In 1994, my faith was tested when my teenage son, Jimmy left home. He began a downward spiral, taking him from scholar athlete to homeless man living under bridges and hopping boxcars, in four short years. The dark clouds of disappointment moved in over my life and I did not understand what was happening.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
When the winds of adversity hit, I was convinced that if I only knew how long the storm was going to last, I could muster enough strength to survive. As the days, weeks, and months passed, discouragement, sorrow, anxiety, and defeat chipped away at my noble resolve. I soon learned knowing how long troubles last is useless information. I needed to know how to outlast my troubles. God used every facet of the experience of a missing son to teach me how to handle disappointment and loss in new ways. He taught me how to walk by faith, wait patiently during long delays, and persevere with genuine hope. Most importantly, He used the experience of a missing son to draw me into a deeply personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.
I persevered and endured fifteen years of my own worst nightmare, wondering if my missing and homeless son was alive. In 2012, a miraculous reunion brought me face to face with my long-lost son but also with another unexpected, heart-wrenching test of faith. My Jimmy returned to the woods where he still lives by himself as a homeless man.
I was born with the gift of gab, but my love of words began at age seven the first time I opened a dictionary to find a definition. Years later, this love of words became a lifelong passion the first time I opened a Bible and God’s written Word came alive for me.
Today I consider it an honor to use my gift of gab and passion for perseverance to serve God by helping others learn how to handle disappointment God’s way and teach people how to keep going when they want to quit.
One of the greatest gifts God gave me through this experience is a tender heart for His lost, missing, and homeless kids. Although I usually avoid cooking whenever possible, I consider it an honor to serve lunch at the Homeless Barbecue on the streets of Detroit with my husband and Brightmoor Christian Church family.