain that her mother's heart contains, and the fear of what will happen to her own child.