When I consider what was our hardest day, one day particularly stands out. It’s the day we signed a warrant of arrest for our son back in June of 2011.
Yes, that was the hardest day of our parenthood. There have been many days since that seemed hard at the time, but overall that was the hardest day ever. What a dark day that was, the darkest in our marriage, in my motherhood, and in my life. My husband will agree.
But then this is not so much a story of how horrible it was or even why we felt we had to do this. It’s not even a story about our hardest day. Instead, this is a story of how God loved on us in such a special way we knew we had been personally hugged by God.
The event that caused us to make this decision happened on a Saturday night, so early Sunday morning my husband and I drove to the city police department. I sat in the car, prayed and cried while my husband went inside to sign the papers.
We felt numb and overwhelmed with grief. Since we didn’t want to see anyone or make a public scene in our grief, going to church seemed out of question. Therefore we just rode and rode in the car in complete numbness and dead silence with no sense of direction.
After driving most of the day, we ended up in another county across the bay. Driving in silence we had passed several small fishing piers, so we decided just to get out and walk on one just to look at the water. Water has a calming effect on the emotions.
We walked to the end of the pier, stood there looking at the sunset, and then hugged each other in consolation and grief. Suddenly a man took our picture. He asked permission to keep our picture because photography was his hobby. He said he was going to title the picture, “Lovers at Sunset.”
We were stunned, being lovers was the last thing on our minds. Before we could respond, his cell phone rang. Instead of a regular sounding ring, it played Christian music for the phone ring. We felt a sense of bond with this man for he was a Christian too. So we explained to him we weren’t hugging in a moment of passion, instead our hug was one of consolation and grief. We shared with him about our son and what we had done, the hardest thing any parent could do. Talk about “tough love”, this was killing us.
The man listened as we poured our hearts out, then he reached out for our hands and prayed both for us and with us for our son. We both cried, but felt reassured that God was listening. We felt assured that God would take care of our son and eventually restoration would come.
When my husband and I got back in the car, I said, “Do you know what just happened? God hugged on us, that’s what just happened.” My husband nodded his head in agreement. We left that place knowing God loved us, God loved our son, and God is in control even when we mess up.
I know of many who are going through darkness now with cancer, facing the loss of death of a loved one , or dealing with the heartache of wayward children. Our story may seem minor to others, but at the time it was the hardest day of our life.
And just to let you know, both we and our son are in the process of restoration and healing in our relationships with one another. We still have bumps in the road and moments of confusion. All of us have had tears since, but we can now express love one for another. My heart feels joy each time he tells me, “I love you too, Mom.”
God is in the healing business.
Addendum: When we visited the Garden of Gethsemane last February, the Lord spoke to my heart saying, “No longer call him your wayward son, from now on call him your youngest son.”
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-10
**This short devotional, “Holy 30” (See picture of Day 7 & Day 8.) is based on I Peter 1:16. It was published by First Baptist of Tillman’s Corner. I didn’t write any of this devotional, but I do have permission to share it with you.
If you would like some additional information about our church check out this website: http://www.fbtc.org/ . You can also listen to some sermons from our pastors. Enjoy them, I do.
Also if you click on the underlined scripture tab, you’ll be connected to Bible Gateway. This is a great source for locating Bible scriptures through the computer.