She sits curled up as tight as she can make herself, in the corner of the sofa. She has never felt so small or so helpless. She has never felt so hopeless.
Her face is wet with the tears she has wept over the last hour. Her throat is hoarse from the pleading, the praying, the yelling she has directed at her God . . . Why won’t You do anything?!? I know You could fix this if You wanted to!!! I thought You were supposed to be a good God!
She is so angry. Angry at God. Angry at her son. But mostly, she is angry at herself. Because she knows this is her fault. She didn’t pray enough. She didn’t teach him enough about Jesus. She didn’t set a good enough example. If she had done a better job as a mother, her teenage son would not be caught up in drugs.
So, here she sits, in the corner of her sofa, wishing and praying and grieving—going over all the mistakes she made when he was little. Re-living all the times she messed up and said things she should not have said. And taking all of the blame.
And then somehow, through the tears, and the sorrow, and the guilt,
she feels a prayer form in the back of her mind, “Do whatever it takes, Lord.”
But she can’t. She can’t pray that. That prayer is too powerful. That prayer is too open-ended. This is her son.
What if “whatever it takes” leads to something terrible? What if it leads to him falling further and further into drugs, and farther and farther away from her? What if it leads to a physical dependency? What if it leads to homelessness and drug houses and overdoses? What if leads to death?
She feels the prayer become more and more persistent, “Do whatever it takes, Lord.” She knows He is asking her to speak those words out loud, but she can’t. Because, if she speaks them aloud, then they become real and tangible, and she is afraid of the outcome. She is afraid of losing her son.
“I can’t, Lord. I can’t pray that. I can’t give up control.” And there it is.
She finally realizes that what she is doing is hanging on to a false belief that she is in control. She understands that her reluctance to pray those words is because she thinks she is responsible for her son’s choices in life, and because of that, she is also responsible for holding her son together. She is afraid if she gives up that control, he will fall apart.
And with this realization, she begins to understand that he never really belonged to her in the first place. Then, along with that five-word prayer, another thought begins to form in her mind, “Give him to Me, Melinda. You can trust Me with him. I love him more than you ever could. Give him to Me.”
And she knows this is true. Deep down in the depths of her soul, she knows that she really can, trust Him. That He really does love her son more than she ever could. And finally, she realizes that she cares more about his eternal soul than she does about his physical body.
And if He could give up His Son for her, perhaps she could give up her son to Him. And that changes everything.
“Okay. Do whatever it takes, Lord. Do whatever it takes for my son’s eternal salvation. I trust You.” And as she prays those words, she feels a peace that she has never felt before wash over her soul.