>Yesterday, the girl our son has been staying with called to tell us what has been happening and asked what she should do. We know this girl and her family pretty well; she and my son used to be an item. The break-up was bad but since then they’ve become good friends. She’s also currently a prodigal of sorts, different issues than our son but I’m certain equally distressing for her family, but she at least has the sense to get out of the rain.
I asked her, “What do you think you should do?” She said that she is terrified for him but that she doesn’t think she’s helping him by letting him stay there. I told her that if she thought that then she ought to ask him to leave and the sooner the better and that she shouldn’t feel the least bit guilty about it because this was his choice. (As a side note, I called the girl’s mother last night and we had a good talk, so her parents are aware of the situation and our involvement.)
My husband and I spent the rest of the day doubled over in wracking grief crying out to God to make this end and bring our son back home with a changed heart!!! Praying for this kid has become a full time job. We are acutely aware that our decisions right now are critical and that our son’s life is in imminent danger but that if we make this at all easy for him then we may very well face a life on this roller coaster and that we simply cannot do.
Then late last night, our son called us sick and frightened, but we feel unrepentant, and asked us if he could come home. I cannot adequately express in words how it feels to tell your son as calmly as possible, “Well, honey, we love you desperately, we would do anything in the world for you and we wish we could fix this mess, but we will not rescue you unless you are truly ready to be rescued. You get to play this card just once. Are you sure you are ready to play this card? Because there won’t be a next time.” We had a long talk and laid down our conditions for a return home and he told us he’d think about it and call us back and we haven’t heard from him since.
There was a bus home that left at 1am and he could have been safely on it, but he chose the streets instead. I can see from his phone record that after we hung up last night he called someone he’s met in the city. He just doesn’t understand yet how dire his situation is, and I fear to the depths of my being just what is it going to take to wake this kid up?
Clearly, it is going to have to get worse. How bad is it going to have to get, I just don’t know? So I went into his phone controls and set his phone so that he can only call home now. We are doing what we can to put a vice grip on him and bring the concrete up to his face as quickly as we possibly can on our end.
Our prayer is that he finds no comfort. We pray that he is frightened, alone and scared. We pray that he will get sicker and that he will find no safe place to lay his head. We pray that he would see these people he’s associating with as they truly are and that he would remember who he truly is. We desperately pray that his life will be spared, but that he will forever have a psychic limp from this experience such that he will never want to do this again. We pray, Oh G*d, that our son would come to his senses! And most of all, we pray for a quick end to this agony and that our son will SOON be safely home and moving towards the bright future that we know God has planned for him.
BTW, I did find out that Greyhound has a program for runaways (up to age 20) through the National Runaway Switchboard called “Home Free”. Through this program the runaway can call 1-800-Runaway and with the help of counselors and a free ticket home on a Greyhound Bus be reunited with their famlies. Here’s the website: http://www.1800runaway.org/youth_teens/home_free.html