I’m tired of waiting. Maybe I’ve been waiting so long because God is not hearing my prayers. Have I fallen that far that He
doesn’t hear me? I know I haven’t been praying like I should, but God knows why.
I’m just a middle-aged grandma, raising three grandkids. I’m busy; my hands are full. He knows this. I believed with all my heart that He was the one that brought these kids to me. By the time I sit down to pray, I end up falling asleep or my mind wanders off into all of the things I need to do.
The Road Home
“What time is it?” my son asked after he was jolted awake when we hit a bump in the road.
“It’s 3:00,” I told him. It was so dark on that stretch of highway I could only see what was being reflected in the headlights. I looked in the review mirror to see my three grandkids fast asleep. My daughter, too, though I knew she was coming down off a week-long high, probably on meth.
My son and I had been traveling for 12 hours at this point. We pulled into Roswell at 9:00 p.m. the night before to gas up and plan our quick exit. Just as we did, my phone buzzed. A text from a number I didn’t know gave me exact directions to where my daughter and grandkids were located. Nobody knew we were coming. My son and I just looked at each other and knew that God knew we were coming.
Earlier in the week, I learned that my daughter’s husband broke her arm, and the kids were sick. One of them had gotten in trouble in school, and I knew it was time. Time to pull my kids from the flames of a drug addiction hell. My son wanted to drive again, but he drove the whole seven hours that it took to get there, so I kept driving.
It’s going to be a long road, I thought. And I didn’t mean the highway home.
Earlier, my daughter fought with us and tried to jump out of the car. I told her she could stay but the kids were coming with me. The kids gladly, and without hesitation, got into my car when I pulled up to the house. They gave me quick hugs and just looked at me. I didn’t say much other than, “Love you, we’re going home.”
My daughter finally agreed to come, after arguing and threatening us to call the police. I responded by handing her my phone and told her to go ahead. I offered to leave her there, but I know in her heart she knew it was the right thing to do. If only for her babies. Oh, how I prayed that I was doing the right thing.
This Was Not the First Time My Daughter Struggled with Addiction
This wasn’t the first incident. Not too long before they moved out of state, the kids had been taken by the courts because of drug use and domestic violence. They were placed with us then. My daughter and her husband got it together enough for the
courts to reunite them, and it was down hill from there.
I kept talking to God and trying to believe that it was all behind them. It obviously wasn’t. They stayed far away from me because they knew that I knew. And that God knew too.
I Kept Asking God Why
Almost three years after bringing them back home, I took my grandkids, who were then in our permanent custody, to a fast food restaurant. While seated at the table, I looked over at my nine-year-old granddaughter as she struggled to take a bite of her hot dog.
She said, “It’s hard to tear off because another baby tooth came out.” She showed me where the most recent tooth had been. Her voice sounded so much like her mom’s at that age. I tried to smile as my throat closed up and tears quickly filled my eyes, I tipped my head down so the others wouldn’t see. I thought of how much her mom was missing out on. This little lady will be grown before we know it, and all those baby teeth will be gone.
That night I lay in my bed praying. I asked God to forgive me for not praying as I should. Had I been neglecting my relationship with Him because a certain prayer had not been answered? It has been three long years. I’ve prayed, pleaded, cried, and begged. I fought to just believe and rest in Him. Every time I worried and tried to find my daughter, I had to stop and ask God to forgive me for picking up the very thing I asked Him to fix. Then I started thanking Him every time I started to worry about it.
Nothing seemed to be working, as if there was a formula or something and I wasn’t getting it right. On October 17, I laid
in my bed, and I whined to God, “Why? Why was this happening?”
I was reminded of Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” and honestly, laying there, I talked back to God saying “I know that, so you’ve told me. I don’t see how that helps me. My heart is sick.” It is sick over this one big thing, which has led to many more little things. I rolled over and let out a sigh. Tears rolled down my nose as I willed myself to sleep that night.
I don’t remember falling asleep. The next thing I knew, my alarm was going off. It was time to get this tired body up and take the kids to school. To make sure they brushed their teeth and had their lunches. Lining them up with backpacks, uniforms, and bus money. I’ve done my time, I thought. I’ve been raising kids for almost 37 years!
My Faith Was Renewed
That morning, when I got back from my route to three different schools, I was determined to pick up my Bible and start reading it through again. I just hadn’t felt like it. I have been too easily distracted by everything else. I opened my Bible right
to Proverbs 13 and remembered the conversation I had the night before with my Lord.
I read it aloud. Proverbs 13:12, NKJV says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But when the desire comes it is a tree of life.” I got the hope deferred part. The hope I had for my daughter to come home, clean, and sober, had been deferred. She had been coming in and out for three years. Leaving in the middle of the night or going out for a walk and not returning.
My heart was sick. It was sick for these kids; they needed their mom. It was sick for me. I needed my daughter. I had a lump in my throat as I kept reading: “When.” It says “When.” Not if. When. My heart jumped.
God says when it (my daughter) comes, it is a tree of life! In that moment my faith was being renewed. God was saying to me that my daughter will come home. His Word says, “When it (she) comes it is a tree of life! And He says is. It is—not was or will be—but is a tree of life. She will be a tree of life and actively raise her children. I will be able to just be Grandma again!
I felt the Holy Spirit stir up in me and did a little more looking into this tree of life. I found that it is a symbol of a fresh start
on life. My heart began to rejoice in this refreshing of my faith. I wrote this Scripture in my journal along with these words:
“While my heart aches for my daughter right now, she will be delivered and come home. When she does it will be a time of joy and a fresh start for all of us. In the meantime, I just need to trust Him. Trust Him with her. Just like Isaac trusted his father Abraham when they were heading up the mountain. In complete and unshakable trust, Isaac laid down on the altar. I pray that my trust in God be as that, knowing she will be coming home soon.”
This Time It’s Different
Two weeks later, on November 6, my phone buzzed with a text that simply said, “Mom.” It was her. My heart raced, as it had whenever she called.
“What is it now?” I thought. I texted back her name.
She said, “I’m sick, can I come home?”
A part of me wanted to say no. But I had a feeling it was God’s time. I didn’t kick her out of my house to begin with, nor did I ever tell her she couldn’t come home. I just said she couldn’t be using when she did.
She sounded different. Knowing where she was, I said I would be there as soon as I could. I brought her home that day, and she was indeed sick. Her eyes were yellow, her skin was gray, and she was thin and dehydrated. The sight of her took my breath away as I helped her into the car.
She brought nothing with her, just the pajamas and slippers she was wearing and a small bag with very few items in it. This was so unlike her, I thought. My first thought was to rush her to the hospital, but she refused to go. Once we got home, she ate a little and then went to sleep. I kept waking her up and making her drink water and eat.
The kids were on vacation with their other grandparents at the time, so it was a little easier to nurse her. She kept saying she never wanted to go back there. Three days later, I looked at her and although she looked a little better and rested, she still looked sick. Her eyes especially. She finally agreed to go to the ER and ended up being admitted.
When she came home from the hospital, her son had set up a bed for her in the den, on a futon. She didn’t argue; she accepted it gladly. Again, this was different. Just a few days later, I sat in my room just listening to the sound of her beautiful voice singing. She didn’t know I could hear her.
Yes, she was in the backyard smoking a cigarette. Yes, I am still afraid that she’ll leave again at any moment. Yes, I absolutely love having her home with me. But dare I say it: This time feels different. She was singing “How Great Thou Art.”
Tears formed in my eyes. My lips began to tremble, and a tightness filled my throat as I looked to God, and agreed “How
Great Thou Art.” I asked God, “Can I let my guard all the way down yet? Is she really home to stay and done with the drug
abuse lifestyle? Can I rest? Or do I have to keep my shields up to protect myself and these young ones from experiencing the
pain of her leaving again? Nevertheless, My Lord, I will rejoice with every day that she is here and praising you!”
Celebrating God’s Promise Fulfilled to Me
We just celebrated her one-year anniversary of being sober, and being home. She is working almost full-time and she comes to
church with us without being asked. She takes the lead to pray over our food occasionally and with her kids before bed. In awe
of my God, I’m watching as she is becoming this “Tree of Life” that was promised.
Addiction isn’t the end of the story. Just listen to this riveting podcast episode : Addiction Does Not Define You: A Recovery Story with Caroline Beidler – 194