Stepping into the parched writing world of my home office, I blow on the layer of dust covering my desk. Particles dance into my nose.
The foundation on which I stand is cracked and my soul is somewhat withered. Even so, my feet are steady and my home – mine again.
Readers who’ve followed my blog may recall my post titled Today’s a New Day … Are Yesterday’s Bridges Still Burning?
I spoke of our 23-year-old daughter, who I called Treasure. After a period of unrest in her life, Ed and I took her into our home to assist in aligning her life. I wish I could say that we were helping to realign her life, but that would mean her life had once been aligned. That hadn’t been the case since she was barely a teen so it doesn’t apply.
Unexpectedly, my life went into a tailspin when Treasure joined our household. I’ll spare the details other than to confess that despite sharing an undeniable measure of love for each other, Treasure, Ed, and I simply could not live together in a mutually compatible way.
When Treasure moved in with us, we provided strict expectations with little wiggle room. The expectations were simple (“kid stuff”) but Treasure kicked at them. I’m not proud to say that the “little wiggle room” we threatened expanded until it was more like “swing dancing room.” (This was because of my lack of follow through. Ed’s work requirements kept him out of town for the majority of Treasure’s residency.)
Let the Games Begin!
A few weeks after Treasure moved in, I jumped into a mental, emotional and spiritual spin cycle.
I can’t blame Treasure for my turmoil. While her arrival was a definite trigger, it was me who allowed her presence to impact me in areas in which I thought I had greater control.
Being Christian, I believe that when we let our spiritual guard down, satan (small “s” because he doesn’t deserve that much credit) has a way of creeping in on us, influencing our thoughts and emotions.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Looking back, I definitely gave “little s” too much power. Not good.
That, along with my love for Treasure, created the perfect storm. I started to rationalize what my own eyes saw, even began to blame myself for the hurt I was feeling over Treasure’s behavior.
“I’m making this bigger than it is.”
“Maybe I misunderstood what just happened.”
How Quickly Chaos Thunders
Treasure moved in with us the second week in June. By the last week in July, I’d lost my focus on writing, couldn’t sleep, no longer attended my regular writer’s groups, and stopped meeting with clients. Basically, I put my life on hold pending Treasure’s “alignment”.
Nobody asked me to do this. I just allowed myself to naturally slide into a murky, mono-focused world, not realizing it was happening until the cuffs were set. Once I felt the shackles tightening, I’d attempt to kick them loose but each time I tried, something new happened surrounding Treasure and I’d end up pulling the chains even tighter in my effort to control the situation.
The cycle was brutal and my husband working out of town only added to the confusion.
I wondered if I was imagining the chaos. Was it only this big in my own mind? Was Treasure really walking the straight and narrow path? Was it me who was misaligned?
Finally, Ed came home. It only took a few days for him to get a taste of what I was experiencing. Treasure was an excellent manipulator and I’d been getting bamboozled. I question if she even realized what she was doing. Had it become such a part of her that she didn’t recognize her own actions?
As a team, Ed and I concluded that with unconditional love for Treasure, it was time for her to move on, to go live the lifestyle that she wanted for herself so we could return to the lifestyle we required for our own sanity.
Our Treasures – Their Value Never Fades!
Our children. They are our Treasures, even when they choose to embrace a life of drinking, addiction, sex and chaos. My Treasure has skipped merrily within this lifestyle for nearly a decade.
When she came into my home, she said she was ready to put it behind her, to replace it with a relationship with Jesus Christ. I think she believed that to be true. To a degree, maybe it was true. She read her bible sometimes and attended bible studies with me. But the energy she put into the “other side” of her life was unmatched.
I don’t know where she is now because she has limited her communication with us. I assume it’s because she’s bitter about us asking her to move out. That’s okay. I look at her pictures and think of the many talks we had while Treasure was here. I have to believe they were not wasted.
My belief in her is unwavering.
She is going to succeed.
Not because I pushed her to do it but because God and she will unite with each other … in their perfect time.
The day will come when she will be a walking testimony, one who will guide and strengthen other young women. Of this, I am sure.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
I still don’t trust her. Maybe, someday that will come. In the meantime, I’m letting the rain pour down on me again. No more writer’s drought for this girl.
Jesus, rain on me! Refresh my soul and return Your word to me!
“Then he prayed again and heaven gave rain and the earth bore its fruit.”
Today, the smell of rain is in the air. A single raindrop falls, ending the drought that has withered my writing.
Today, I’m taking my life back.