Last night one of my son's best friends tried to take his own life. Thank God he failed, but he still has a long, dark road ahead of him. I've been weeping since his mother called me, weeping and praying, and I have to let some of it out somehow, so here I am.
This boy is a darling. He's smart, funny, sensitive, talented....cute as a button (which of course is something no teenage boy wants to hear, even from his friend's mom) and I love him to bits. My kids have had good friends before, but there is something about this boy and a handful of others here that just - I don't know. All I know is, in my heart they are "my" kids, and right now my heart is crushed by the thought that this young man loved his own life so little, when others love him so much.
Right now we can't see him, which is probably best, because I would undoubtedly just sob all over the poor guy. Not helpful. So I'm praying, praying, praying - for healing, for wholeness, for him to be able to deal with whatever it is that drove him to this point. Praying for his family, that they too would be healed. Praying for wisdom and sensitivity for everyone around him.
Praying for joy.
Not just a good mood, or a moment's happiness. Joy. That bone-deep knowledge that no matter what the circumstances, you are loved; you are cared for; you will be held. Especially by God. Because to me, that's what keeps a person going. Circumstances change, finances fluctuate, your health can fail or improve, but knowing you're loved - that gets you through. People let you down, but God picks you up. Life stinks, but God is there. If I didn't believe that God loves me, and is taking care of me, I wouldn't be here either. What would be the point? But to see what He's going to do next - ah, that's an adventure!
I am not at all saying that belief in God makes everything glitter and rainbows. Quite the contrary, in fact. Speaking up for God seems, more and more, to make you a target. But I've found nothing else that makes sense to hold on to in this life, and my experience has been that holding on to God will always - eventually - result in good. Not easy, but good.
So for my heart-son, I'm praying for healing and wholeness and strength, and most of all, joy. Because as much as his family loves him, as much as we love him, God loves him even more. And if he can get a grip on that, the joy will come.