My oldest regular child went astray. They call him a prodigal.
Except it has been three years since he ran away. It took me that long to realize he was on drugs. Like any Mom, I was in denial about what he was up to when he went to his girlfriends house. She was supposed to be from a nice homeschooling family. We homeschool, so I thought it might be a good match.
But then he turned dark. He became obsessed. He was angry all the time, yelling at his special needs brother for the least offense. Weeks before he ran away, he stopped completing his math tutoring assignments. I hadn’t noticed yet, as we had just gotten back into the routine from Christmas. Then he was gone.
The son whom I had protected with my own life from my abusive ex-husband was no longer here. The son whom I depended on to help me with chores in the yard was no where to be found. My baby boy and the child whom I poured out the Holy Spirit on was just an absent presence in our home.
I have never been so heartbroken.
I still am.
My regular child walked away from God.
Perhaps it was the abuse we went through: the assault by my ex-husband, the homelessness and the constant barrage of verbal abuse from my ex-husband. I can’t blame him. We all had enough.
Then, add the needs of his special needs brother, and well, you have a toxic mix of the devil. He wanted to beat us down and he beat down my son most of all. And, my son caved in on the pressure. He bought the lie that lawlessness is the way to peace.
I find myself trying to trust God’s plan for his life.
I remember when I carried my son in my womb, I chose his name. In my youth, I felt like the Lord wanted me to call him this. I gave him a Godly name and one that means “Jehovah supports.” Long before we knew his brother would be special needs and that our journey would be what it was, I named him. The women at church gave me a “bless the baby” themed baby shower.
He carries the mark of God and the Holy Spirit on his life. He is my prodigal.
Yes, he has missed some of his baby brother’s formidable years, and we have all missed his formidable late teen years. As a mother, I grieve his absence and pray against the devil’s hold on his life. I trust that the Lord will deliver him back to us, just like He promised me He would.
What can we teach our regular child?
I honestly think I am still learning this one. I tried most of the things I knew to help him cope with having a special needs brother. But, life gave us darkness and pain, so he carried seeds of sorrow he could not cope with as a child.
Personally, I am left with the reality that God will make beauty from the ashes of abuse, addiction and adulteries of my ex-husband. He will make a way for my son and our family. He will provide all that we need and bring each one of us to completion in Christ.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations. You shall be the repairer of the breach; the restorer of streets to live in. Isaiah 58:12