I have a soulful, creative, loving, beautiful and kind 19 year old daughter. She is still alive, still in recovery, and still in treatment—her fifth one since she was 15. Any parent who has been through this knows the silent pain we face and can only image the silent pain our child faces.
Anxiety, depression, darkness, and pain are at the center of most of these young lives affected by drug addiction. The majority of them grow up in homes like ours: no abuse, no needles lying around. My daughter participated in just as many “drug awareness weeks” in elementary school as yours did. She ran for the track team. She tried out for student council. She went to church. She was baptized. She had tons of family and friends. In spite of this, she has addiction in her blood. She didn’t ask to be this way, but she is trying again to have a new life.
She’s terrified, even in the safety of her treatment center, that she’ll become a statistic. Today, I finally had the heart to clean out her car. I found a stack of funeral programs from the memorials for her friends who died this year. Heroin is killing our kids.
And they’re not bad people. I’ve met my daughter’s friends, who are in treatment with her now or who have been in the past. They are some of the most artistically creative people I have known. A friend of hers reached out to me today, to tell me that he is moving to Waco, Texas to work in a treatment center. I am so very proud of him.
When I took my daughter and her friend to the airport, her friend mentioned to me that he was a graphic artist. I told him I couldn’t wait to see what his life would become. They need people to believe in them, hope for them, and pray with them. Before their plane left, I got to pray with my daughter and her friend and share an amazing testimony. While we prayed, they both began to cry and asked God to show them a way. He did.
I am reminded of the man walking on the beach who saw hundreds of starfish washed ashore. In the story, he started throwing them back in. Someone asked him what difference it would make—after all, there are so many of them. The man said, “It matters to this one,” and set it free in the water.
Every one of them matters. And that is all for today. Love someone and be kind.