October 11, 2011. It was the hardest decision my husband and I had ever made. Years of confusion, arguments, tears, prayers, and at times complete exasperation paved the way to this horrific day. We had done every thing we could think of as well as most of what had been recommended by experts along the way.
This was the day a close friend and I took our then sixteen-year-old daughter five hours away from our home to Columbus Girls School. This was a highly acclaimed therapeutic school for young women operated by Teen Challenge. It would be her first day in a fifteen month program that we prayed desperately would save her life. Here they would teach her Biblical Truths, how to make sound decisions, how to accept responsibility for her actions and learn self discipline. This would become her new home.
This was no easy decision. Desperate times call for drastic action. Years of troubled behavior made it obvious to us we had lost control. Sexual identity, drugs, alcohol, self harm and other destructive traits were wreaking daily havoc in our home. Our son was thirteen, and had witnessed the painful affects. It became obvious that in saving our daughter, we would also be saving our son and likely our marriage.
This October, it will be three years since Reagan left home. She now calls Columbus Girls School her home, and it has become holy ground to our family. It was there that she accepted Christ, graduated high school, forged lifelong friendships and got much needed counseling. Suddenly she began to get a Godly vision for her life. After the fog of drugs and rebellion lifted, she started to see value in herself and what she could become. Upon graduation of the program and high school, she applied for and became an intern at her choosing for an additional nine months. She then continued by entering into an additional phase of ministry with Teen Challenge where she is about to complete her first year as a college student at Emerging Leaders College. She is working towards a degree in Biblical studies and theology.
The change is nothing short of miraculous. Not one of us is the same as we were then. Our home has been restored, our relationships are healing, change is ongoing, and while we still struggle, we have seen God at work in the midst of each one of our hearts. At the center of our pain, Christ has shown Himself to be faithful, kind, merciful, and intimately present.
It’s true that every day is full of decisions. It’s always time to pick something. Then there are desperate days, when pain presses in to the point that you must surrender something or someone to God. As you question yourself, doubt your faith, and cry out in heartache, God moves in and takes over. He does what you could never do.
Our family is a work in progress. While we are growing and continue to heal, we have witnessed the power of God’s hand in our life. We thank Him everyday. He saved our daughter and redirected our family. Many times over, Reagan has said to us. “Thank you mom and dad, you saved my life, I should be dead or in jail.” Music to our ears. God led us where we needed to be and did the work that needed to be done.
Pain? Sometimes gut wrenching decisions can bring positive results. Today’s pick of the day.