Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sow What?

I'll call her JJ. First I met part of her family, many years ago. I got to know her mother because of my role as a pastor. I also got to know her little daughter, who was just a toddler.

JJ's mother was raising JJ's daughter because JJ was... Well, she was in prison. For theft. To feed her drug habit.

For two years after I met them, JJ's mother told me about visiting her daughter in prison. She spoke with great hope that JJ had learned her lesson and would get a chance to really start over while she was still young.

When she was released, I remember JJ's resolve to never go back. She want to stay clean and sober, to raise her daughter, to live a productive life. She settled down, took a few forward steps... And stumbled.

Fast forward twenty years. JJ never quite ended up back in prison. Not the kind behind bars and armed guards, anyway.

I talked to JJ's mother the other day. "At least she's not doing drugs," her mom said. "But she's in a mess that might be even worse." This sweet woman with a broken heart went on to describe how JJ has spent the last year in an abusive relationship with a man young enough to be her son.

Like so many other victims, JJ denies the problem and protects her boyfriend. He put her in the hospital recently and JJ admitted that he would have killed her if she hadn't gotten far enough away to cry for help. She went to her parents house for a few days and JJ's mom got a court order to keep the man away. Within no time, JJ was gone and her mom knows she went back to the man.

JJ admits that the next time could be her last time.

A prophet named Hosea wrote, "For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind." (Hosea 8:7 NASB) I used to think that maybe this was a scathing judgment, a "God's gonna get you!" Now I believe it's more of a tragic observation. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes just a few "small" steps in the wrong direction to throw a person into the path of a tornado bigger than Dorothy and Toto's.

JJ's little daughter is now grown up. She has two children of her own. She, too, is reaping some of the whirlwind.

I write JJ's story with a very sad heart. Would you like to share a bit about a "JJ" you know?


J Trout said...

My Cousin was like J J. Drugs and men, none that were good for her. 3 kids, 2 raised by her mother, one that she attempted to raise, but I don't even know where he is now. I'm sad to say that she died 3 or 4 years ago from her lifestyle (age 35 or so). I didn't ask a lot of questions but I'm pretty sure it was an overdose, or her body just gave out. She was a very pretty girl, it's such a waste. Luckily the boy's who were raised by their Grandma are doing very well, and she tells me what a gift they have been to her, how they have gotten her through it all (the youngest just graduated from high school last year). She also lost her son at an early age (26). This lady (who is my 1st cousin) is probably the strongest woman I have ever known, I so look up to her, and often think of her and her grief when am feeling down. It helps put my problems in perspective. No one deserves what she has gone through, to lose both of your children at such young ages, (she also lost her husband 10 years ago), some people would curl up and shut down, but she has chosen to live through her Grandsons and has done it with such grace and strength. They mare such lucky boys to have such a awesome Grandma!

Sandra said...

There is an old saying, "When children are little, they step on your feet. When they are grown, they step on your heart."

I always thought that saying was kind of a downer. But, I would say that many parents, like JJ's mom, would say that it is true.

Sam said...

Sandra, Amen (as usual)!

Joanie, having read what you wrote yesterday, I sense your great heart for hurting people and for those who live among the pain. Thanks again for sharing!