Mother’s Day is a really hard day for our clients at The Next Door. No mother wants to be away from their kids on Mother’s Day, and we constantly remind our clients that by being in treatment they’re taking steps to become the best mothers they can be moving forward.
We had a church come and give the clients stationery, pens and stamps to write their kids and/or their moms for Mother’s Day. I went downstairs to hang out while they were completing this activity and I struck up a conversation with one of the clients.
She’s a mother, probably early 50s. She went to treatment in California many years ago and was clean for a long time until she got back together with an ex-boyfriend that is in active addiction. She started using again and realized that she was headed back into the cycle of addiction and knew she had to remove herself from this situation.
So she packed a bag and got on a Greyhound and decided to move to Georgia. She had no connections there, but she didn’t want any. She didn’t want the chance of hopping back in with old friends that could persuade her to keep her addiction alive.
My new friend also packed several bottles of alcohol in her bag on the Greyhound. She couldn’t bring herself to stop and so she kept secretly drinking on the bus.
A man approached her and asked if he could sit with her on the bus. He seemed nice enough so she allowed him to sit with her. He became her friend, asking polite questions and truly getting to know her.
Once he felt like he had earned her trust, he decided to tell her that he knew what she was doing: she was drinking on the bus and couldn’t bring herself to stop. He told her he had once been in her shoes; he was now in recovery.
Neither of them were planning to get off the bus in Nashville, but her new friend told her they needed to take her to the hospital. So they got off the bus, went to the hospital and this client was then able to come into our care.
As this client told me this story, I was amazed. The kindness of a stranger to stop and notice his surroundings, realize she needed help, but built a friendship with her first really resonated with me. He wasn’t quick to point fingers or shame her. He saw a stranger and became her friend. He did what no one in her life was doing before. He laid down his plans to launch her into freedom.
Lately, I feel like I’ve been taking one step forward and two steps back. I’m not mad at God. I’ve just seen so much brokenness in the world lately that I feel frustrated. What good comes from cancer or uncontrollable tragedies happening to good people? Why is God allowing all of this?
The other day I was trying to make sense of some lingering questions in my head, and my friend at work told me, “Sometimes searching doesn’t lead to an answer, but it does lead to insight.”
Grey areas drive me crazy; I’m searching for black and white pictures of life’s problems. Maybe I need to hop on God’s Greyhound and enjoy the ride, wherever it may take me. Uncertainty either leads to open hands or clenched fists, and God can’t free me or bless me if I am not willing to trust him.
Sometimes we need a change of environment, but maybe a change of heart is needed within me. God can’t fully use me to His glory if I close myself off to the possibilities of paths ahead. So maybe this week I’ll allow God to control my steps, moving toward a path I’ve never traveled down before.
Thank You Lord for the opportunity we have to change course. It’s never too late to cross unknown mountains and seas leading to Your best for us.