The three of us stood in the parking lot. The fog that we had seen as we traveled up the mountain was now the mist that clung to us. But the chill in the air was the last thing on our minds. As the two of them talked, my mind drifted as I looked down at their shoes. Father and son. Jeans. Brown leather shoes. Hands in pockets. Looking eye to eye and talking about what was to come. For both men were dealing with alcoholism (yep, there I said it), and in a few minutes, one of them would set foot in the rehabilitation center. One of them had already crossed that line years ago, and ironically is the one straddling the line in the photo. Ironic, because it has not been a perfect walk of freedom and staying across that line, but it is worlds from where he was before he first stepped foot in the treatment center. The other was resolved, determined, and quiet as he made a commitment to move forward and inch towards crossing the line into sobriety.
And me? Me in my jeans and my black suede clogs standing there with two men that I adore and love whose struggles have weighed on my family and been so destructive in their lives and mine? Me? Me who has always been on this side of the line and never struggled with alcoholism, but who knows completely of the fact that I stand there on the same ground as them, a sinner saved only by the grace of God? Me, who knows that except for the grace of God, there go I? Me who sees them for the men of heart they are but who longs for them to be freed from the chains that have kept them from living the lives that they could so live? Well, my mind that drifted into the fog earlier soon became very focused as we walked toward the doors which so many addicts have walked through.
I prayed, hugged, and encouraged my son to give it everything he has so that he finds his way. Give it EVERYthing. Bare what you have held for so long. Don’t look to the left or right, for this is about your freedom, no one else’s. Don’t be afraid that your words will shame us with your thoughts or the dark stuff of life.Only exposing the darkness brings it into light and casts it away. Me? I encouraged him to be laid bare and know that we stand on the same ground and we all need freedom from the sin that so devours the heart which God longs to free. Lay it bare. Lay it there and then leave it behind. Right now is a time to deal. Then will come the time to heal. And then? Then, I pray that he will see that he has his own shoes to fill and own path to walk. And I just can’t wait to see where they take him.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
P.S. Just want to add that I’m sharing this because I know that there are many who deal with this behind closed doors. And it’s lonely there. We need to collectively pray for each other and our kids. For freedom, for direction, for filling the void in their lives with the good things and not things that are self-destructive.That whole “:God-shaped void thing? Yep, they’ll fill it with something. Pray they fill it with Him. There’s a generation out there struggling with so many issues. It is not our place to lay our children’s secrets bare. My son has already owned and acknowledged and allowed his struggle to be public…he’s in a place where he so knows he needs help. And so I can share. As a mom, wife, who is trying to impact my world in some tiny way with sharing , I am choosing to get beyond the stigma of this and that and live in the freedom that Christ has called me to. I’m trying to bring things into the Light in my own life and pray that sharing might help someone else to not bear the load alone Funny how walking together can make the journey a whole lot easier. So to my sisters out there? Well, just wanted to share a little bit of where these shoes have been so that if you’re going through it, you won’t have to walk alone. Blessings, Heather