“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
~ Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NKJ)
Sometimes you find the man of your dreams the second time around. And sometimes he has kids. And you love them like they were your own, but you aren’t the one raising them. Sometimes they make bad choices, and start down a road that scares you, but being the non-custodial parent, you have to be careful how you deal with it all, because, after all, they have a mom, and she’s really trying to do the right thing by them, and although you would love the chance to take over and be the parent, you can’t.
Sometimes your role is to be a good influence… to encourage them to make good choices… to do what’s tough, just because it’s right. Sometimes you can see that Mom is really struggling, and the kid’s choices aren’t getting any better, and all you can do is pray.
Sometimes it takes a lot of struggle and heartache before someone decides that something drastic has to be done.
That’s where we’ve been the past several weeks.
Larry’s son needs help learning to make good choices. He needs to change direction, change friends, give up the bad choices, the experimenting with marijuana, the wanna-be gang activity, the decisions that get him suspended from school. It’s obvious that this situation is way beyond Mom’s control, and maybe to far gone for Dad to take over.
We spent several days last week and this week meeting with the counselors, house parents and a case-worker at a nearby boy’s ranch. They have an opening, and Larry’s son might be a good fit. It’s a voluntary program, and he has to agree to placement. It’s an awesome program. But it’s all up to him.
We started out with, “I’m not going to do it. Absolutely not!” We progressed to, “maybe I’ll give it a try this summer, but not now.” And, after a prayerful weekend, and some really good advice from family members and a couple of the good friends he still has, the decision was, “Yes, I will do it.” So, the application and preliminary screening is finished, and we should know tomorrow whether or not he will be accepted for placement.
It’s a sigh of relief, and a heart/gut-wrenching cry of sorrow. This is going to be the toughest thing we’ve ever had to face with this kid. Although we know it is his best chance for success, it will still be so hard to pack him up, and move him in, and walk away.
But at least we’re headed in the right direction. At least he has a chance to turn things around. At least we got help before it was too late.
God is good.
God is faithful.
God is able.
Thank you, God.
P.S.To all those whose continued prayers have helped us keep it together and reminded us to focus on trusting God, the words “Thank you” seem so inadequate. But, “Thank you, a thousand times.”