Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: RESOLUTION (01/07/16)
- TITLE: Fixing the Weakest Link
By M. C. Syben
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Normally, I won’t make a New Year’s resolution. Why? Because in the past, it usually concerned weight issues and I always failed. Discipline doesn’t reside in my taste buds. However, 2016 shoulders a serious situation that requires a deepening of faith to stop me from shaking and shivering like a wet puppy after a cold bath. My resolve is to defeat worry and strengthen my belief. How?
First, I identify the source of my anxiety. My clean-cut, preppy-looking son pops pills to the point that I’m fearful about having to bury him young. He is twenty-one—legally there’s not much I can do. So, I pray and pray. My supplications used to produce positive results for my own wellbeing until I saw my son trip up the stairs, slur his words, maintain unemployment for a year, lie, lie, and lie some more. It is one thing to hear about this behavior from a distance but to see it up close and personal is another matter. My heart is breaking.
The beautiful island I live on doesn’t comfort. People travel here to party. Then they go home to a regular life. My son continues the merrymaking 24/7, fifty-two weeks a year. My influence pales compared to the tourists and my son’s like-minded friends.
My faith weakens, my nerves rattle, I’m distraught. He spent six months in rehab already. Throwing my son out on the street, as Al-anon suggests, may be the right thing to do but not easy for a mom to implement. I’m selling the house, anyway, so, his declared “job opportunities” best turn into a reality soon. Again, I pray. Still, my faith weakens.
To buoy my goal, I look for examples of sustaining faithfulness. One instance I find is the author Debbie Macomber. In 2011, Debbie lost her son, Dale. Mind you, his death had nothing to do with drug problems. Dale was a college graduate, married with two children and a great career. Yet, his difficulties with depression escalated and he took his own life. He and his family paid the ultimate price but his mother continues to write prolifically. That is faith in action!
I met Mrs. Macomber, a Christian woman, at a book festival a few years ago. Gracious, sweet, delightful, kind are adjectives deserving of her. Through her web site, I recently asked how she was able to continue writing after such a devastating loss. I’m hoping she will answer because stress clogs my creative motivation—thoughts snake back to an imaginary funeral in the near future.
Faith ruled in my life years ago. It provided strength when my step-son, Soren, age thirty-three, drowned in 1997—my best friend, my husband’s first born. Everyone was amazed at how I handled my grief. I knew Soren was in a better place. He left behind a wonderful wife with two babies—my grandkids. I understand tragic accidents happen. Life is dangerous.
How do I apply faith to drug abuse? The choice of taking a prescriptive drug like Xanax for fun or to run away from feelings makes no sense. One plays Russian roulette with the only God-given body we get. This time my baby’s life hangs in the wind. I’m not seeing results from prayer…yet. The clock ticks; how much time do I have to pray?
Without a strong conviction, I force solutions. Police are patrolling the streets as I alerted them to drug deals going down that I’ve witnessed in broad daylight. I’m vigilant of those things unnoticed by families unaffected by drugs. But, why is my faith shaky when in the past it sustained me through losses and hurts? Why is my brain knotted?
How do I return to truly believing God will step in, throw my son off his high horse, and blind him to old ways before he sends him on the correct path instilled with a new conviction of enlightenment?
I know God reigns. God is good. All I need is a how-to manual to help me resolve the weak link in my nerves and rebuild my faith so petitions for my son sustain the two of us until he decides to beat this addiction and chooses a lighted path.
My open ears hope for solid advice. “Please, Lord, give me strength and tenacity, once again, to believe your will shall be done. Amen.”
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