Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let Go and Let God


Let go and let God.

It's something you're likely to hear at an Al Anon meeting. It's something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

Right after my children and my husband, I think I spend the most time worrying about and fretting over my siblings. I just love them so much. My sister and my three brothers mean the world to me. I would do anything for them. Anything. And that includes nothing.

My little brother Danny has been missing for awhile now and I have done nothing about it.

He took off shortly after Asher was born, so I guess that means he's been missing for almost three months. At first, I really did do nothing. I figured he would turn up after a few weeks like he usually does. Then I began to feel guilty that I wasn't doing more. What kind of sister does nothing? I emailed some of his Facebook friends. I called and texted his phone with no reply until it was shut off. I searched the internet for any sign of him- doing inmate searches and even searching coroner's reports for the states of Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California. I soon realized that searching coroner's reports for your brother's body is a surefire way to make you go insane. The worst kind of insane. I had to stop doing that. I had to let go.

Slowly, I began to realize that I'm powerless. There is nothing I can do to make him return, to make him contact us. I began to pray. I prayed fervently. I prayed for his safety. I prayed that he had food to eat and somewhere to sleep. I prayed that it wouldn't be too hot if he was in Arizona, too cold if he was in Utah. I prayed that the people he was in contact with would treat him with love and respect. But even then, I had to let go.

My prayers have changed. My focus is less on Danny and more on myself. I'm praying for peace. I'm praying for strength to deal with the outcome, whatever it may be. I'm praying that I can stay away from the deep dark places my thoughts wander off to. I'm trying to let go and let God.

Don't get me wrong. I haven't given up on Danny. I've just realized that it's out of my hands. I'll let God handle it from here. His hands are way better than mine anyways.

Everyday I question my decision to let go. It's silly, but I worry that Danny thinks we've given up on him. It bothers me (quite a bit for some reason) that people he's with might think that Danny doesn't have a family that is sick with worry. Literally sick. Because that's the only way I can describe my thoughts lately... sick.

Doing nothing is harder than you think. But right now for me, it's necessary. I'm reminded of something Jeff VanVonderen (my favorite of the interventionists on A&E's show, Intervention) often says, "There's nothing we won't do to help you get better, but there's nothing we're going to continue doing that will allow this to go on any longer." Doing nothing sucks, but sometimes it's the only option to help someone get better.

So Danny, if you happen to be reading this, which is highly unlikely...

So future sober Danny, if you happen to to be reading this (which also seems unlikely but maybe you got curious and wanted to know what your family was thinking during this time), please know that we never gave up even though it might look that way. Please know that I wanted to drop everything and go search for you. Please know that I did everything in my power and then I realized that my power is pathetic and puny. Doing nothing was hard, really really really hard. I love you, Danny, but I'm trying to learn to also love myself and for that reason I had to let go. Let go of the obsessive thoughts and the fear and the hurt you've caused us. It's toxic. I'm trying to fill the void with hope and faith. Hope that you'll get better and faith that God will make it happen.


Nancy said...

Wow. You expressed that so beautifully.

My heart goes out to you and your family.

I was six when my sister first started running away. It's been a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG road. But now, twenty stinkin' years later, she's doing okay. Things aren't *great* and there's still some heartbreak involved, but...I think you're smart to let it go.

Hugs to you (and your mom) I know you both need them.

Layla said...

Love you Margaret!

Although as you said, it is really hard, you are doing the right thing. My sister is very much like your brother and everyday I have a fear that one day I am going to get a call that she is not ok. It's a hard battle.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

blaine and michelle said...

I've never been through what you're going through but I think it's probably a healthy attitude you're adopting. You can't go wrong when you let the Lord take over.

Amelia said...

Prayers for you all.

Emily said...

Oh Marg, I had no idea. I feel like such a bad friend. I cried when I read this because i know how much you have agonized over your brother. You are such an amazing sister. Your siblings are very lucky to have you. I know you aren't the oldest, but you have taken on that roll and done it with such grace and love. I admire you so much. Danny will be ok. You are right when you say it's in the Lord's hands. That is where we find peace. Because as much as you love your brother, the Lord loves his more. Please know that we are praying right along with you. I'm here if you ever want to talk. Even if it's just virtually. :)
Love you!

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