It had been a time when I could no longer have him in my home. I sit his clothes out on the porch in a trash bag and told him to leave the property. He kept banging on the door and pleading “Come on mom, let me in.” I turned my head, shut the door and cried. You might think I was a cruel mother but practicing tough love is the hardest thing to do. I had to protect my other three children. They all had been upset because of the lifestyle their oldest brother had began to portray. He had changed into no longer their brother but into a facade of a young man with no identity. He had became lost. A preacher’s kid, a pastor’s boy, daddy’s pride and joy, and mommy’s little boy had grown cold toward the family. From stealing, to drug use, breaking into the house while we were gone and living a life of poverty, he chose to step into the real world of deceit. This lasted for a few years. A nightmare in which I thought would never end.
I remember interceding one night while taking a walk with God. The night was warm, the wind was blowing and the corn field was making this noise with great force. God spoke and said, the noise you hear and the field of corn you see are the angels I have surrounding him. They are there protecting him. I cried with deep emotion. At that very time in which I found out many months later, my son had been involved with someone shooting at him. He even said bullets were zipping by his head. God was truly protecting him at the very moment I was praying.
When Lyle decided to come home, by then He was tired and ready to change. Much like the prodigal son, we were happy yet cautious. The very week He came home, we had drove to Pennsylvania to see a friend and he went with us. I will never forget the phone call I received at two in the morning. One of his old friends had my phone number, she was looking for Lyle. The story goes, the young man whom Lyle lived with, and yes his best friend was shot in the chest and had died. Drug deal gone bad, the young man was only a teen. As I held Lyle he was just silent but sad. He held back the tears being the tough guy, knowing very well his life would have ended too if he hadn’t made the decision to come home the week before. My nightmare with my child was very hard to endure. It hurts to see your child eat like the dogs in garbage cans when he can sit at the table with kings. It hurt every time he lied, stole or continue to choose to live in sin. Homeless at times, no hot water to take a bath, no driver’s license or insurance, he chose to be barren in that season of life. My nightmare ended with worship, prayer and trusting in God. The mother of the son who died never woke up from her nightmare. God spared me the agony of losing one of my sons. The enemy would love to take our children and he tried very much to ruin Lyle. God had a plan and purpose for the testimony in which Lyle would give. Lyle now preaches the gospel with love and compassion. He is passionate about spending time with his relationship with his heavenly father. He now as grown to love his brothers and in return his brothers look to him as a great leader and role model.
God protects and yes, God hears our prayers.
I must go now, for my oldest son, Lyle Benjamin is preaching in an hour. I will be the proud mother sitting on the front pew, smiling at the goodness of God. Once a nightmare, now a blessing. God is good!