A Joyous Update on Ryan

Remember the young man I’ve been requesting prayer for? The Christian lad dealing with SSA and addiction issues? Rebellion, family “hatred,” etc.?

This should make you smile:

and most importantly, the destruction of the enemy’s lies – like, for example, the lie that because of what he has done, we would never love him again, forgive him or want him back in our family. Ryan cried and cried as we talked, and told us how much he loves us. He had come to realize, with the help of his boyfriend Devin, that he cannot stop using drugs and alcohol by himself, and wants to get into an inpatient program. He was scared to death that we would completely reject both he and Devon, though, and we were quick to reassure him that this would not at all be the case. He shared incredibly vulnerable emotions with us…and we have been so honored and grateful to God to have the privilege of talking with our son again…not to mention hearing his heart!

On Saturday, Septemb er 6, we had arranged to meet Ryan, Devin, and Devin’s mom, Jennifer, for breakfast before taking Ryan on the 2 ½ hour drive to Yakima, where the inpatient program, Sundown Ranch, is located. However, when Rob and I arrived to pick up Ryan to take him to rehab, he was unconscious and not breathing – we spent Saturday and Sunday in ICU at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, and Ryan is now on the medical floor as he recovers from kidney failure and damage to his heart and lungs. We were hoping he would get discharged today, and we could take him straight to Sundown Ranch in Yakima, but early this morning they discovered that he has a bad case of pneumonia, so we’ll be here a few more days. He is still very determined to go to rehab, and Devin is extremely supportive of that decision. Rob and I both feel that as long as Ryan is so sincerely admitting his own powerlessness in the face of his addiction and alcoholism, and continues to be so resolute in his commitment to admit himself to an inpatient treatment program, that we are going to do everything we can do to support him and remind him of our unconditional love.

Right now the doctors have Ryan on three different antibiotics, all ones that I have never heard of before…but they are doing everything they can to get rid of the pneumonia and get20him stable enough to go straight to rehab. We are extremely thankful for the care Ryan is receiving here. We found out on Saturday from the fire chief, medics and other fire personnel who recognized Rob on the scene that they have been to Ryan’s house WAY too many times to find his heart not beating and his breathing stopped…and have taken drastic measures to save his life. It was a sobering parenting moment when they all looked at Rob, raised their eyebrows and said, “This is YOUR son, Rob?!?!” But all we could do was to be filled with love for Ryan, and ENORMOUS thankfulness to God that we didn’t lose him that morning (or the many other times before)…and that though our reunion was not at all what we had pictured, he is alive…and we have spent the last three days getting a chance to care for him, talk with him, get to know Devon and love both of them. This time has been so healing in so many incredible ways. Ways only GOD Himself could have orchestrated.

We are praising God for His faithfulness…we have seen SO many answers to prayer in the past ten days, and especially since we have been at the hospital. It has been such a blessing to have the chance to show Ryan God’s love, forgiveness and grace. We have had AMAZING conversations with him during our time here…conversations that would never had happened any other way. Ryan has been living with so much shame, self-hatred, guilt and beliefs that are just plain LIES about how our family feels about him, that is has been an enormous victory to talk through those times, and be able to let him know the TRUTH.

As you can imagine, our entire family has been on a rollercoaster of emotions this weekend (with everyone on their own unique track), and Rob and I are more than a bit overwhelmed just trying to take one moment at a time, asking God for wisdom to do what is best for each of our children. Rob and I have been gone from Riley and Larissa so much this weekend we’re actually as concerned about them as we are about Ryan…Ryan’s return into our life, and then this new trauma, all happened so quickly. Rob and I have both been trying to spend every minute we are home with them talking…but they both need the Lord to meet them in this.

We can’t thank you enough for your prayers for Ryan, and for our family, over the years. Your prayers have been more powerful, and have been worth more to us than you will ever know in this life.

So we’re not out of the woods yet. The boy still needs some serious prayer for his health and recovery and the family is going to need love and guidance and patience and grace for Ryan’s return to the family and in dealing with future SSA issues.. But it does my heart good to know he’s staring on a firm, unshakeable foundation on which to build and has a family that genuinely loves him and cares for him despite his issues. This is how a family should work.

Thanks for your prayers for this young man. May God restore his strength, inside and out.

(Note: Between writing this and sending off an email requesting permission from my friend to publish the update, she says this: “A quick update: he was released from the hospital last evening and his parents traveled with Ryan and Devon to Yakima to check Ryan into rehab this morning. I believe they stayed in Yakima last night. Please pray for Ryan’s time in rehab.”)


~ by WriterRand on September 11, 2008.

2 Responses to “A Joyous Update on Ryan”

  1. Now this is church! And this is family!!

    It’s amazing to see a family come together and address some of the lies that Ryan has had concerning how his family felt about him.

    I love the fact that Ryans parents have responded to Ryan. This is the father’s heart for prodigals of the faith and it’s here, it’s in experiencing this kind of love that works about such a transforming work in a person’s life and in their heart paving the way towards surrendering their life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    As we are reminded in Romans 2:1,2 that it is the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance. And most assured, that only by the work of God’s grace in a person’s life and the prayers of many do some people come to place their trust in the Lord.

    This has to be one of the most encouraging messages I have heard in a long time!

  2. As I have shared before, I will pray for Ryan. I am so glad to read that he knows his family loves him despite his failings. From my friendships with people struggling with addiction, I know that receiving the loving support of others in exactly this way will make a huge difference in his recovery.

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