As I breathlessly walked through God’s beautiful creation this morning, inhaling the sweet smells of spring and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, I was reminded of many years ago when God set me free — a time where I felt alive for the first time in so many years.
During those days, I took early morning walks, savoring the beauty around me — perhaps, even seeing it for the first time. My eyes were opened to all I had to be grateful for as Grace filled my heart.
I remembered how awakened my senses became in those days so long ago. Springtime filled my nostrils with intoxicating smells, sounds of birds singing to each other was music to my ears, and the trees and flowers brought beauty to my eyes. And today was a similar day — today took me back to those days of yesteryear when life begin to come alive once again in my little corner of the world as I inhaled God’s presence.
God had removed evil from my home — and began to make something beautiful from the ashes of my life — but it would still be years before new life would be begin to emerge.
Over nine years ago, my life changed, and it was not in a way I had envisioned 20 years earlier while walking down a church aisle, full of youth and naivety, towards a man who would come to feel more like an enemy than a husband.
When my then-husband walked out, my identity as I had known it for years suddenly shifted, and the hardest part, was losing my oldest son to the lies and manipulation of his father. Those days brought me to my knees, which is truly the only stable place when you think about it, and prayer was my constant companion — on my lips at the beginning of each day before my feet hit the floor running, peppered throughout the day to keep me breathing, and said as a sweet release at night before my eyes closed. Those prayers were my lifeline — they kept me afloat and also, most importantly, kept me connected to the only constant in my life — the Lord.
One of my prayers was for the relationship with my oldest son to be restored — for us to become mother and son again, speaking truthfully, freely, and trustingly.
Just like the prodigal son, some of us may have had a child leave us whether due to discord in the home, our choice of leaving an abusive spouse, the hurtfulness of divorce, or just their own wanderlust. It is so hard to see a child walk away, to feel as if you have lost them, and the pain of not knowing when or if they will return creates a heaviness in your heart that you carry with you each day. I’m not talking about the normal letting go we do with our children when it’s time for them to fly, but them tearing away from us — taking their love from our hearts.
And this past weekend, God answered those prayers — my prayers — I had cried out for the past nine years when suddenly, the wall between my son and I crashed down! My son made the choice to trust me again and share his struggles, his anger, his loss — and his love. My son has come home — he has chosen to return his heart to mine.
I praise the Lord for working in my son’s heart and bringing him back to me, but he still needs prayers to find his way back to Jesus during a still-dark time in his life.
“May the Lord lead your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s patience.”
~2 Thessalonians 3:5
For the first time in nine years, my son admits to his father’s destructiveness in our family. He feels crushed from the destruction his father left behind as he, like the coward he is, left the country and his sons. He feels betrayed and burned by how his father treated him, his brother and me. He says he has become his father, a man he despises and blames, and because of that has lost friends. And he feels helpless to a disease which has afflicted him for more than twelve years of his life.
And because of all of that, my son’s faith has been crushed and he does not know if he believes in God anymore. Yet, despite the hopelessness my son feels in his life these days — he has come back — he has come home. And while he wrestles with confusion, doubt and anger, one thing is for certain — God has never left him nor will He forsake my son — He will, like me, wait patiently for my son to find his way back.
24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.” ~Luke 15:24
This mother’s heart is overjoyed, yet admittedly, still a little wary. My son is home! But I will continue to pray for direction in how to help my son through his battle with Lyme disease. And one day, these prayers too will answered in God’s timing.