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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is 2:30 am, and you are awakened by the vibration of your wireless device. You adjust your eyes to the darkness and realize the incoming call is from your oldest son. You accept the call in haste, because you have an uneasy feeling. As you answer the call, the voice on the other end identifies himself as Officer Rutland, and asks to speak with you. Now your panic goes into overdrive because the only thing you can think of is that your child is seriously hurt or God forbid, he is dead. You answer the officer in hysterics and ask if he is alright. The officer assures you your son is well, but wanted to notify you he will be taken to jail. By now you are fully awake and inquire the reason. The officer replies for POM. Now I don’t know about you, but I had no idea what that acronym meant. The office heard my hesitation and responded with “possession of marijuana”. My reply was I’m sorry can you repeat that statement. I felt my blood pressure rising because I could not believe what I was hearing.
The officer went on to explain he stopped my son for texting while driving. When he asked for his license and insurance he could sense a faint smell of marijuana. He proceeded to ask if there was any in his vehicle and the reply was, yes. At that moment he informed my son he would be going to jail, and he asked the officer to contact me. I was also informed he did this as a courtesy because my son was very respectful and complied to his instructions. Being that my son is 20 and legally an adult he did not have to oblige.
Words can not provide a vivid picture of my state of mind at that point. I sat there in the darkness attempting to fight back the tears. As a parent it is your responsibility to encourage your children, exhibit appropriate behavior while instilling the proper morals and values according to God’s word. At the point that your child branches into the realm of a young adult, they will undoubtedly make their share of mistakes and are then responsible and should be held accountable for their actions. This of course in no way reflects upon you because you did the best you could with the means you were provided. Even though that may be the stand that society takes, as a mother that statement is far from the truth. No matter how well you may have prepared your children for adulthood, when something like this occurs there is always the faint notion, there was something you did not do. Especially when this type of behavior was not present in the home, and the pros and cons of this type of behavior was discussed in length many times due to situations observed by other people. I went to God in prayer and was lead to the scripture below.
2 Timothy 4:17-18 – But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Still frantic, my mind was in overdrive. I had no idea what to do next. I was out of town at the time and needed desperately to connect with my son. Even though I was absolutely furious with him, and by no means condoned his actions, I did need him to know that I still loved him. I thought about shortening my trip and start the drive home at three o’clock in the morning. Then at that exact moment God gave me a spirit of peace, to let me know I needed to be still and allow him to take the reign. Being at a distance from the situation gave me time to think about my approach on how to better handle that first encounter. My first inclination was to handle this quietly without anyone knowing. This is exactly how the devil breeds his web of fear within us. Then I remembered:
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
The devil counts on the fondness we have for our children, and the notion that we do not want them to be embarrassed by a negative blemish. He then continues to weave that web of deceit, by allowing you to justify the decision you made while involving your other children in the masquerade. So unknowingly you are embedding and encouraging a different form of negative behavior. Ultimately the devil will use one incident to infest and capture the lives of all associated with that one individual. But the more I prayed God had a totally different agenda. As soon as daylight appeared, I called my mother, sister, three aunts, four uncles, and grandfather. I also called my sons father and his mother. The next calls I made were to four of my closet friends. Last but not least I sent an email to my senior pastor and also the young adult pastor at our church. The old African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” definitely applies here. As parents God has entrusted us with caring for our children despite the obstacles that can sometime limit their true potential. If we stand together as a family and hold them accountable, we can still encourage and offer positive solutions.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
The key is to also recognize and deal with the root cause of the inappropriate behavior. When I was able to actually sit down and discuss the current chain of events with my son, the first question I asked was “when and why did you start using?” The answer I received totally brought me to tears. His reply was since the death of his son. He also advised me it was his own decision and not because of peer pressure. In my eyes that was still not the most obvious choice of relief, but I had to realize my son was in severe pain. Even though I empathized with him, I definitely did not want to condemn him.
Who are you to judge someone’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Losing a loved one can be a very emotional time in a person’s life. When you are a twenty year old young man, who became a father at seventeen, then lost the love of your life at eighteen that does something to you psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. Society teaches that a man should suppress any feelings of weakness. So in his eyes to acknowledge his pain would mean is less of a man.
Single mothers do not be afraid of reaching out to those around you if you are raising young black men. The devil is counting on you to do so. Be an advocate for your child. Do the best you can with the means you have, and if it is a lack of money causing you to shy away from getting assistance, check the local community service centers in your area. Your children have the same right as anyone else to experience the best life has to offer. It starts with you, so encourage and not discourage. Don’t be afraid to get in their faces if that is what it takes.
My son’s situation is far from over, and we definitely have a long way to go. But I stand behind my son in this journey because he is so much more than this one incident. He is a budding young chef and will graduate from Texas Culinary Academy in February with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Le Cordon Blue Culinary Arts. So united we stand and divided we fall is the resolution. If your child fails that means you fail also. It is time for us to take our families back and stop allowing society to decide the faith of your children.
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