My 17yo is returning to our home after 8 months of residential treatment. It’s been a rehab of sorts for her. There has been an unpacking of trauma and a resetting of how she understands the world. It has been chock full of heartbreak and anger. It’s been 8 months of darkness, a tomb of struggle, loneliness and depression.
Neither of us felt confident our family could reunite under the same roof. We all committed to continue loving each other and staying connected. Except maybe for one of my twins. She’s been totally put off by having to share her life. We’ll explore that on another day.
My 17yo comes home on Good Friday. On the day we remember Christ’s death. I’m home from a trip to see her on Sunday, the day we celebrate the resurrection. From death to life. It is not lost on me that we are living a divine resurrection story in our home and in our family.
Our relationship has been beaten, nearly to death. It’s been riddled with betrayal and unspoken wounds behind harsh tones. How do you love in an unsafe environment? When we could both use a 12 step group?
My girl returns with something she’s never had before- hope. She believes for the first time good things can happen to her, that there is opportunity for her. Previously, she spent her time in unrealistic fantasy and since it always ended badly, she grew increasingly sure nothing good was for her.
She’s grounded now in the realistic, joyful place where she gets tactical work done. She has achievable long term goals for the first time in her life. She’s clear on her direction and the steps she needs to take. She is driven, not paralyzed, by the small tasks she can accomplish to get to the big goal. She’ll be the first woman in 3 generations to graduate high school, have a driver’s license and go to college. She is a pioneer.
She is not a fanciful, self-sabotaging girl that hides from the present reality in fairy tales she tells herself. She is taking her first steps as an empowered, bright and engaged woman, ready to learn, and terrified as she goes.
Fear no longer keeps her stuck. It is not eradicated, but she takes steps forward despite it. She is being made new. The old is dead, the new has come. And it continues to come.
Thank you, Jesus, for the cross. Thank you for your divine transformation. Thank you for creating in me a clean heart.