Giving up vs. Surrender

There are two things that come pretty naturally to me – trying to control and simply giving up. There is one thing that is better, but harder for me to get to, and that is surrender.

It’s been a little over six months since Mister was placed in the program that quite honestly was is his last, best and most hopeful chance to get some things worked out, change some thinking patterns, and find healing and renewal. But he hasn’t responded in the way we had hoped and prayed that he would. He is responding in very old, familiar and unhealthy and ways.

About a month ago, after FINALLY being on the cusp of some forward movement in theĀ  program, he was involved in something very serious, something that moved him backwards in a big way. As I listened to what happened, I felt a little numb. I prayed. I cried. I talked it out with a very small circle and then I prayed some more.

There was a meeting that was to take place a few days after the incident and I was hopeful that a humble and contrite Mister would show up at that meeting. I was hopeful that this was his rock bottom and that he would begin to look up. I prayed. I asked others to pray. I even fasted for the first time ever in my life. I begged God (again) to life the weight, remove the scales, bring the light. Then I waited for the call that would bring me news of the meeting.

The meeting didn’t go well. In fact, in the weeks that have followed, there have been more concerns, behaviors and attitudes.

It’s just so frustrating. And it makes me sad. A new and positive life awaits this boy who has been through so much, but it’s just so hard for this one to step into the promised land. As soon as he sees that it might be within reach, he turns and runs for Egypt, shooting darts at those who pursue him.

There have been whispers in my head that say:
He’ll never change.
It’s been seven years, really, he’s never going to change.
Just. give. up.

Seven years ago I believed that love, the right environment, prayer, support and community would be enough to buff out what this boy has been through. It wasn’t. We added counseling, mentors, more prayer, church camps, systems, structure, and sports. It still wasn’t enough. And now this, a program away from our family, but run by people who are near to our family – sometimes things happen that we cannot explain except to say, “God has provided.” Yet, six months and one week into this program, his actions and responses reflect that his heart is still hard.

My heart has been going through its own process since “the incident”. I’ve been discouraged, disheartened, mad at God for not swooping down and shoving his Holy Spirit into this child! (I know, I know, God doesn’t shove anything on anybody, so there you see reflected my desire for control!) I’ve been weary in the seven year wait for the heart and mind of our dearly loved Mister to be softened and turned. I’ve been tempted by the whisper that yearns for me to believe that he will never change.

But I’ve been reminded that seven years, though terribly long for us (especially in our instant society), is not 40 years (desert) or 400 years (Egypt). I’ve quieted the lie that says he will never change, with the truth that he absolutely can change. I’ve come to believe, with all that I am, that God will do something amazing during Mister’s time in the program. Here’s why I believe that – because it doesn’t make sense. I don’t see how, I don’t see when.

I have completely surrendered Mister to God. For seven years, with many friends, family and church community help, we have carried the mat, we have torn off the roof, and now, I have laid my portion of the mat down before the healer.

So my reply to the lies whispered in the darkness…
He will.
I know, he will.
I won’t.


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