Thursday, June 20, 2013

Update on the hearing

“When you come to the edge of all the light you have, and must take a step into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen.  Either there will be something solid for you to stand on-or you will be taught how to fly.”  Patrick Overton

So, here I am- standing “in the darkness of the unknown.”  For somebody who used to think she had some kind of control over anything or anybody outside of herself (that would be me) the unknown is a frightening place to be.  I take comfort in knowing that my son and I don’t stand there alone.  The Lord is right there with us, and He will either give us something to stand on, or teach us to fly. 

My trip to my son’s “hearing” was pretty anti-climactic.  My son’s attorney decided it would be best for him to waive his right to a preliminary hearing.  I’m not an attorney, but after listening to his reasoning behind this decision, it made sense to me.  His arraignment is scheduled for next week.  That is when he will enter his plea.  The sentencing hearing will be 1-2 months after he enters his plea. Here is where I really have to trust the Lord’s will.  The court appearance was a cold reminder of the serious trouble my son is in, so I really had to work hard at turning it over to the Lord as I left the courtroom.  I didn’t get to talk to my son at all, and it’s so hard to see him in those awful orange coveralls.  We communicate through email and he is fighting hard against fear right now.  He’s hanging onto his faith, but he’s scared of the unknown.  I’m sure every POA out there can relate to how hard it is to stand by helplessly when somebody we love is afraid.  I have to accept my powerlessness over that right now.

As I sat in the courtroom, there was a group of law students observing the proceedings for the day.  In between hearings, they sat and giggled and visited like college students do.  There I sat, waiting anxiously for my son’s appearance and they, of course, were just being kids. This was just another court case to them….no big deal. The contrast between their lives, and my son’s life right now, did not escape me.  I had to fight off feelings of sadness that my son isn’t enjoying his young life, and remind myself that sometimes we have to go through great pain to get to where the Lord needs us to be.  Acceptance.  Fighting against the reality of his situation right now is futile.  I can’t be positive and encouraging to my son if I let negative thoughts and regrets take over my thinking.  So, I allowed myself to feel the sadness, and I prayed.  On the long drive home, as I prayed, I found the peace that could only come from the Lord.  He’s teaching me how to fly.

Monday, June 17, 2013

His hearing

Tomorrow is my son’s preliminary hearing for his latest arrest, so one of his sisters and I will be making the 3 hour drive over there and back. I’m so glad I’ll have company for the trip. He will enter a plea and the prosecutor will recommend a sentence.  When I talked with my son’s attorney last week he told me the prosecutor was offering him 96 months.  I think his charge carries a 7-12 year possible sentence, so I guess it could be worse.

 For those of you who pray, I know the Lord hears us, so prayers would definitely be appreciated.  I’m doing okay, and with a lot of prayer I'm managing to stay surprisingly calm. I even managed to enjoy cooking out yesterday for Father’s Day and had company over to help celebrate. Progress!  When nagging feelings of anxiety start creeping in, I just say a quick prayer and turn it over to the Lord.  I’m fighting hard to just take one day at a time, because to do anything else would be useless right now.  I want to be positive and encouraging for my son tomorrow, and I can’t do that if I’m focusing on what the future might hold or "if onlys."  So today I praise God from whom all blessings flow.  I pray that He enfold my son in His loving arms tomorrow and give him courage, and that His will be done. Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Slowly healing

I love this quote by Abraham Lincoln.  “ I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

There is much to be learned as I travel this journey with my son.  I believe the lessons I’m meant to learn are trust, acceptance, and surrender to the fact that I can’t do it on my own.  It’s been almost a month since I learned of my son’s relapse and arrest. When I first found out, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  I had a hard time eating and was afraid to go to sleep at night because of the awful dreams that would wake me up over and over again.  I’m slowly coming to a better place in my mind.  I’m even finding peace and contentment in my life again.  When this first started I would find myself feeling guilty when I was enjoying things that I knew my son wouldn’t be enjoying for a long time.  His favorite meal, or band, even the fact that I was free to come and go as I please, could be a trigger for my guilt.  I’m learning the complete futility (and insanity) of those thoughts. 

The good news is, I’m coming out of the fog.  Of course some days are easier than others, but gradually the good days are outnumbering the bad.  The bad days are always the days when I’m in a state of non-acceptance, or when I’m focusing on the past or the future instead of the present.  I know those days are part of the process.  So, I allow myself those times of sadness, and I lock myself in the bathroom, and I cry.  It’s ok to cry sometimes.

It’s also ok to go on with my life and, yes, even enjoy it.  The Lord is keeping His promise and is bringing good out of what was meant for our harm.  The good He is bringing in both my life and my son’s life is a renewal and a strengthening of our faith.  The reason I love the quote I mentioned is that I have been brought completely to my knees with the realization that I can’t make it without the Lord’s help.  Not only has my love for the Lord grown, He has been reminding me how much He loves my son and me.  There is no better feeling than knowing that no matter how much I love my son, He loves him even more.  I am at peace with that knowledge.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”  ~ Psalm 139:23-24

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Letting go, a work in progress

“To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.  To let go is not to cut myself off; it’s the realization that I don’t control another.  To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.  To let go is not to try to change or blame another; I can only change myself.”  -Anonymous

I found this piece about letting go in a book I am reading.  I wish I could give credit to the author, but as you can see it was written anonymously.  I guess it spoke to me because that’s what I’m working on right now-learning to let go.  Anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m definitely a work in progress as far as letting go.  I let go, I take back, I let go, I take back……you get the picture.  The idea of letting go was so foreign to me when I first heard about it in Alanon, I couldn’t even imagine how it could be done.  I’m coming to realize though, the wisdom in learning when to just let go.   I pray each day that the Lord reveal to me and help me remove the things within that keep me from finding the peace He died to give me. I’m finding that trust and letting go are right at the top of my list. 

I’m not by any means throwing my hands up and saying I give up on my son.  I already see the Lord working in his life to strengthen his faith and give him courage.  I’ll be there for him every step of the way for emotional support, but I just have to learn when to step back and let the Lord take the wheel.  So today I pray, “Take the wheel Lord, I’ll try my best to stay in the passenger seat and trust that you’re a much better driver, and see the road ahead much more clearly than I do. Amen”

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stewing and Fretting

I’m a teacher, so I have June and July off.  That could be either a blessing or a curse, depending on my frame of mind.  I am glad to be relieved of the pressure of meeting curriculum guidelines and the new Common Core Standards, but I tend to obsess about things when my mind isn’t occupied. It was the last week of our school year when I heard that my son had relapsed and been arrested again. I love teaching, but the end of the school year is one of the most stressful times of the year for most teachers, with the pressures of completing assessments and report cards, end-of-the-year paperwork and duties, and kids that really just want to be outside having fun instead of sitting in a classroom, it’s just pretty hectic.  I’m sure the only way I made it through that week with even a thread of sanity left was through the grace of God. 

The light at the end of the tunnel after the last few stressful weeks is that I get two months off to relax, sleep in a little, and refresh my mind.  Here’s the really crazy part.  Have I been relaxing and enjoying my time off so far?  Well, not so much really.  Instead I find myself obsessing over my son’s relapse and it’s consequences.  The simplest thing can trigger my obsessive thoughts, a song or a band we both liked, a Bible verse we talked about, a man wearing the exact same shirt that I bought my son for Christmas. The insanity of these thoughts that keep invading my peace is that there isn’t a single thing I can do about my son’s dilemma. I can be there for him emotionally to encourage him and pray for him, but the decision of the judicial system is out of my hands.  What’s done is done.  However, my mind doesn’t take kindly to powerlessness, so it fights back.  I’ve been praying that the Lord help me stop thinking I’m in control, leave my worries with Him, and surrender my son completely into His loving arms.  The only time I find true peace is when I can accept the situation, and trust that the Lord will bring good out of what was meant for harm. The Lord is good and is leading me inch by inch to surrender.  He keeps leading me to scriptures that speak of the futility of worry, and how He wants us to live peaceful, joyful lives.  So, I read them, and I meditate on them, and each time I do, a little bit more of His wisdom and strength seep into my thick skull.  I know He’ll be patient with me until I get where He wants me to be.

My mom calls my tendency to worry “stewing and fretting.”  So aside from praying a lot and reading scripture I’m trying to keep my mind occupied.  I’ve been organizing closets, cleaning out junk drawers, and reading a mind-challenging novel.  Something else that is helping, as I’ve mentioned before, is when I slow my thoughts down long enough to find things to be thankful for.  In the midst of this storm, I still have much to be grateful for.  My gratitude list for today:
  • ·       God’s unending grace, mercy and forgiveness for my human weakness and tendency to “stew and fret”
  • ·       My health
  • ·       My son is alive, I know where he is, and he’s in recovery (even if it’s forced, it’s still recovery)
  • ·       My supportive husband who has patiently put up with my recent mood swings.  Really, he’s practically a saint.
  • ·       My daughters, who love the Lord, and are beautiful inside and out
  • ·       My Alanon group who help me keep things in perspective and give me hugs
  • ·       My fellow POA bloggers, who understand, and whose insight and wisdom give me great comfort
  • ·       Having the time to sit on the deck in the mornings, drink my coffee, listen to the wind whisper through the trees, and the birds sing their morning “cheer up” songs to me

I found this the other day, and it’s definitely food for thought.  I have my work cut out for me as far as doing everything on this list, but progress not perfection, right?