A while ago I was asked to write a post for a devotional blog that two of my friends run; called We are His daughters. If you haven’t already ready any of their posts; I encourage you to do so. You will be blessed by their ministry.
I really felt that I should share our son Jake’s story. I asked if I could cross post it here on the Road to Hope blog. I think many of already read it; but just in case, here it is again.:
Psalm 126:3-6 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They will weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
He was four years old when he moved into our home one summer day more than eleven years ago; five months after his two younger siblings. His first evening in our home, he peed on the floor beside his bed. As harmless as that really was it was just the beginning of many incidents that would progressively get worse.
From the beginning I found it difficult to connect with him and I desperately wanted to. I longed to break through those walls and bond with him. He knew what buttons to push and he pushed them constantly.
It seemed every time we turned around the school was calling us over one thing or another; being very vulgar and disrespecting his teachers, especially if they were female.
Over the next few years, his acting out grew progressively worse. It greatly concerned us. Oh, how we cried out to God day after day, year after year to intervene. I related to that verse in Habakkuk 1:1 “How long oh Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen!” I would ask the Lord “How bad do things have to get?”
In eighth grade things really escalated. I remember different times searching his room for drugs and alcohol. He was involved in both. We found things on his computer; devastating, shocking things. He was suspended twice from school. He was an angry, defiant and hateful young man, and so incredibly lost. In all honesty I feared one day, unless he changed, he would end up killing us all, and I don’t think I was being unrealistic. If he continued on the path he was on, he would end up in jail. Of that I was certain.
Still we cried out to God , desperate for His help, desperate for His intervention. Our hearts were breaking. This was not what we pictured when we adopted our children. I am not saying that had we known we wouldn’t have pursued adoption…but I guess we didn’t anticipate it being so hard. Many people were praying and believing. We even had people tell us that Jacob had a call of God on his life.
I will never forget the day when the school called and told us to come and pick up Jacob. He had stabbed a girl with a pair of scissors. I don’t know if you can imagine getting a call like that. My worst fears as a mom had come to pass. Heart shattering news. It was devastating. It felt like that this was the end and we had failed. Failed at being parents, failed at directing him in the ways of God. Failure. FAILURE! My heart screamed at me.
We had to make that dreaded trip to the police station with Jacob whom we had to force to go. The police officer questioned him and told him he was very concerned about how very nonchalant he was about the incident, how his lack of remorse about what he did was alarming. He told him he was headed down the wrong path and it concerned him where it would lead him. All the while he was telling him this, I saw into his eyes the coldness that hid the depths of pain he tried so hide to cover. My heart broke for him. Yes, I hated what he had done. It was very, very wrong. I felt broken inside for the incidents that led up to it. This girl, the girl that he stabbed that day, had been making fun of him for being adopted, bringing to remembrance the hurts in his heart and the things he felt about himself…that his birth mom abandoned him, didn’t want him and if she didn’t want him how could anyone else. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and snapped. He later told us that is exactly how he felt…abandoned, rejected and unlovable. He seriously that that if his own birth mom didn’t want him, why would anyone else? I guess that explains why he held everyone at arms length, and built walls around his heart.
At the police station Jacob was told he had to do some mandatory community service go for mandatory counselling. And he did go. The counsellor told us however that there was little she could do for him. Basically in her opinion he was a lost cause. She used words like sociopath and attachment disorder. Again; we felt hopeless. It would have been easy to wallow in desperation. Those were very dark times and things did seem hopeless. It seemed looking at things with human eyes that there would never be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.
But God says in Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray I will listen. If you look for me whole heartedly, you will find me.”
That summer Jacob had the opportunity to do some ministry with his guitar with a travelling Children’s ministry. ( Rubber Chicken Company) At first my husband and I didn’t think he should go. He wasn’t serving Jesus, how could he possibly expect to minister? We prayed long and hard about it. We couldn’t get away from what I felt God was saying; he needed to be allowed to go. So, we did let him go.
I can say that was the best decision! Because it was there, at a children’s camp, that my oldest boy, the child of my heart met God. He had a real life changing encounter that changed him from the inside out. He came back changed. He was not the same hardened kid with cold eyes staring back at you. He totally changed from that moment on. God transformed him…when nothing and no one else could.
For years we prayed and shed oceans of tears over him. No amount of art therapy or counselling helped. Things did seem hopeless. Dark. Desperate. No one could get through to him. But God did! He heard the cries and longing of our heart. He stepped in and gave us the miracle we had prayed for, for so long. Jake’s heart was made whole, by the only One who can make all things new.
I just want to encourage any of you that may have wayward children or grandchildren. Don’t stop praying. God sees your tears and he knows your deepest hurt and hearts cry. He sees your desperation.
Remember when I mentioned the people that said Jake had a call of God on his life…back when he was struggling so much? Well, his plans for after he graduates highschool are to go to Hillsongs and become a youth pastor!
There are a couple verses that God gave me when we going through those difficult times with our son…that I clung to and believed God for him. Ezekiel 34:16 I will search for my lost ones who have strayed away and bring them safely home again. Jeremiah 24:7 I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God, for they will return to me whole heartedly.
About Carolyn: Carolyn Ruttan is a mom to three adopted children and has been married to the love of her life for over 18 years. She and her family are serving the Lord in full time missions in Honduras; a country in Central America. In her spare time she can be found writing, baking, practicing her Spanish or experimenting with new recipes.