Thursday, April 20, 2006

The value of the wait

I am sitting in the middle of JOY folks, absolute joy. After spending a few days with my son in Orlando, I have begun to feel a strange, vaguely familiar feeling. After spending the afternoon in reflection; I now remember the once known feeling--it is joy! He is doing well; he is settled, he is smiling. After years of sadness and disappointments, we are laughing together and feeling hope for his future. As I left him at his apartment last night and returned to my hotel room, I thanked God for this gift and fell into a deep, satisfying slumber. My child is happy; with each positive step into his future, my prodigal is....on his way home.

I have not always slept with such assurance. It was just a few years ago that I wrote the journal entry below. This was during a time that his life was spiraling out-of-control...at turbo speed. Many advised "tough love," and my husband and I tried, yet at every turn we could not find peace. Our son was living away from home, unemployed, and developing dangerous behaviors. His present and his future looked simply bleak. My husband and I have often said that we believe "tough love" is called "tough" because of how difficult it is, not for the child, but for the parents! Still, we were determined to stand in the gap for our son. This is tiring, exhaustive, and emotionally draining. However, God looks for those who will persevere; Ezekiel 22:30 says, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none." And never is there a tougher time to stand strong than during a middle-of-the-night phone cry for help.

It was another middle-of-the-night phone call—it can only be trouble God. I didn’t handle it very well; matter-of-fact—I blew it again Lord. I am weak, I fail. My heart longs for him to be safe at home, sweetly slumbering while I tip-toe into his bedroom to check his covers, listen to him breathe, lightly touch his forehead and kiss his cheek good-night. Instead, his bedroom is empty, the night is dark and the sound of his voice on the phone is fading through my tears.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings like eagles
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
(NKJV) Isaiah 40:31

Israel, no doubt, cried many tears during its captivity. Through it however, they learned to “wait” on the Lord—to expect His promise of strength. God would deliver Israel and restore the nation; and His people would learn to trust God for their strength and restoration. All of God’s children must “wait” in faith, draw strength from His strength and rest in His promise of final redemption. In return, “we will run and not be weary, walk and not faint, and soar on wings like eagles.

Response Prayer: Thank you God for your never diminishing power and strength. Thank you that at the bottom of my failed attempts, I find your strength. It is in my weakness that I find you and it is in your promises of hope, strength and soaring victory that my strength is renewed. In the midst of this lonely night God, give my son a generous portion of your strength and protection....and a kiss for sweet dreams.

Is my son done with his wandering, are we completely through the desert, have we arrived at the Promised Land? I wonder how many times Israel asked that question? What I am certain of is that God is faithful and will continue to hold my son in His hands. This not only renews my strength....it fortifies my joy! For it is within the wait that I have learned that I can trust Him, He will deliver final and full restoration! How could my heart not soar with complete joy?

31 comments:

Mary-LUE said...

I love hearing about the latest experiences with your son. My son is almost 14 and I wonder how he will weather the next few years. Regardless, it is heartwarming and poignant to get to know you through this blog. God bless you!

Morning Glory said...

Remember, too, how many times the Israelites doubted God and did stupid things. God always brought them back to Him and helped them find a way. He's so infinitely patient. And He is still in control! I love it that you are finding peace.

If you haven't read my post on Surprised by Joy, posted on February 28, give it a go. I know that tiny little bubble of joy that begins to surface after the darkness begins to lift. God Bless You, Diane!

FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Yes, there's nothing so fulfilling and happy for a mother than seeing her child successful and happy in life.

FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Yes, there's nothing so fulfilling and happy for a mother than seeing her child successful and happy in life.

Melene said...

What a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing!

Emily said...

Absolutely beautiful. I'm in the middle of a work project right now and had to skip over every other word so the full effect didn't "sink in", causing me to break into tears. God is with our every step, He never misses a beat. Your joy was gift wrapped by Him, just for you. Awesome.

aggiejenn said...

Praise the Lord that your joy has returned! It reminds me of the line from _Hope Floats_..."my cup runneth over." So happy for you and your son that there is peace.

Kristen said...

Wow. I feel like I could be writing something that my mom wrote. If she had a blog, I would refer you to it, but she doesn't.

She has a son, my brother, who can be considered a prodigal and is on his way back home. I have watched her go through it for many years and I can see the joy begin to re-appear in her eyes.

Thank you!

Kristen said...

That was supposed to say "I feel like I can be reading something that my mom wrote. It's Friday.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Kristen--Thanks for sharing your experience with your brother. I am so glad that he is on his way back home as well. I'd love to e-mail your mom sometime--I know you said she doesn't have a blog--does she e-mail?

I'm sure she appreciates your support and your responsible and loving lifestyle! Our daughter, who is 21 months older than our son--is happily married, graduating from college in May and will be an RN in a neo-natal unit. The fact that she is healthy, happy, and soaring.....brings peace to a mom's heart! Unfortunately--the fear we have had for our son's life is not balanced out by the peace of her life! Not that easy!

Thanks again for posting!

Diane

shannon from rocks in my dryer said...

That is beautiful, and I'm so thrilled for you. And what a gorgeous sculpture you posted!

March St. Ives said...

Your "widdle" baby boy is back. You know, in the story of the prodigal son, they never said if the story had a story book ending... but then again, God never promised us a rose garden without a few blood-thirsty thorns.

For my son to you: NEVER give up on your child. They may not like your words or appreciate your disapproval, but children never want to feel abandoned.

Bertha Laird said...

Thanks, Diane, for directing me to your blog. I read the first story about your prodigal and enjoyed it.

Your writing is delightful, yet it's more wonderful what God does and will do!

Thanks again for sharing.

EmilyRoseJewel said...

Great to hear that things are moving in the right direction. Keep remembering God's promises and retain the joy that you are experiencing. Great post and very uplifting!

Perri said...

so glad things are going well. I love the picture of the sculpture. Is this something you own? It is great.

MommyWithAttitude said...

I just found your blog and I've cried at least three times during the ten minutes or so I've been reading it. Really beautiful. God bless you and your son.

Viamarie said...

Praise God for all the positive things that are now happening. May God continue to bless you with hope, love and peace.

Happy weekend!

Gardenia said...

Glad you commented on my blog - of course, I "buzzed" over to yours and received a wonderful comfort from the Lord through it. Thank you. Yes, you are right, the tough love is what we go through - I'm not sure I buy the conventional definition - because if we don't show our own children absolute love, who will? The world won't. And if it weren't for Jesus' love acccepting us "just as I am" where would we all be. Great joy to you today.

HeyJules said...

What wonderful news!

HolyMama! said...

i am so inspired by this, i can't even tell you.

thank you.

Gardenia said...

Thought you might like this:
I'm praying it for another prodigal:
Binding and Loosing Prayer from Liberty Savard's books


I bind _________s body, soul and spirit to the will and purposes of God for his/ her life.
I bind ___________'s mind, will and emotions to the will of God.

I bind his/her mind to the mind of Christ that the very thoughts, intents and purposes of His heart would be within __________'s thoughts.
I bind __________'s feet to the paths of righteousness that his/her steps would be ordered by the Lord, steady and sure.
I bind him/her to the work of the cross with all its mercy, grace, love,
forgiveness and dying to self.
I loose every old, wrong, ungodly pattern of thinking, attitude, idea,
desire, belief, motivation, habit and behavior from him/her.
I tear down, crush and destroy every stronghold associated with theses
things. I loose any stronghold in his/her life that has been justifying and
protecting hard feelings against anyone. I loose the strongholds of
un-forgiveness, fear and distrust from him/her.
I loose the power and effect of deception and lies from him/her.
I loose confusion and blindness of the god of this world from _________'s mind that has kept him/her from seeing the truth and the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and living his/her life accordingly.
I call forth every precious word of scripture that has ever entered into
__________'s mind and heart that it would rise up in power within him/her.
In the name of Jesus, I loose the power and effects of any harsh or hard
words, word curses spoken to or about or by ____________. I loose all effects and bondage from him that may have been caused by mistakes made. I crush, smash and destroy generational bondage of any kind from mistakes made at any point between generations. I destroy them right now. They will not bind and curse any more members of this family.
I bind the strong man, Satan that his house may be spoiled by taking back
every spiritual, physical. Emotional, relational or financial possession he
has taken from _____________. I loose the enemy's influence over every part of _____________'s body, soul and spirit.
I loose every evil device he may try to bring into his/her sphere of influence
today. I bind and loose these things in Jesus name.

Magnolia said...

Yep, Diane, I got tagged LOL. Good to hear about your son. I'm still praying for him and for you and your family.
I'm glad your addicted to blogging!

truth said...

Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

David said...

praise God!

Lisa said...

Hi Diane,
I'm so glad that you are finding joy in the journey-so hard to do when life bombards us with disappointment and heartache. Children are wonderful, but it is a rollarcoaster ride for sure, full of ups and downs.

My favorite book, "Love you Forever." Ever heard of it?? Just couldn't help but bring it up...a mother taking care of her son and then by the end of the story, it shows her son taking care of her...I'm fighting back the tears. My son (age 14) still remembers and admits he likes the book. I cry whenever I talk about it. How I digress...forgive me.

I pray you will have more times with your son that are peaceful and yes, fun...

Take care and keep in touch!

T said...

God's got him on a rope, pulling him in slowly... keep praying.

Hattigrace said...

Okay, I gotta go back to war for our girs. TT has one who is estranged from us and my dear one loves us but is far from the Lord. I have wandered back and forth myself. Thank God He is so faithful. Just call me Gomer.

Elizabeth said...

The prayer from Diane is so wonderful...am going to share it with others who also have prodigals. Thanks for posting this too! And for this lovely blog!

heartsjoy said...

Ohhh, how wonderful! I am so glad you are getting that peace and joy again! Thank you for keeping us alongside you on this journey!

C. H. Green said...

Love you Forever is one of my favorites too Lisa. More and more I am growing to love my sisters in Christ here. Diane, thanks for the support. Keep writing.

Janet Rubin said...

Diane,
I'd be delighted if you'd use my poem. Who knows what God will use to touch someone. I honestly felt led to write that post. It isn't the kind of thing I usually put on there and I wouldn't have a month ago, because my only "readers" were my close friends. When more people started visiting my blog, I thought, "who knows? This messege might mean something to someone." Thank you so much.