Letting Go–Our Prodigal Children

I recently felt like my heart would break.  A very dear grandson got frustrated and broke a window pane glass out above me, showering me with glass shards.  I cried for thirty minutes.  I was at the end of my rope.

“I’m through with you and your attitudes,” I sobbed.  “I don’t want to have any dealings with you anymore.”  He tried to make the excuse that it was an accident as he was trying to take the window out as I had asked, but I had seen his face when he hit the pane with the screwdriver.  He was frustrated, angry, and wasn’t taking into consideration the consequences of his actions.  He was lashing out at me, but I don’t think he realized he could have hurt me badly.

I went home and talked with my husband.  I told him I was reminded of the prodigal son in the Bible.  He was so frustrated with his life at home, he convinced his father to give him his inheritance early, and he left home.  When he got to the far land, it wasn’t what he wanted, after all.  And he realized that he would been better off back at his home, even though it would be as a servant.  (Luke Ch. 15)  My husband and I believed we had to let my grandson “go to the far land.”  And no longer support him.  Now, that is hard for me to do because:

My grandson has a form of autism, but is very high functioning.  I have looked after him his whole life, seeing that he finished school, bought a home, and a car.  Lately, he has been blaming his discontent on his family, saying he just wanted to get away from us.  I kept telling him that we were not stopping him from doing what he wanted.  But he kept telling me the same things.

So he left his home and moved in with friends.  I felt guilty about the hard things I had spoken to him, and apologized, but I was still angry.  He was so ungrateful, I thought.

He called tonight, and shared with me the things he was finding out about himself.  The discontent, nightmares, and stress he had been experiencing were flashbacks from childhood trauma and some bad experiences he had in a previous relationship.  The problem had been within himself, and he was transferring the blame on a “safe person”—me and his family.  He knew I would love him no matter what.  And his attitude had gotten so rotten it was hard to do.

I explained how I had learned when I was his age to look “under” the problem, the symptoms, and see what was really troubling me.  And then to deal with that core problem.  That principle has served me well through the years, maybe it would help him.

He knew he needed a change, but he didn’t know what the real problem was under all those feelings.  Because he was unable to tell me, I was unable to understand why he appeared so ungrateful.

I also shared something else that he might not be able to accept right now.  I told him how the “evil one” was always roaming around trying to destroy us.  Since my grandson was a child of God, he couldn’t get to him, except with temptation. One of the favorite temptations is through our mind and thoughts.  I told him about reading books with first person dialogue compared to dialogue in the third person. “My family is causing me troubles.” “His family is causing him troubles.”  If we aren’t watchful or know we should look for this temptation, we can think those first-person thoughts are ours, and grow to believe them as our own.

I have noticed my grandson didn’t know what was happening in his mind, and wouldn’t believe me when I told him.  So he had been having these thoughts about how bad life is, and believed the lies.  The thing to remember is that the evil one bases his lies on partial truth so we will not notice the difference.  And my grandson has some old hurts he needs healed from.  He has started seeing a counselor to help him with that.

I hope my grandson finds the far country doesn’t have anything better than his home, and returns to us.  May we all have better attitudes when that happens.

This has been a hard blog to write, and has been personal, but I decided it might be something others might need to hear, especially if a son needs to go to the far country in their lives.