Kelsey called me yesterday. I was glad to hear from her. As she and Kris get more and more secure in their adult lives, the phone calls get more and more spread out, I've noticed. Not that that's a bad thing. Just different. Elesha makes up for it, though.
She was excited, talking about a new assignment for one of her classes. It's for Interpretive Reading and the assignment (as I understand it) involves her compiling a variety of information into an essay-type format and then reading/acting it out for her class.
Kelsey chose to write about Addiction for this one.
I never kept any major secrets from Kelsey and Kris as they grew up - not that I sat them down and brought them up to speed with all the fun-filled antics of my past. But, I always felt it was important to be honest with them about mistakes I've made, which would hopefully impress on them the incredible damage we humans can inflict upon ourselves and others as we go through life. You know, "make good choices!"
By that I mean I filled them in on my teen-aged and early adult years. They know about my excessive drug use and "partying". They know about their father's heroin and cocaine addiction. They know some of what that mess looked like in my relationship with him, and in their early lives, too. And they know how God kept yanking me back from the precipice. I was determined to die - slowly and by any means - He evidently had other plans and ultimately revealed Himself to me.
He saved me.
So, here is my Kelsey away at a Christian University. Interwoven with her academic classes for her Communications/Drama major are classes in Bible and Chapel.
And I get these calls. And we talk.
She's researching the Addiction presentation, and reading Tweaked by Nic Shef. It's his memoir on his descent into Meth addiction. As he put it, "growing up on methamphetamines". Along the way, he tried every other drug he could get his hands on, and talks about how de-humanizing that life is.
"Is that what it was like, Mom?"But do I? Do I really remember where I am now? Maybe this many years out (it's been almost as long as Kesley's been alive), I get absent-minded about where I was and where I was most definitely headed. Much of who I am today, many of the reasons I care so deeply about my family, my children, is fiercely entangled in who I was when I finally turned to God.
"I know, honey. It was beyond hellish."
"But, look where you are now."
"Oh, I know that, too. Trust me."
I thought so. I was determined to get rid of my pain one way or another. I was racing toward that cliff edge.
He got in the way.
Twenty years out, the intensity of that has faded. I forget from whence I've come. I forget how messed up, how far gone I was.
Meanwhile, I have this daughter discovering God. I'm watching her draw near to Him, listening to her talk about Him - telling me about things I used to know so clearly. Her deepening relationship with God reminds me how much I'm missing, invites me back to the warmth of His fire, offers me a blanket and a place to rest.
Now, will I take that blanket? Am I finally ready to rest?
There's the rub. I don't know if I am. I can see the fire and am drawn to it's heat - I am freezing out here. But something keeps me back. Some stubborn part of me resists the comfort I know I'll find. I'm sitting on a log by myself. Just sitting. In the cold.
What am I waiting for? No clue. Therapist Lisa would tell me to stop wondering what I'm waiting for and just get my butt over to the fire...hummmm I'll have to think about that.