Blog · faith · Inspiration

The Wilderness- I didn’t choose this journey

I continue to wander in the wilderness. I didn’t choose this journey, it chose me. I know that there is an end, but most of the time I am unable to see any further than what is before my eyes. Many days, I am sure that I have seen this land before, but not exactly sure how I arrive back to the same spot over and over or how to move forward. My life seems to revolve in a circle. On and on it goes. FullSizeRender 4

This journey in the wilderness began two years ago- April 2014 is when I was hit with the news that my child had been using drugs. Not a once or twice experimental type of thing, but daily. How could I have missed this? We were the parents that were involved in absolutely EVERYTHING!!!! But, needless to say, we were naïve. So the journey began….. It has included every hurt and pain imaginable. It has included every fear that could possibly enter your mind. It has ripped my heart open a thousand times. It has included hopes and disappointments. It has included good days and grace days.

These years have reminded me of Moses and the children of Israeal. God promised Moses deliverance. However, a journey that should have taken only a few weeks took 40 years. God mad a promise, and it eventually was fulfilled. But because of the Israelites hard hearts, rebelliousness, lack of discipline and self- control; they spent 40 years wandering in a circle. God’s plan for them never changed, but because of their hearts and disobedience, His plan was delayed.

There are days that I am the Israelites:

  1. I feel trapped. My “Pharaoh”, fear, is chasing me. My fear is larger than life because it’s friend addiction has a grip on my child. My fear tells me that it will win. But my God tells me that He will win! He tells me to “Be Still and watch Him rescue my son. To stay calm.” (Exodus 14: 13-14 Don’t’ be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Lord will fight for you. Just stay calm.)
  2. I grumble and complain. I see positive results, but it’s not good enough. I want more. I want results immediately. Exodus 16- The Israelites complained wanting food and God gave them manna everyday; but that wasn’t good enough. They wanted the meat that they had in Egypt.

There are days when my son is the Israelites:

  1. He allows a substance to take the place of God. When we allow anything to dominate our life- we are making it a god. God warned the Israelites to put Him first. It was His first commandment. You must not make any other god before me! In Exodus 32 they saw that it was taking Moses a long time to come from the mountain and Aaron took all of the gold and made a calf. The next morning they began to celebrate and feast and they indulged in pagan revelry. They fell into this pit of sin so fast. Only one day after the gold calf was created and they had turned to something other than God for assurance.
  2. He looses perspective. He was raised with love and adoration. He was given disciple along with unconditional love. He was taught that God is God and that God is full of mercy and grace. But he looses his perspective of who he is in Christ. He only sees the mistakes and is unwilling to forgive himself; therefore, we continue our walk in the wilderness. In Numbers 14- The Israelites lost their perspective when they focused on their fear of giants in the land and the fortified walls. They let their emotions rule and forgot about God’s true character.

All of the time that the Israelites spent complaining and rebelling, God never left them. In fact, he guided them every step of the way. (Ex 40: 36-38 whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people would set out on their journey, following it). God never let them down- he led them out of slavery, he protected them, he fed them and he fulfilled his promise. Because of this, I know that I can trust him to fulfill his promise in my son. That he will protect us. That he will lead us out of the wilderness.

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No one expects to walk in the wilderness. No one wakes up and says, “I think I’ll become an addict” or “I think I will turn from God”. It starts small and before you know it, you are in the wilderness walking in a circle. But in the dark days of this journey, I remember the promise. A promise of deliverance and a day when we will walk out of the wilderness and we will see a land flowing will milk and honey.

Until that day, I have to ask myself what they could the Israelites have done differently? What if they had spent as much time praising as they did complaining and as much time praying as they did worrying? What if they had spent as much time moving forward as they did moving backward?

I am in the wilderness, but maybe instead of asking God, “what do you want me to do next”, maybe I should ask him, “what do you want me to do while I’m here in this spot”. I may not want this journey but God can use me while I’m on it!

Hannah GraceFullSizeRender 2.jpg

 

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23 thoughts on “The Wilderness- I didn’t choose this journey

  1. Such a great post and great perspective (although difficult to keep during trials!). Thanks for your transparency and openness with the struggles with your son. I have had many struggles in my own life the past year and this post was an encouragement to me to ask the right question and remember this season has a purpose.

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  2. Hannah, I am thankful for you and for this post. I am a mother of a daughter who has walked away from God and truth. She also has a 5 year old son, so there is an added weight of collateral damage. She has been self destructive since she was sexually assaulted at church when she was 11. So I hear you dear one. I understand the whole Israelite, wandering in the desert thing! While my girl is taking baby steps to growing up, alcohol is huge in her life, socially and when she is alone. And I understand that fear….will this turn out okay? Will she come back to the Lord? What does my grandson’s future look like? And so many times, I wrestle those thoughts like a cowboy wrestling a steer, to bring them captive. And I have to keep telling myself, He is bigger! So thank you for sharing honestly. Thank you for being real! We are in this together, no matter how it turns out. – Amy –
    http://www.stylingrannymama.com

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    1. Amy, thank you for the encouragement. I will send prayers for you, your daughter and your grandson. Just two days after I wrote this I received the news that my son’s girlfriend is pregnant. I am terrified. He has just started to turn around. I am scared. I know that God is STILL God and that His plans never change. I am struggling to wrap my mind around this. So I too am feeling the collateral damage. The hurt at seeing that child that you love so dearly choose destruction is hard. I imagine that it is how God feels each time we all choose the wrong way. We are in this together. Please feel free to reach out at any time- Amy

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  3. I love your question at the end. It reminds me of they saying, “prosper where you are planted.” Sometimes we need to accept the place we are in and ask God what He has for us while we are there. He’ll move us when He is ready.

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  4. Thank you for your candor – this helps all of us that have or are raising children… it is so difficult and so much is out of our control! Be blessed! I love how you said “what do you want me to do while I’m here in this spot”. I need to remind myself of this way too often, too!

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    1. Thank Clare. It’s taken me awhile to be able to express these thoughts. It’s why I started this blog as well as the facebook page. Hopefully, God will use it to encourage someone that can not see there way out.

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  5. Hi! I’ve shared a bunch of your articles so you may have found me already but I have a faith-based ministry for women with loved ones who struggle with addiction. I totally understand where you’re coming from and I appreciate your voice on this! We don’t choose the journey but it is our cross to bear. What can we do? We just continue to love them. I believe in recovery, my husband has been clean for almost a year now. Is everything okay? No. Is he ever going to be like other people’s husbands? I don’t know. But God gave me to him to love him so that’s what I’m going to do. By the grace and mercy of God, we survive it. I read this book recently called, “When the Light at the End of the Tunnel is Another Train” and its a Mother’s story about her daughter’s addiction. It’s a good book! Anyways, God bless you and your precious heart of a Mother XO I’m sending a prayer your way!

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    1. Thank you so much Leah. I did find your facebook, but not the blog. I have been on a much needed vacation!!!
      Thank you for your kind words. This has by far been the hardest time of my life and only people that loves someone with an addiction can understand the hurt and the ups and downs. I am going to buy that book. I’m learning during this time. I have made colossal mistakes…. Especially in the beginning. I was the ultimate enabler. I am sure that I will make more, but I am much more open to listening to the ones that have already paved this road. Please pray for my son and I will keep you and your husband in my prayers as well.

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