Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lightning but no Thunder

The other day we were driving home and in the distance, we saw a lightning storm but heard no noise.  The song, “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp, was playing on the radio, and I felt empowered and like I had the strength to fight an army.  The words spoke to my heart, and I started calling on the power that lives in my son and me; the power of Jesus in us.  I prayed for my son J.J. like I never had before.  I prayed that the power that lives in him would trample the lies and destroy all the strongholds in his heart.  This morning as I sit here in the waiting room for my mother-in-law God spoke to my heart again.  The fact that I couldn't hear the thunder and just saw the awesomeness of the lightening storm reminded me of the verses found in
1 Peter 5:8-11 (NIV)
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

Yes, we are fighting a battle in this world, and the devil wants to destroy us, but all he can do is prowl like a roaring lion.  I remember a zoo visit many years ago, where I saw this power lion behind a thick glass enclosure and his roars muffled.  God is our protection and shield from all that tries to harm us.

When I saw the lightning storm I was in awe.  Usually, I get nervous during a storm because of the loud thunder, but there wasn’t any sound this time.  All I saw was the beauty and the power.  As we drove, I watched the night sky lite up.  The lightning bolts were constant and numerous.  What a spectacular sight.  I pictured my son and his heart as I looked at the storm brew.  I know that he is having a battle going on in his heart, and I was praying for the power of God that lives in Him to take control; and for him to let it.  Like verse ten says, “ And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”  I know that God will restore J.J. and make him strong, firm, and steadfast.  As I wait for that day, I will continue to battle in prayer for him and put my trust in God and let his power in me give me peace.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Where's God

Day 5
Morning came early.  I was hoping to sleep in because my daughter Shannon had the day off, but I laid there not wanting to face the day.  My husband sent me a song by Steven Curtis Chapman, Something Beautiful.  That blessed my heart and gave me strength to get out of bed.  I then went on Youtube and started praising God and praying for my son.  I felt peace and even had a little smile.  The song, "Ever Be", by Aaron Shust has been playing in my mind, especially the verse, “Your praise will be ever on my lips, ever be on my lips, I will sing praise, I will sing praise,” so I looked it up and was singing it in my heart.  A friend of mine Wendy, my daughter, and David were planning to go see the movie Finding Dory at 11:25am.  As Shannon and I were sitting in the front room the front door flew open and in walked J.J.  Oh how my heart leaped with Joy thinking he’s home, he’s home, he’s home, but he quickly said that he came to get his things.  Rip, there went another piece of my heart.  He hurried to his room and started scooping things into his college hamper bag, grabbed his pillow and started collecting some of his art work he was working on.  He told me he took the bus here and I wasn’t sure how he was going to take all of his things with him.  He has a replacement Fitbit come in the mail and he kept asking for it.  I had my daughter text Joe, so he knew that J.J. was getting his things.  He called and asked to talk to our son.  Joe talked to J.J., I wish I could have heard what he said to him.  I heard bits and pieces though.  He had his laundry bag packed and again asked for his Fitbit, so I gave it to him.  He was in such a hurry.  David kept trying to get his attention, he was so excited to see his Uncle J.J.  As J.J. was finishing getting his things my husband called and told me not to let him take anything and I said, “What good would that do?”  J.J for some reason took his blanket out of the bag and put it back on his bed. He ended up leaving his drawings, then he walked out the door.  I followed him out and told him that he didn’t need to go.  He kept saying he would be back but not right now.  I don’t know if he meant it or was saying that to ease my heart.  He gave me another big tight hug and then started to walk away. David who is two ran after him calling J.J.  J.J. stopped and looked down at him and David looked up staring at his uncle.  Shannon came and got David and away J.J. went.  I wanted to chase after him, but I knew I couldn’t do anything to make him stay.  With gut wrenching sobs I came inside and just fell on the coach.  You could tell Shannon was hurting and so was little David.  I know he feels the tension and  he misses his uncle.  It was time to go to the movie.  I had to get out of the house because the walls felt like they were closing in.  We went to the movie which helped, but J.J. was still on my heart.  The movie was over and we came home.  My husband came home early and I heard the door and heard a man’s voice so I came running from the kitchen thinking it was J.J. and he had come home, but it wasn’t him.  Joe asked me why I came running to the door and I just fell into his arms and we both cried.  The rest of the day I have been battling hard and kept having panic attacks, thoughts of what if’s and I should have started plaguing my mind again.  I haven’t cooked dinner at all this week, so I started beating myself up saying that I was a bad mom.  The walls kept closing in on me, so I ended up going to Wendy’s to get dinner thinking the ride would help, but all along I kept thinking that I wouldn’t be buying J.J. dinner so what was he going to eat, and then my mind started going down memory lane.  My heart grew heavier and heavier and I found myself in a complete panic.  Joe and everyone else went to bed early so I sat in the front room trying to calm myself down, but it didn’t work.  I took a hot shower, but that didn’t help either.  I found myself rocking back and forth singing, “Your praise will forever be on my lips….” Over and over. I felt so alone and felt as God had abandoned me.  I felt like I was being punished for all the bad decisions I had made.  I was becoming desperate and even thoughts about going to the hospital came to my mind. I grabbed my cell phone and posted that I was having a break down on the praying group I am in and that I needed prayer for peace for myself and J.J. to feel God’s presence.  Not even a minute went by where people responded and as I sat there and watched prayers come my way the panic eased and I felt better.  I decided to come and write down my thoughts, so I could get them out.  Someone from the group messaged me and encouraged me.  I guess my daughter Shannon was having a hard time sleeping too, because she sent me a video that made me smile a little.  My heart is still heavy and my eyes are swollen, but I know that my son and I are being held up in prayer. “God I know You can hear my every cry and I know Your there.  Please let me feel your presence and calm my heart.  I pray that You meet J.J. right where he is and that he will feel Your presence also.  I pray that You break down his pride and fill his head with Your truth and replace the lies that the world is telling him.  God show Him the way back.  God I really don’t know what to pray.  My mind feels like it is in a fog and my entire body feels heavy, God give my heart and body rest.  Be with all those who love J.J. that their hearts will be comforted too.  Be with little David and calm his heart.  God guide me and my husband on what we should do and give us the strength to do so.  Bring people in my son’s life to speak Your truth to him and take him away from those who fill his head full of lies.  God bring him back to You and quickly.  Thank you God for the prayers of many, watch over them and theirs as well.  Be with my girls who are away and prepare their hearts so when they come home to find their brother no longer here that they will be comforted.  God I pray for Your prefect will and to find peace in my heart.”

Hope and Heart Break

Day 4

When I woke up on Thursday my heart was troubled as if I should go and see my son.  I battled back and forth and with each tug one way or the other my barely beating heart ripped even more; I didn’t think there was anything left.  I posted the question on a prayer page that I am apart of and got many responses and a phone call from the lady who created the page for her son who is now recovered.  She encouraged me and I made the decision not to see him, not because I didn’t want to but because I felt that he was using me to bring him his things.  I messaged him on Facebook that I loved him but couldn’t meet him.  My husband Joe called and told me to go so I could gage where he was, so I gladly agreed.  I watch my grandson David during the day so I had to take him with me.  My son J.J. gave me an address and I thought it was to the home he was staying, but no it was to a Starbucks :( I went and met him and gave him a big hug.  It was good to see him.  We sat down and I felt the room full of strangers close in on me.  I felt that all eyes were staring at us.  I couldn’t hold my tears in.  I told him that I didn’t bring his things and that he has a home and his things would be there if he came home or came and got them himself. He was a little upset and told me it would have been easier for him if I brought them.  Sure it would be easier for him, but not me.  I told him that I couldn’t help him leave.  We talked and it was uncomfortable.  I felt myself starting to have a panic attack. People were noticing that I was crying and I know the guy with his back turned to us sitting beside us was intently listening.  I shared my heart with him and asked him if this is what he truly wanted to do and was still willing to give up everything to pursue his choice, and sadly he said yes.  He kept saying he would be home, but not yet.  He kept saying he didn’t feel comfortable there anymore.  I believe he isn’t comfortable anymore because he was caught in a lie and didn’t want to live by our rules anymore and is filled with shame. I told him again and again that his dad and I loved him, but we don’t and will never support what he is doing.  David was getting fussy so I suggested that we take a walk and get something to eat, so we did.  We walked a couple of shops down and ate at a burger place.  We sat outside this time.  We talked more and he kept saying that he didn’t want to come home because he said my husband threaten him.  I told him to stop it and he knew that wasn’t true.  I told him how heartbroken his dad is and how much he has cried and misses him. When I was telling him those things J.J. teared up.  My heart was absolutely breaking.  There was a lot of awkward silence and you can tell neither one us was comfortable.  He kept asking me what time it was and how he hoped we would have been able to sit and talk like we did just a few days before.  It is crazy how things can change in such a short amount of time.  David was getting fussy again and I didn’t know what else to say, but I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t want to say goodbye.  I knew I had to so I got up, he walked me to the sidewalk and he hugged me tight and I him.  We told each other that I love you.  He kept hugging me and wouldn’t let go, but he finally did and at that moment it felt like he took my heart with him.  Oh how it hurt to walk away.  I pushed David in his stroller to the car weeping the whole time.  I sat in my car crying and praying.  When I was able to wipe my eyes enough to start the lonely journey home I started to pull out and out of the corner of my eyes I saw J.J. sitting outside of the Starbucks watching me.  He looked so sad and I just wanted to grab him and take him home, but I couldn’t so I kept on going.  I had to pull it together because I had my precious grandson in the car who kept asking, "where J.J. go."  You can tell his little heart was hurting as well.  He and J.J. are buddies.  He has already been missing my two youngest daughters Sydney who is 14 and Sarah who is 11.  They are in Springfield Missouri visiting their oldest sister Stephanie.  I made it home and Joe my son-in-law was home and put little David to bed.  I called my husband Joe and told him how it went.  I know he was hoping that J.J. wanted to come home.  I keep thinking that I should have just told him to come home and made him, but I know I couldn’t have.  This is my baby boy, my only son, my heart and he is gone.  I will no longer get to see him every day.  In about a month we were supposed to drop him off at college and say see you later, but no that’s not how it happened, he left on his own and I have no clue where he is.  The evening and night was hard.  I kept fighting thoughts of despair and was praying with my every breath.  My eyes were so swollen from crying that I took some allergy medicine in hopes it would help.  My husband and I couldn’t sleep so there we were lying in bed talking everything through.  Joe said a prayer and we eventually fell asleep.  I didn’t sleep well, our bedroom is right next to his so every little sound I would wake up hoping it was him, but it wasn’t.  "God still holding to hope.  Please give J.J. a spiritual hug for me and remind him that he is loved."