Did We Love Too Much or Not Enough?

Did We Love Too Much or Not Enough?
Exhaustion, deep utter exhaustion, hit me like bricks tumbling off a truck. I am ready for bed.
My teeth brushed, my face washed, I ignore the book on the nightstand and click off the light.
“Good night, honey.”depressed-girl
“Good night, my love.”
Within seconds sleep took my body.
The dream settled upon me like darkness at the day’s end. Without warning I was transported to a place I knew not, a time unknown to me. A situation that seemed strangely familiar yet elusive to my mind. A phone rings, I answer and hear the words, “Daddy, I’m in trouble!”
“What’s happening honey,” I whisper to my daughter, “where are you?”
“I don’t know, I’m so strung out. I’m in some strange house and I’m locked in a bedroom.”
“Do you have any idea where you are?”
“I think I’m in Santa Clara. That’s the last thing I remember. I’m scared, Daddy. Please come and get me.”
“Okay, I’m leaving now, call me back as soon as you figure out where you are.”
“I love you daddy.”
“I love you too.”
The phone went silent and my mind raced as I quickly grabbed clothes and keys and began explaining the situation to my wife.
Hours passed and we never heard back from our daughter. Calls to her cell phone went immediately to voice mail. Calls to friends proved equally fruitless.
Nobody had heard or seen from our daughter. They were only sorry to hear that she was missing. Questions flooded our mind, and conversation, as we cried and talked, yelled and cried some more.
Everyone does it. They play the blame game. Only it’s not a game. Something is terribly wrong and you are helpless to stop it.
Our worst nightmare had come true. Our daughter was a drug addict. She had turned her back on everything we taught her, everything we believed in, everything we hoped for her.
Simply stated, our daughter had rejected her heritage, her goals, her dreams, our goals and our dreams. She had lost her senses.
Our daughter was in the purest form a prodigal.
I felt my head spinning and darkness began closing in on me, suddenly gasping for air I bolted straight up out of bed. Disoriented, a sense of panic consumed me. My sheets soaked with sweat I realize it was only a dream. Slowly I lay my head down on the pillow; frustrated I throw off the hot sheets desperate to breathe.
My mind slowly begins replaying the dream, sequence by sequence. Strange, it seemed so real, so true. You know the feeling that incredibly creepy sense that seeps into the pores of your being and you swear you’ve been there before. The realization you know the story and the details, causes you to question whether it was reality or conjecture.
As my mind worked through the events I become satisfied it was only a dream. I slowly give way to the darkness still lingering in my room and once again, against my will, sleep resumes its determined pattern.
My phone is ringing. I can hear it buzzing by the nightstand. Groggily I pull it to my ear, press the answer button and mumble, “Hello.”
“Daddy. I’m in trouble.”
Where did it go wrong? Was it one specific event or a series of challenges? When did the scales of hope turn to dismay? Was it controlled free will or unlimited freedom? Stifling discipline or permissiveness? Opportunities to learn responsibility, or unchecked apathy? Respect for self, others, and society? Or selfishness running rampant? Did we love too much or not enough?
Questions, questions, always questions and none to few answers.
About: Lon Flippo has a doctorate of ministry from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and pastored for over thirty years. He is currently a professor of Children and Family Ministries at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. His work has received acclaim from readers for its realism and theological insight, parents looking to pass their faith on to children, and teens caught in the modern challenge of connecting scriptural wisdom to modern life. Find more at www.iParentnow.com (@iparentnow).

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