The Shoe or Hope


“Waiting for the other Shoe to fall” is an old saying. Its meaning: to wait for the inevitable next step or the final conclusion. That’s where I sit right now, waiting for the other shoe to fall.

My son, has been in recovery now for 30 days and doing well in a Halfway House.

But I wait…

For the phone to ring and hear him tell me;

he’s been kicked out,

or

he failed his drug test

or

he just can’t stand it anymore.

I’ve heard all three of these in the past. Each attempt at recovery as of late has ended in failure of one sort or another. And with each of those my hope seems to fade further in the past, out of reach. I’ve become afraid of hope and afraid to hope. It almost seems safer to settle in to the acceptance of his being an addict, for its there that I’ve learned how to detach from the emotion of my love for him. It’s there that I’ve stopped the enabling, and it’s there that I gained a peace in my home that has lulled me to a place of contentment.

Gaining these things has been huge, and yet here I hang between the shoe and hope. In order to grasp a hold of Hope I need to accept that the shoe may fall. And if/when it does I don’t have to live in the despair of his failure. That’s where I’m stuck right now, thinking that hope is futile and that his failure is inevitable. I’m afraid to grasp a hold of Hope, the last time I did I fell so hard when he did. My despair was dark and deep and it took all I had to take hold of the Hand of the Almighty and let Him pull me from that pit.

Yet I want to rejoice in his recovery, 30 days is such an accomplishment from where he has been. So how can I let go of the worry of the shoe falling and remain hopeful?

Oh God help me hold onto the Hope I can have in you. Hope in another person is what is futile, but the Hope that I find in You will and can be what will never fail. Placing my hope in the One who holds the future, who holds my son’s future, who even knows when the shoe will fall, that is the Hope that will not let me go.

So let the Shoe fall where it may…

Romans 15:13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Loving with Closed Hands.


How does a mother stop loving her son or daughter?

Is it even possible?

Do we have to stop loving them just because they have become an addict?

My heart tells me no. We can’t and we won’t.

There are times that the line between love and hate is so thin you would think you’ve come to the place of no longer loving them. But we might as well resign ourselves to the fact that we will always love them.

Loving our addicts must take on a new dimension. We cannot get caught up in the Emotion of the Love. A dear friend of mine often says “Emotions do not have brains”. Changing how we love, that desire that comes out of our hearts to fix our wounded children, needs to change. We CANNOT fix them. No matter how deeply we love them. No matter how much love we pour out on them. It will be wasted.

We will become exhausted, overwrought and empty. We will be spinning our wheels and digging a hole for ourselves. Addiction prevents them from responding to the love we are trying to pour out. We can’t expect them to act and respond like our healthy children do. So we need to love them differently, we need to love them with closed hands.

Hands that hold onto our money and no longer give it to an addict that uses it to continue their habit

Hands that hold tight to hope all the while staying in the reality of the moment. Opening those hands too soon can actually rob our addict of the Hope that is before them.

Hands that stay active in our home, loving the children that are healthy, loving our spouses who are hurting through this. Fill those hands with loving the ones who have the ability to respond.

Hands that pray… praying for our addict, praying that they will come to the very end of themselves, that they hit the bottom and have nowhere else to look but up. That they will hear God calling them out of the darkness and they will cry out to Him for strength and help.

Hands that reach out to others in the same place you are. Keeping our hands full helping to comfort another parent is good medicine for our hearts that long to fix our addicts. We can’t fix them, but we just might be able to give hope to another hurting parent.

Loving with Closed hands is foreign to us. Our making our emotional love unavailable to them for a time will be the best gift we can give them and it can very well be what brings our addicts to the place where they will be forced into recovery.

Be willing to Love with Closed Hands.

From Mourning to Morning


There is a time for everything and a season for everything under heaven…
A time to weep and a time to laugh
A time to mourn and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3)

Life’s journeys can bring us both weeping and mourning as well as Laughing and dancing. And sometimes the same circumstance can bring one to a place of dancing and the other to a place of mourning. The action comes out of the where the heart is in the journey.

This road I have been down with my son has brought me both. I was reminded of my time of deep mourning just this past Monday. I went to my first parent support group and found there those who were hurting deeply, they were in their time of mourning. My heart broke particularly for this one woman whose healthy son could not understand her need to mourn. We parents must mourn. The loss we feel during this difficult season calls us to do so.

They are our sons, our daughters, the very children we carried in our swollen bellies, we birthed, we rocked, we bandaged their boo-boo’s. These are the children we have prayed over, dreamed for, and loved. All those dreams of who and what they would become, the aspirations we have had for the lives they would one day live. Gone. Or at the very least put off to a distant time. A time we can’t quite see or sure exists.
Addiction has stolen our dreams for our children, its stolen their dreams for their own lives.

My son is gifted and talented in so many areas. When clean I have watched him excel in two different trades, I have heard his bosses sing his praises.

Addiction has robbed him of that.

So I have mourned that loss.

Addiction has stolen his dignity and relationships with his peers.

So I have mourned that loss.

Addiction has stolen days, weeks, and now years of his life.

So I have mourned that loss.

As a mother who has watched her son become an addict, I have mourned the loss of who he was, the little blonde haired blue eyed boy whose smile brought joy to my heart. The small child whose heart cried over seeing a homeless man in the park, his compassion for others is swallowed up in his need to get drugs. So much potential for life and goodness seemingly gone…

And so it’s our season to mourn.

But the pendulum will swing in the other direction, and as they get clean and stay clean we will laugh once again and we will dance, and we can be there to hold up those who mourn.

Will He?


The long and bumpy road that has been my son’s addiction could today start to straighten out. Each time he’s gotten to this place, he’s looked for a different door with the name EASY on it. Rehab after Rehab he’s gone the Sober Living route, not that sober living can’t work, it’s just not meant to work for one coming right out of a Rehab. It’s meant for those coming out of a long term program, long meaning MANY months of sober living. His experiences in Sober Houses have always ended badly, the last one only lasting 5 days.

Just two weeks ago he walked out of High Point after being there nearly three weeks, and just days away from an interview with a Halfway House. It didn’t take him long to realize he had made a grave mistake.

We stood firm in our boundaries, and would not cave.

For three days he made call after call to get back into a program and after securing a bed the System failed him and he lost the bed. The Hospitals are cracking down on keeping them overnight while they wait for a bed and he made call after call to me that they were going to discharge him and he had nowhere to go. He was scared.

All the times he had gone to the hospital in the past, waiting two or three days in the ER for a bed to be found, being fed, kept warm, TV at his finger tips… not this time. Just before being discharged a bed was finally found. This time at a Rehab he was not familiar with. But at that moment in time he was just glad to have a place. There was no transport available to take him, so after carefully weighing “Is this Helping or is this Enabling” I went to the Hospital, picked him up and drove the unfamiliar route to SSTAR.

Just two days ago he called with the litany of excuses;

I hate this place, this isn’t like High Point. There’s a nurse here that’s disrespecting me

Well all you have to do is your part and that’s to be engaged in your recovery

I had the overwhelming feeling that he would run from here too. But I stayed persistent in staying the course. If he had, he would also had run out of options. And I think he finally knew it.

Today the running could end. Today he is to do an interview with Hamilton Recovery House, a long term Halfway House far enough away from the homestead to hopefully make a change.

Waiting to hear…

Will he?