“When Huston was in high school, he dropped out. Just quit,” Mother began the story. “He was into everything. It began with marijuana, but quickly grew to alcohol and heroin. That took him out of school and onto the streets.”
“He was always asking us to take him back, to bail him out of jail, to make his choices easier for him to handle, Father added, “but we knew that wouldn’t be helpful. So, we told him we loved him, but that we wouldn’t come to his rescue.”
Three times Huston went into a rehab program in Hermiston, Oregon. Three times he finished the program successfully. Twice he went right back into the drugs and street life. In the process he fathered two children and generally “made a mess of everything.”
One day Grandma – the mother of Huston’s girlfriend – called Mother and said, “You’ve got to help care for these kids. Their Mom is really back into drugs and I’m worried about their safety.”
So Mother and Father brought the kids into their home, enrolled them at the local Adventist school, and became full-time parents to Huston’s two kids along with two of their own.
Both Mother and Father have been through alcohol and drug challenges, so they understood what Huston and his girlfriend were going through. They also understood what wouldn’t work.
“Soft love doesn’t cut it,” Father says. “This takes hard love, love that is always there but never takes over. Tough love demands that the addict get professional help, go through a good rehab program, and work with tough counselors who hold him responsible for his actions every single day.”
The third time Huston went to Hermiston, he went determined to make it work. Then, in the middle of a group counseling session, the upstairs washroom toilets overflowed and poured through the ceiling fans and into the group. Huston called his folks, described what had happened, and explained he would have to come home.
“You’ve lived in a tent, and worse, and this is no time to run away from a little water,” his Mom told him. “You stay right there and get this done.”
Huston stayed, graduated, came home to his family, and is living clean.
“It’s all about my shoes,” Huston explains. “Every night I place my shoes far under the bed so that when I get up in the morning the first thing I do is kneel down to reach for my shoes. While I’m down there I stay awhile, talking to God about the day, asking Him to be my Guide, and then praying for each member of my family.”
The 'shoe miracle' is working. Huston was baptized on a recent Sabbath, as his parents and kids, and all his church family, cried with joy.
“There’s still a bunch of problems,” Huston says. “But withGod, none of those are as big as what I faced before. I’m learning to trustHim.”
“We’re all in this together,” Dad says. “Pastor Lutz is right here with Huston and all of us. The church members are praying with us and encouraging Huston. The teachers are helping the kids. We’re one big broken family, depending on God and enjoying His miracles.