This past weekend I traveled to a wedding near Siren Wisconsin. One thing about weddings… very much like most events in my life;  I’ve learned I’m not the one in control; they have the last say in the itinerary and God knows I can’t control the weather. I’m there to capture the day as they planned and still each moment in breath-taking photographs.

I’d never traveled the roads or seen the tiny towns I journeyed through this past Saturday. I felt lost for moments of the drive. When the sun is high I have NO sense of direction. I have to put all my faith in this little gadget commonly referred to as a GPS. Trust me I have not always had faith in it and the girls would laugh and agree because it never fails when I am all alone in my car “in a location that feels like the middle of nowhere familiar to me” I panic!!  Knowing that about myself I tend to arrive hours early because I lack the faith in getting there in a timely manner; another thing Grant and I have in common. No one called/calls the girls more often about feeling lost than Grant and me. I’m sure they have many stories of our panic and lack of trust in our global positioning.

This past Saturday lead me to thinking a lot about feeling lost and afraid. I had lots of thoughts thinking that it would be nice if my life could just be punched in to this little gadget that warned me to turn right in 500 yards and in 100 feet take a quick left to avoid disappointment. This little device could show me the way through life avoiding all the construction that would send me on another detour I don’t want to go through.

Pride has always told me I can do it all by myself, that I know a better way, that if I fight hard enough I will win the battle. With Grant’s addiction I thought for a long time I could control it, that if I prayed hard enough God would listen. I think somewhere in my bible it said “Moms always fix things.” Looking back I think I really thought that I could always fix the problems life through at my family. I think I thought that I could take the wheel and control the out-of-control. I could love him into sobriety. When he died I failed at the one thing that meant everything to me… being the best mom.

I’ve had to find trust, not my own intuition to get me to my next destination. I find myself with this oh so familiar voice always saying “relocating” over and over again much like the little gadget in my car. We all struggle with it except it’s not Siri talking it’s the whispers of the Holy Spirit that I believe will guide me through this valley and it’s not a green on button.

We all have parts of our lives that seem out of control… addiction isn’t a word just to describe the abuse of drugs. It describes something in all of us… addiction is the word that describes a habit, compulsion, dependence, a need and craving. Addiction is something we all struggle with. I would guess that’s the detour in our global positioning that none of us can avoid. Over and over I hear that voice echoing the words “relocating” because on any given day I beat myself up because I’m not smart enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not good enough or the words that haunt me I wasn’t a good enough mother to save my own son’s life.

Before losing Grant I was ashamed of drug addiction. How the hell could this happen to our family? I was mad about it. I was embarrassed and I couldn’t understand how this could happen to our family. Why our boy?

So as always I looked deeper. I guess to find some global positioning to what life has dealt me… trying to find peace and understanding for why hardship and hurt happen. We all struggle with what life dishes out. And we all seem to take the detours and the short cuts knowing full well we would eventually come to a road block that would send us back down the same road we just traveled.

When I arrived at my wedding I referred to my GPS as my God box to unknown locations. God’s GPS, the bible teaches us that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit, walk in the Spirit, yield to the Spirit, be taught by the Spirit, and relocate back to the Spirit.

My GPS lead me to the destination that at times I had little faith in arriving. But much like life that day I made wrong turns because I trusted the arrow “not my God box” that lead me to think on my own. On this road leading me home I would have to slow down to wait for a cow to lead a calf off the road. Much like life the real road would lead me to brake for two deer that much like myself  I ignore the thoughts to yield. I witnessed that even a good turkey mother leads her babies across dangerous roads with no intentions of harm, and that even the bear running in front of me thought for a moment he could out run me… all the things that my God box didn’t warn me about.

Before losing Grant I didn’t listen all too well to my God Box, my Holy Spirit… in fact very much like my GPS I shut it off. I had a better way. I wanted the control because I didn’t trust anyone, not even God with my son. I had a better plan. I trusted the one in the mirror more than anyone. I worried more about the eyes of others and how they seen me and even more how they saw my son. I’m learning to listen to the voice that I too often shut off. I was and am a good mom. My friends love me for who I am not the trials I battle. My God is a compassionate God and forgives my angry days.

Addiction is many signs in life. We all have a description of one hanging around our neck. It doesn’t define who we are inside; the sign just describes our own enemy.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “GPS

  1. Nancy Ritchie

    I came across your website and enjoy reading your posts. You are an eloquent writer. This post really hit home for me. You see, my daughter is a recovering alcoholic. She has been in treatment twice, and now has been sober for over 8 months and lives at Serenity Village in Fridley, Minnesota. My husband and I are teachers. TEACHERS! We’re supposed to know all about young people and how to deal with their ups and downs. We were the perfect little nuclear family; every summer we had off because we are teachers, and we took our kids on vacations and spent lots of awesome quality time with them. So how the HELL did this happen to OUR daughter? She finished college, got an awesome job in the cities, and we were planning a wedding to a young man that, if I could have, I would have hand-picked him for a son-in-law, when every dream was shattered. She lost her job, her fiancé; got 3 DUI’s and had to spend some time in jail; lied to us about everything. I too was embarrassed, ashamed, and devastated. I hid in the house, avoiding people so I didn’t have to talk about her to people. I was filled with anger and resentment toward her. If she loved us, she wouldn’t put herself and us through this hell on earth. Through prayer, reading, and journaling, I have started to heal, but it is a long road. I know addiction is a disease; it’s peppered throughout both of our families. Thank you for your posts. I wish I could bring your Grant back for you. As angry and resentful as I feel sometime, I know we are fortunate that she is still here physically. She has her license back, has applied for glad school for an alcohol counselor, and is going to Haiti for a missions trip. But, I still have my doubts; will she truly be alright? Do I let my guard down and trust again?

  2. Kathryn

    This Bible verse has come to my mind so many times, I thought of it all the while I read your post.
    Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

  3. Sarah

    I first want to say I never knew Grant, I knew Karmin from high school but what you wrote here is absolutely true and beautiful. Reading it helped me today I don’t know why I read it but I needed it today, today I thought things are terrible, im in a new state, alone and absolutely broke but reading this made me think I am not alone. I lost some faith a few years back when I hit rock bottom which lead to some very dark days and 7 months in the hospital, something so beautifully written would have made someone like me think even back then that there is hope. Keep writing your thoughts, they are amazing and good luck with everything you do you are truly inspirational.

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