Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I Corinthians 13:7
7:04 p.m. Today's project was to take our grandsons to Loma Linda with me to participate in a family intervention with their dad. The structured, facilitated session was a function of the Veteran's Administration residential alcohol and drug addiction residential program.
The enemy, that old serpent, the devil (Revelation 12:9) was not about to let me out of the grip of embarassment and concealment about my son's addiction without causing as much last-minute difficulty and discouragement as possible!
Despite having grown up in the area, and exiting the correct off-ramp 15 minutes early, I missed the small "Veterans Administration" sign and went on up Mountain View Avenue to the dead end, following Google map directions. I then crossed the freeway to the north end with 5 minutes to go, only to meet another dead end! I called our son's fiancee and had trouble connecting, so called 411 and got directions, but the number to push for repetition got lost because I was driving all the while. One of the kids googled from his phone, but I went back to the freeway and exited again. It was the start time, 10:45 already!
I finally saw the sign for the VA (the intersection not mentioned in the Google directions) and turned into the massive complex. I had been told that the counseling facility was across from the hospital, and so I circled around. Not a guard or parking kiosk in sight to ask for directions. I sent Xavier into the building that said "counseling center" to ask where we should go, and then entered a parking structure. Circling around to the top, I found myself trapped. "Where is the exit?" I asked a bike security guy, and he said, "Just turn around." Without one bit of help backing up, I had to turn my Jeep around between two rows of parked cars! That was another 5 minutes lost, and I was in tears at that point.
When I drove back down to pick up Xavier, I sent Adrian after him, but I just had to sit at the stop sign, because it's one way only, the opposite direction that the boys were walking! I was calling them on their cells, yelling out the window until a nice lady asked if she should call them back. She got their attention while I just wept and cried out to God, "Lord, You made this appointment and told me to go! You said You would get me there! Now we've come all this way only to miss the whole thing?!" I was crying uncontrollably with frustration and yelling for the boys to run. I called Adrian on his cell and told him, "You guys run every day in PE! Run!" So we all got back on the circular road when our son's fiancee called and said, "It's in the same parking lot as Clarke's Nutrition store. And of course they'll wait for you to come in!" In a minute we were in the complex, and then in the room with other family members. Praise God!
Along with our son's fiancee and her two teenage daughters, we heard the most heart-wrenching testimonies, and then each of us except my older grandson spoke of what had been done that hurtfully impacted our lives. From listening to other moms of addicts, I realized that by offering our son a place to live a few years ago, we had delayed his decision to stay sober for good. (And he'd been hiding bottles in our home, unbelievably, while attending church with us and living as part of the family).
We all went out to lunch, enjoyed some fun moments, and then were seated in a new large meeting room, where we got to see my son. He looks great, clean and healthy, and was delightfully surprised to see the boys. We each confronted him and he saw firsthand that drinking was not "just my problem." A hug concluded each individual interaction.
Sharing was painful but honest for all of us but we got to express our love and support for him. I had assigned the boys to read the "Love Chapter," I Corinthians 13, yesterday and this morning, and I want to close with v. 7 in the NLT:
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
We remain hopeful and trusting in the Lord!