Relief from burdens
This past week I took my son to a residential treatment center and left him for what will probably be a least a year away from home. It was a difficult decision to make on so many levels. For eleven years we have worked diligently to get him the professional help that he has needed and to encourage him in all the ways we have known and been taught to become a responsible and happy child and teen. I have learned first hand the power of prayer to help me be patient, to feel love, and to be forgiving. I have had moments of real inspiration on this journey, as well as countless periods of sorrow and despair. Above all, I have learned first hand the truth about personal agency. Despite our best efforts as parents and professionals, the agency of our children is always the deciding factor in whether our children choose to learn the lessons we seek to teach.
In the end, the safety of my family became the deciding factor, along with the realization that I could no longer supervise Andrew adequately nor keep him from involvement with the law. Maybe it is because I have walked this road with Andrew for such a long time, but now that he has been safely delivered, I’m having no regrets or second thoughts. I’m struggling with having hope that he will change, but I’m also feeling relief that I don’t have to watch him every moment he is awake. I’m praying that the people who will be working with him will be able to show Andrew, in a way I never seemed to be able to, that the benefits of joining society are worth the changes and the consequences of refusing are really not what he wants. But whether he accepts it or not, for now, I’m feeling the blessed freedom from the weight of all those worries about who he would hurt next.