“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders” ~Deut.33:12

Today I am sick. I have a head cold, which brings on much pain and misery in my fibromyalgia afflicted body. I could easily succumb to self-pity in these circumstances. But, praise be to God that I have been given the gift of ‘attention deficient and my mind can not seem to stay focused on my misery long enough to bring me to despair!
 
Let me give you an example of what I mean. I was lying down, trying to adjust my pillows in a way so that I would not be in pain, but so I could breathe. It isn’t easy to find that perfect place…All of this reminded me of an old movie that I had seen about ‘John Merrick”, the “Elephant Man”. Seems Mr. Merrick had to sleep sitting up, for he would asphyxiate if he did not. I was feeling a kinship with the ‘elephant man’ this morning. (And if truth be told, I have in the past, been known to walk about the house shouting, “I AM NOT AN ANIMAL”….to my family as they make jest of my various autoimmune afflictions, such as massive hives that have invaded my lips, and swell so far that I resemble a duck!) Anyway, this morning as I thought of Mr. Merrick, the thought of a verse from the Bible came to my mind:“God sets the lonely in families” Ps.68:6 And I talked to God for a minute, and thanked him for keeping this promise and for placing Merrick in a “family”. I thanked Him for the life of Mr. Merrick; that the man was able to give pleasure and happiness to others, even in his afflicted state. And I thanked God  for the fact that Mr. Merrick too, even though so horribly challenged, was able to find joy, happiness and make a difference in the lives of others, while in his horrific state. I also thanked God for reminding me, in the midst of my own minor by comparison, affliction; that he loves and cares for all of us.
 
It was then that God chose to teach me a lesson.
 
It was then that God spoke clearly, and asked me, “If you believe that I could do that for “the elephant man”, why do you doubt that happiness and joy can come from your daughter’s affliction?”
 
As you have noticed, I have been quite silent where my drug addicted daughter is concerned. Some disappointments and heartaches can not be described in words, but must be endured a moment at a time.
 
My daughter disappeared on the fourth of July, this year. With no prior warning, she was gone. We searched and could not find her. Since this isn’t the first time we have been down this road, we assumed that she had relapsed, but were not quite sure, this time, because she left with only the clothes on her back. She left all her diabetic supplies and medicines at our home. Even with our past experiences with her, or perhaps because of them, horrible scenarios ran through our minds. Had she met with an accident somewhere? Was she crawling for help off the side of some wooded road? Perhaps she had waited on a nefarious character at the cafe where she worked, and she had fallen victim to his murderous ways? We visited her place of employment and contacted the friends we knew. We found that she had cashed large checks before she went missing, which made it seem more of a planned escape. So, we waited for some sort of news, which we knew would come.
 
About 3 weeks later, I got a package in the mail, with a note attached, that said it had been found on a bridge in Portland OR; it was my daughter’s wallet! Oh no! Previously, during her sober times, my daughter had described the drug culture in Portland to me. She explained that when one person died, for whatever reason, the rest of the addicts just rolled the body in the river, so no police would come looking at the rest of them. I was sure this is what had happened to my beautiful daughter….I didn’t know what to do, or where to turn for help.
 
But, that very day, she sent a text to her father; “Dad im sorry but i am ok just letting u know. Love you always”
 
She skipped out on her probation, her healthcare, rehab, her jobs and her bills. She left us with a mess of bills and a mess in her room. We had to answer her employers and spar with her bill collectors. This isn’t the first time. I actually have a template letter to send to her creditors telling them to leave us alone, that we aren’t responsible for her debts. 
 
Everyday brings a new heartache a new concern and a new problem. Soon she called for money, a place to stay and pleas from jail. But, now there is a new twist. She has a boyfriend. And she is pregnant.
 
So, the lesson God sent me this morning, telling me to put away my worries for her baby. God has a plan for this child, and can make a way when there is no way. Where I see only misery and abuse ahead for this little one, God tells me to trust Him. I do.