Second Chances

Don’t you love how my last blog post was “I’m back” and then I disappeared for two and a half years?  Yeah, me too.  Oh, Angie, you unreliable blogger, you.

We’ll catch up on all that later.  Maybe.  Who knows.  I mean really, I just told you I’m kind of unreliable.

Today I wanna’ talk about a girl.

She’s had a rough coming up.  Things in her childhood, lets just say, were no picnic.  Don’t get me wrong; she always had people who loved and cherished her, but I guess it just wasn’t enough to make up for the ones who didn’t.   She’s understandably lost, and it’s an angry kind of lost.  Ninety-something pounds of wounded little girl hiding behind a thick veneer of puffed up early twenties street smart baddassery.  I suppose that happens a lot.  There’s no shortage of hurt in this world, and it’d be my guess that this is a pretty common variety.

The last few years have been the kind where you don’t know when you might hear from her, and at times the kind where you fear you may not hear from her ever again.  Once she showed up at her grandparent’s house with no shoes.  There was always a story, some half-fantasy fueled by maybe denial, maybe a deadly concoction of chemicals.  Probably both.  Once I saw her swagger in on a muggy 90 degree day, skin and bones and wild-eyed, wearing a long sleeved sweatshirt to cover who knows what on her skinny arms.

And the men.  There’s most always a man involved, if you care to call them that.  You can imagine the sort I bet but just in case you’re having trouble, let me paint you a picture with my words: The current one could be a regular guest star on COPS  and wears his stupid cap all stupid sideways on his stupid meth head and always looks like he’s stupid asleep.

Anway, this weekend she began sending sporadic texts indicating that she needed a list of supplies to have in order to enter a rehab facility this week.  After sussing out that this actually seems to be real and not a ploy to get money or goods to sell for money (sorry, but that’s usually the reality of it), it was decided that things would be bought and the two hour drive would be made.  And they were, and it was, and it was good.  I think.

It’s hard not to be a skeptic, y’all and I am not a good enabler.  As I sit here waiting to hear if she actually makes that 11:00 check-in today, I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t steeling myself for disappointment and readying myself to go back what has become my intentional and necessary approach of having to step back until she hits bottom again.

But here’s the thing.  I believe that what is lost can be redeemed, and that what is stolen can be recovered.  I believe in The One who is greater than addiction, greater than hurt, greater than the scars of abuse and fear and doubt.  And I believe that the 90-pound broken girl also happens to be a daughter of the King even if she is too afraid and feels too dirty and unworthy to accept that as fact.  Just because you don’t know something doesn’t make it not true, after all.

And so.

After I sat across from her in a tiny (kind of dirty) McDonalds listening to her tell me about meth and taking it and selling it and guns against her boyfriend’s head and how she’d have been dead if she hadn’t left town, I told her these things.  Or some version of it that, and maybe it wasn’t exactly eloquent, but the words spilled out nonetheless.

I told her that I thought she was selling herself short because she felt unworthy, and listen to this, y’all.  The very moment that word…unworthy…left my lips, that angular, too-thin face that any of you with a meth-addicted loved one knows more than you care to admit?  It crumbled in on itself and the hard drug-dealing girl cried helpless and broken little girl tears into a paper McDonalds napkin.

Let that sink in a moment.

This girl who puts on a hard face during the terrible scenes that most of us have only seen in movies?  The one who takes the blows and lets them scar her heart and does it all with a look of defiance and a multitude of F-yous?  The  moment you tell her she is not unworthy, but is instead a beloved daughter of the King, she breaks.  It’s too much to process, too much to accept.  Too terrifying to believe.

Let that break your heart, because if it doesn’t then I worry for you.

We unloaded her stuff…sweatpants, underwear and socks and basic toiletries that she apparently didn’t have…and left her in the care of Stupid and drove the two hours back.

And here I sit at 10:05 waiting to hear if she made 11:00 check in all I can see is that look on her face and what the word “unworthy” spoke to her very being, and I just wish that I could make her know what has been the truth all along, because that’s where things get a little less simple, I suppose.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

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