Time Warp, Part 3

Monday marked 3 weeks that my son has been in the residential treatment center up outside of Portland, OR. Each Monday that has rolled by vividly reminds me of that Monday 3 weeks ago. Rolling out of bed at 3:45 am and taking the dog out on the front sidewalk to await the arrival of two men whom I had never met, into whose hands I would place my treasured son for safe transport to Oregon.

I had tried desperately, and in many different ways, to get him to acquiesce to a road trip with me, so that we could get him there safely and most economically. He would have none of it. “I’m not going anywhere,” he would declare. With the staunch defiance he had too often displayed in the past months that resulted in a short disappearance in the middle of Pixley, CA (“Nowheresville, USA”) on the way back from the family Thanksgiving trip to having a number of Police Officers to the house through several different runaway incidents and a suicide threat/attempt, unless he responded with some sincere  willingness to do the trip, there would be no way I would take the chance of two days and 1,000 miles with him.

After exchanging pleasantries and signing legal documents, we woke him out of a deep sleep at 4:00 am. We told him we love him very much; enough to make sure he was safe and well taken care of, and that this was the day he was going to Oregon. We assured him that we would be in touch and that he would not be abandoned or left to go through this alone, and introduced him to John & Jim. We let him know we had checked these guys out and he was safe with them, kissed his forehead and walked out of the house. (We had inconspicuously transported his brother to a friend’s house to spend the night so he wouldn’t be at home in case resistance would wake him.)

We were relieved to hear the report a few hours later that he was compliant (we hear they usually are with these guys, not being sure who they are, rather than raising a ruckus with people they know). They reported he was actually polite, thanked them and shook their hands when they left him at the facility. (Maybe we’ve done some things right after all, we chuckled to ourselves).

We expected the last 3 weeks would bring some relief to our lives and peace to our house. It’s definitely more peaceful around the house. Almost too quiet. But we’re still waiting for the relief to set in. More on that in the next post. Lots still going on.

So on Monday morning, Colleen was preparing a card to send him. She does such a good job keeping up on notes and cards to people. I usually just need to provide a signature. Today, she was stumped on the note. I took the card and began to write. As soon as I did, tears began to flow. I could hardly finish. Once I did, I had to retreat to my bedroom, where I laid on the bed and wept for a long time

Even as I type this way too late Monday night, tears come easy. I haven’t cried much the last 3 weeks. Not that I haven’t been sad. That’s been extremely so. And I’ve cried some, but not like Monday morning.

Maybe it was the “Monday morning trauma” from letting him go with strangers 3 weeks ago. Maybe it’s how busy life has been since he’s been gone. Maybe it’s just me trying to keep myself busy in order to avoid what finally took place today. Doesn’t really matter.

I miss him. I miss his goofy humor and his bear hugs. I wish we could do this successfully at home. I wish he didn’t have to walk through this fierce battle. I would do anything for him to not have to walk this road, but I can’t do anything to keep him from having to.

I hope more than anything that Jesus will make Himself so real to my son in a very lonely place. Jesus, please be with my son and make your presence known to him, even right now in the moment I am typing this, and the moment that anyone is reading this prayer, agreeing with me in their heart.

As this is “Passion Week”, the week before Easter, when Jesus walking that road of suffering toward the cross is remembered, I cannot imagine how God the Father’s heart must have ripped for His Son. I am sure the pain of my heart could never match that.

  • Melissa Boen
    Posted at 18:02h, 19 April Reply

    Oh Paul!! I cry for you and with you! I have been in your shoes as you know and I do understand the grief. But I bring you such hope! God never left my daughter’s side, even when she was doing everything she could to run from Him. God has such AMAZING restorative power! He restored my daughter from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Just as I know He will with your son. The road is hard and painful, but I just want you to know that God saved and restored my entire family through this. I have never been closer to my God and He has opened such windows of joy for me! Your family WILL have that joy in Jesus name!!! I pray for you, Colleen and your other son. God WILL be faithful and you will all be blessed!

    • Paul Kuzma
      Posted at 21:34h, 19 April Reply

      Thank you Melissa! Can’t tell you how much we appreciate the prayer support!!

  • Sandy Harris
    Posted at 21:16h, 19 April Reply

    Maybe for different reasons, but I know too well the pain you and Colleen are going through. Making the decision to place Marie in Residential Treatment was the hardest thing I had ever done. Then making the decision to place her in a locked facility was even harder. And I wouldn’t change it. God met her in such a powerful way which started with her not attacking me, herself, or others anymore and peaked when she walked into your arms the day you baptized her (the first time she willingly hugged someone other than me). I don’t know if you knew, or know now, her entire story – but the Marie you know today is not the Marie of years ago. She was a danger to herself and us and was on so many psychotropic medications with little results that I had to take the journey I did with her – most of it just me and Jesus. And many times I wasn’t walking with Him either. It is so much better with Him! He worked such a miracle in her and I’m praying the same for your family. I love you guys and I’m here for you whenever, however you need me. Prayers Always!

    • Paul Kuzma
      Posted at 21:35h, 19 April Reply

      Thank you for sharing this Sandy. I remember that you had Marie in a residential treatment center for a while, but don’t remember hearing the story as you write it hear. Thank you!

  • Craig Littlejohn
    Posted at 14:18h, 20 April Reply

    Pastor Paul…. thank you for being so open and sharing what is going on with your family. Please know that the Littlejohn’s are praying with you and for you for full restoration for your family. We love you a lot.

  • Paul Kuzma
    Posted at 16:30h, 20 April Reply

    Thank you Craig! That means a LOT to us!!

  • Pingback:Time Warp, Part 4
    Posted at 16:31h, 22 April Reply

    […] my last post, I mentioned I would write about the fact that there has been little relief really since my son has […]

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