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Middle of the Storm
Photo: Martin Applegate
I’ve known Lynn since we were kids. We grew up in the same town and have stayed in touch through the years. I even went to the hospital the day her first child was born—a baby girl with a life full of possibilities ahead of her. So it came as a shock when Lynn called me with the news that her daughter was in trouble. A drug addiction had taken control of her life. She’d been in and out of jail, and now no one knew where she was. “We’re in the middle of a storm right now,” Lynn told me.

When I asked Lynn how she was coping, she said, “I go between anger and deep sadness. Some days I want to take her by the shoulders and shake her and say, ‘Do you realize how much we love you and want you well?’ My saddest times come at night. I wake up at least once a night. I’ll go to the window, look up at the moon, and wonder if she’s awake. I wish I could tell her that her Dad and I want the best for her. I’d tell her that this is not what life is supposed to be like—that Jesus said in John 10:10, ‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ ” (NKJV).

Rock Bottom

Then Lynn said, “This may sound odd, but I actually hope she’ll hit rock bottom. Then I can say, ‘Try it with God.’ I know enough about addictions to know she can’t overcome hers on her own. And I know that as soon as she cries out to God, He will wrap His arms around her—and she will feel Him. That’s what He does best.”

Are you in the middle of a storm with one of your kids? Maybe he has an addiction. Maybe she’s living on the streets. Maybe he’s in jail. Maybe she ran away and is living with a guy. Maybe he got caught stealing. Maybe she was driving drunk and got in an accident. Whatever your storm may be, Lynn wants you to do this: Hope. She finds hope by praying for her daughter throughout the day and sometimes into the night. She finds hope by memorizing encouraging Bible texts. She finds hope by listening to uplifting Christian music. And she finds hope by believing that God knows where her daughter is, and is watching over her.

We can’t make choices for our kids. They will make their own. But we can hope. “Without hope,” Lynn said, “we have nothing.” There’s a story in Luke about a father who never gave up hope waiting for his son to come home. And if it happened in the parable of the lost son, it can happen to your son or daughter: “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20, The Message). Let this story be your hope.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982 and The Message ®.

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