Susan’s email was so full of joy that I found myself grinning from ear to ear while sitting alone at my computer yesterday. Her son Eric had just graduated from MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego. Like the proud mom that she is, she shared pictures. Her bubbling excitement was contagious, as she told all about her oldest child and his great accomplishment, “Not only did he complete 13 weeks of Marine boot camp, he excelled. Graduating as an Expert Shooter (scored 225 out of 250) and qualified Level 2 at Water Survival.” Her words glowed off of the page.
Last year at this time Susan wasn’t overwhelmed with proud elation, she was heartbroken over a son who had chosen the wide path towards a future of heartache. Eric’s life was not supposed to be this way! He had always been a good son, a great student and a leader in his youth group. His aunts and cousins were shocked and hurt as Eric continued to fall deeper and deeper into a lifestyle of addiction, while bringing his heartbroken mother and siblings along for the ride. All of the dreams she had had for her son seemed to be slipping away. For three years he became someone that she didn’t even recognize, the complete opposite of the son she once knew. Whenever I would see Susan and ask her how things were going, her tears were always close to the surface, yet she never let on that she was in a living hell, she would just ask for my prayers.
As I continued to read her email yesterday, her words of joy pierced my mom-heart, “My first glimpse of him through the crowd I almost didn’t recognize him. Since the last time I saw Eric he has lost 45 pounds and I swear he is a couple inches taller, but I think that has to do with how straight he stands now. There isn’t just a physical change, but I can see a confidence in him that I’ve never witnessed before. He uses words like honor, commitment, integrity, brotherhood, future…encouraging words for a mother who wasn’t sure where he would end up.”
Once again God’s words flashed, “Behold, He makes all things new.” God is saying, “Just watch and see what I can do.” He is the God of new beginnings, the God who breathes life into dead things, and He is the only one that can turn a life of heartache into a rich and indescribable blessing.