I did not survive my son's drug addiction. Love couldn't conquer it. Even a mother's love. It couldn't control it. I did not come out of the other side of it. That light at the end of the tunnel, in my case, truly WAS the oncoming train. I was hit head on. I never emerged.
I think of Abraham and Isaac. I struggled with that Bible story for years after I had my sons. Abraham must not have loved his son as much as I loved mine. It was inconceivable to do what he did. He took his son Isaac up a mountain, at God's command, to offer him as a sacrifice; using this act as the ultimate show of his love and devotion to God. No way. I would never be able to do that. Simply could NOT be done. I remember thinking this: I guess I don't love God like I'm supposed to.
In the midst of my son Aaron's addiction, I had to allow God to take him from me. In some sense, I had to kill him. I think of Abraham now. I don't remember if the Bible story mentions what happens to Abraham next, after he comes down from that mountain. I know that at the last minute, God provided a ram to sacrifice and Isaac was spared. Aaron seems to have been spared as well. But what about Abraham? How did he make it back down the mountain? How did the muscles in his legs not fail? How did he avoid rocks and trees, or keep his footing with eyes too filled with tears to see? How did he even remember his way home or remember the names of the people who were his friends and neighbors? No one went up on that mountain with him. All they could do was watch as he walked up there to murder his son.
What happened to Abraham? Did he really die in place of his son? Do we all die for our children? Did the death of the ram represent something inside a parent that can never come back? Is God's ultimate goal when He requires a "sacrifice" that something inside of us die? Can you love your son too much? And how do you trust God, who IS love, when he creates the situation in which that which you love most, is lost?
I really want to know what happened to Abraham. Did he really live to be 175 year old? Or did it just feel that way?
Thank you for putting into words so eloquently the truth I know in my heart but have refused to do which is the "ultimate love sacrifice" in this journey of tears. Like Abraham I must place my two addicted children on God's lap and have the courage to say "here, they belong to you, take over because I can't anymore." I have carried this heavy burden for too long. It's literally destroying me, my marriage and the joy of living. The ultimate sacrifice for me as a mom is to admit that I can't help them.. to wave the white flag of surrender and to know that on the other side is freedom... from fear, torment, worry, anxiety, guilt, pain, etc...and yes what a beautiful example we learn from Abraham in God's Word. A lesson of faith, courage, love and total surrender.
Iron John, written by Robert Bly, talks about a young man's quest to steal the key from under his mother's pillow. He needs to stake his territory and live his life according to his own way of seeing. I find this concept easier to manage, than the sacrificial picture of Abraham, although that story comes alive for me the way you describe it. It is good to know other people are feeling such deep loss as we do, my husband and I. Elizabeth
No one is alone in this. Sometimes though it felt like I was the only one living on the planet who was dealing with my son's addiction to heroin. I understand that feeling of being profoundly and permanently heartbroken. No one is alone in it and I'm sorry for those in the midst of the struggle. Hang on.