Lost, but Now Found
My son was addicted to drugs and alcohol for 18 years. He constantly moved from one drug house to another, sometimes having to live in his car. He isolated himself from the family and missed holidays and other important family events. My heart ached for him. I tried to prepare myself for the call that many parents receive, wondering if I would have to bury him before I was ready. I continued to pray for him, holding fast to the hope that he would one day return to me.
One day, my son called me. He needed a place to stay. The next day, two detectives came to my door looking for my son. I saw this as an opportunity for change, so I helped them know where he was. The next call I got was from the county jail. My son demanded for me to get him out because he did not deserve to be in there. I just listened, my heart breaking.
The next week and a half, every time he called, I braced myself for his anger. He told me I was never there for him. He tried everything to have me bail him out, but I knew there were drugs waiting for him outside of jail. I let him know I loved him and I wrote him every day. I sent him pictures of our family and told him that they loved and missed him.
That Sunday, we had a family fast for him. Two days later, he called and I braced myself for his hurtful words. But what I heard was much different.
He said, “I just got your letter, Mom, and you're right. You have been there for me all along. Where are my so-called friends now? The only one here is you.”
He told me to not give up on him and to keep doing what I was doing. He did not like where his life was headed and he wanted to change.
My son got out of jail a week later. He visited with Church leaders to begin the process of overcoming his addictions and eagerly read from the Book of Mormon. Only six weeks after our family fast, I started to see the beginning of his transformation. But he wasn’t on a perfect road yet.
My son ended up entering a rehabilitation center to receive additional help for his addictions. I continued to support him and dropped off letters and conference talks daily. My son passed around the material he received to other patients, soon earning the nickname, “the preacher.” He started working through the steps in the Addiction Recovery Program guide, finding it easy since he was raised in a home that taught him to pray. He set an example for others, making rounds at night to encourage everyone to pray and ask for divine help.
Meanwhile, I started to attend ARP Family Support meetings. I was shocked to learn that I had the problem of co-dependency. I never even knew there was a word like that or what it meant. But these classes taught me that all these years I had been trying to save and rescue my son, yet I was powerless over his addiction. He needed his Father in Heaven’s help.
I knew that the Lord wanted me to let go of the worries I felt for my son. He wanted me to trust in Him, letting me know that He loved my son more than I did. The Lord helped me to feel the peace to know that He was watching over my son in rehabilitation and that miracles were happening.
My son has now been sober for several months. He has since left the rehabilitation center and goes to church with his daughter. The ward members are loving and supportive of him. To continue his healing, he attends ARP meetings each week. I have seen such a change in him. He has a relationship with his Heavenly Father and has great faith. He prays regularly and has felt the blessings of the Atonement.
All these years, my son felt I was the only one he could rely on, and every chance I can, I let him know that I love him. But it is wonderful as a mother to know that he now relies on his Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ to save him. My son was lost and now he is found. I thank the Lord for this great gift and miracle.