Friday, September 2, 2016

One More Chance: On The Narcan Debate

There's something about hearing, "Area hospitals are being told to prepare for a high number of overdoses this weekend," that takes my mind to places and memories it hasn't been to in quite awhile.  With friends and family in the Cincinnati area I saw the posts about the spike in overdoses and subsequent Narcan administrations last week.  Slowly this week the daily numbers here in the Louisville area increased as the lethal batch has made its way to the area.  Then today, every hour during the news break on the local radio stations I hear the warning.
My heart aches today for the addicted, for the families of the addicted, and for the medical professionals who are going to find and save the overdosed users this weekend. I've seen a variety of posts this week about whether or not an overdose victim deserves to have Narcan. Maybe, maybe not, but who are we to judge whether someone gets one more chance at this life?

I'm here today with my four little boys because I was given one more chance.

There was a time I wasn't far from the potential of overdose. A time when my parents would have been worried when they heard news reports that there was a highly lethal batch of a drug on the streets. No, I wasn't using heroin. I actually thank God often that it was never made available to me. I will be very clear though - the drugs I was using and the life I was living were not deserving of a second chance. Yet, I was given one.
Why would anyone buy heroine this weekend when they know this stuff is out there? That's what I keep asking myself as well. Some probably think they are strong enough and may even find it an added thrill. Some probably trust their dealer too much. Some are so out of it that they don't even realize what's happening.  Still others no longer care if they wake up this time.  So, if they don't care, why should we waste our precious tax dollars on Narcan? Because they are human beings! They are someone's son, someone's daughter, a cousin, an aunt, a friend.  They are a human being made in the image of God, and they have a soul.
I am here because when I woke up strung out and handcuffed to a stretcher, with my head in need of 40+ stitches, I was given a second 500th chance.  I had done almost everything in my power to ruin every relationship with family, friends, acquaintances, and God.  Yet, in the depths of my despair I was saved. I was given grace by God and by others. My family didn't give up on me even when they should have. Because of this, I was able to go to rehab. I was able to go back to school. I was able to slowly and painstakingly rebuild many of the relationships I had ruined.
By the grace of God, I was able to string days together, then weeks, then months. Eventually it was years.  Now I sit here 14 years out, and my life is unrecognizable because of the grace I was given. Because of grace I was able to graduate college, fall in love, get married, and be blessed with four amazing little boys. The world is a better place because of them.  I get to watch them grow and learn and love.  I get to live this life because I was given love and grace, and just one more chance.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Bend in the Road

“When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables
Growing up I lived in rural areas.  Many of the roads my parents drove as I sat looking out the window had many twists and turns. Riding those roads every day I became accustomed to the bends.  I no longer wondered what was around them.  I knew.
Even now, having moved away 17 years ago, there is a comfort when I drive those roads a few times a year.  I know what to expect.  The twists are not scary. There is actually an element of comfort in those turns.
The quote above is one of my favorite literary quotations.  It reoccurs several times throughout the Anne series.  Just as in life there are many moments we seem to approach a bend in the road.  Unlike those country roads I grew up with, I don't know what comes around the bend.  Similarly though, I trust my driver.
Recently our family made some big changes.  I know from the outside it may look like many things.  It may appear we have veered off course, changed paths, or even lost our minds. Some may think we are finally thinking clearly. While the scenery has definitely changed since we came around the bend, our path and priorities haven't.  Our purpose is the same, our love for the Lord is the same, and our love for our children, and each other, is the same.
I've learned a lot in the past few weeks.  I've learned what works for a season, may not work for all, what works for one child, may not work for all, and lastly, none of our paths are identical.  Most of these I knew on a less personal level, but I have come to understand them more deeply. My freedom and confidence in Christ is not subject to conforming to any one group.  I'm still very pro-homeschooling.  Yet for us and this season, we are making a different choice.
Our family has come around a bend. It was a little unexpected and appeared a bit suddenly. While I do not know what lies ahead, I'm going to believe that the best does.