The hardest parts of being the prodigals' mom change from day to day. But today, these are the hardest things to me.
1. Each morning when I wake up, I check my cell phone to see if there are any missed calls or texts from Courtney. I check to see if maybe she emailed me. Usually the only thing I see is a automatic tweet she scheduled months ago. Then I pray that God will put his arms around her and keep her safe all day.
2. When we sit down for dinner, I wonder what Courtney had to eat that day. When I'm at the grocery store, my eyes still notice and hesitate over her favorite foods. But I don't buy them because we have plenty of ramen noodles and cottage cheese now that no one eats them.
3. Sometimes if our family doesn't hear from Courtney for a few days, I look on line at the county jail website to see if she has been incarcerated.
4. The last time Courtney was gone from home, I would ask the police to do a Wellness check if we didn't hear from her in a week. They would go to where she stayed and make sure she was OK. This time we don't know where she is staying. Maybe she hasn't told any of us on purpose. Or maybe she was trying to live a "normal life" before. I'm not sure that is still the case.
5. It is hard to sit in church on Sunday morning and look down our pew to see Courtney's empty seat.
6. I pray each day more than once, that Christian, believing, good and kind people will be in contact with Courtney. I pray that her heart will be soft, and she will turn around her life and get on her feet.
7. I remember when Courtney spoke out in a Sunday afternoon church service a few months before she left again. With tears in her eyes, she said she and her friend were struggling with alcohol and "other things", and were trying to get their lives right but were struggling to find their way. No one there contacted either of them after that service. No one. No one sent a card or note, and phoned to offer word of encouragement. And now she is gone again. It's not their fault, I know. But I wonder if maybe someone had shown some concern,...
8. I think about how Courtney told me she lost her faith when she was 18. I don't know why I can't find a way to help her.
9. Courtney struggles with depression quite a bit, and cries a lot. My heart hurts for her, but somehow I couldn't find a way to make a difference for her.
10. The hardest thing of all is thinking back to when we had three beautiful little girls who were best friends and loved God. I wish somehow I could go back to that time and try something different so we wouldn't be on this prodigal path. I wish we'd never learned about this way of life.