Disease comes in all shapes and sizes, long or protracted, mental or physical; one impacting the other until they often meld into one disease state.
My cousin has watched her son sink deep into the ravages of alcohol and drug abuse. It is a battle waged not just by the one addicted but fought by those around them. It has consumed her with pain, worry, and fear. Each battle that she thinks she has helped to win has brought hope – until another battle begins and is replaced by despair. This has gone on for 17 years.
Seventeen years of living with a son addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Seventeen years of watching a talented, sweet young boy grow up to become a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Army school to rehab Centers too numerous to count, counselors and psychologists that offer various cures to no avail; she’s watched as her son deteriorates both physically and mentally.
Her son is killing himself and its killing my cousin.
My cousin is in another battle of her own. She is fighting stage 4 breast cancer which has metastasized to her lungs. Endless battles, many she has won. But she is tired of fighting, tired of the energy needed, tired of the pain.
I don’t know how she has done it. For the last month her son has been living in our neck of the woods trying to get out of the New Jersey cold winters, be near extended family but not so close as to upset his mom. He looked great; he talked with clarity of mind and spirit. He said he has been clean for two years and it seemed to show; the hope factor was high. He got a job, was looking for a permanent place to live but as life is life and issues began to mount, stressed became too heavy for this soul and he began to make those same bad choices. Again. He began to wage yet another battle. Again. You could see the battle begin and the disease win. We tried to stay in contact but as the disease took control, the illusive, distancing behavior advances. Once again he loses all his possessions (what little he had) and is reduced to an apologetic, confused, trapped shell of what he was. He decided to leave the proximity of his extended family and return to NJ hoping that where he had remained sober for two years would help him become whole again. We talked, we suggested, we prayed, but he was determined to leave. With heavy hearts we hugged, kissed, and prayed that with just enough money to get to NJ he could start anew. Again.
We love the sinner, but hate the sin. Oh how we hate the sin.
My cousin has given up on her son. She can no longer fight his battles as it is taking all of her energy, faith and strength to fight hers. I am weary and worried after one month with her son; I cannot imagine 17 years.
But God is good – always and forever. I read Numbers 11:10-23. God promises to provide food for the Israelites even as they see no possibility of such. Moses asks God why He has brought such “trouble to His servant”. Like Moses, my cousin wonders why she has this burden. And God answers Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” Then God placed His spirit on Moses and the people of Israel and God’s promise comes to fruition.
I pray that God places His spirit on my cousin and her son. I will turn my worries over to Him. God cares for us and will remain faithful. So I will have faith. I will not waiver, I will not stop praying. I will not lose faith for I have seen the impossible become possible because of God’s long arm. I rest assured that He can reach even the most distant soul; so it is in His arms that I place my loved ones in today and always.
What circumstances do you wonder whether God’s arm is long enough?
What bible verses help you when times feel hopeless?
What do you do to cope when these times overwhelm you?
The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”