What to Do When You Love a Prodigal

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As usual, when those calls came, I was out of town.

This time it was the hospital. Our son had been in a serious accident.

His friend was driving. He lost control, and the truck jumped the curb and ended up on top of an electrical box.

Both boys were knocked out, but ours came to, stumbled out his door and saw the flames. He staggered to the other side, yanked open the driver's door and pulled his friend out. The truck didn't explode, but it burned completely.

My husband made it to the hospital. The friend was seriously hurt and stayed at the hospital. Our son had only minor injuries, and my husband took him home.

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How did this happen? They both promised they would quit drinking, implying that they were drunk and lost control. Two days later, they had a new story. A friend said the wheel had come off, and that caused the accident.

If you have a prodigal in your life, if you love someone who is making destructive choices, you know what a wilderness it is. You have heard the lies; you live in fear, and you wonder where they are.

Whether your loved one is your child, a spouse, a sibling—anyone who matters to you—the pain can be extreme. If they are seriously addicted or have left your family, maybe safely in jail or dangerously homeless, you want them to be rescued, redeemed and restored.

You try to help, to no avail.

You look for answers, but you can't find them.

You pray, but you hardly know what to pray.

If you find yourself in a story like this, I have good news for you. I walked through this wilderness for 15 years. On my new podcast, When You Love a Prodigal, on the Charisma Podcast Network, I will share what I learned on that journey, talk with others who have lived it and interview some professionals.

Join us every Tuesday. I believe you will find help and hope.

Judy Douglass is a global writer, speaker and encourager. Her most recent book, When You Love a Prodigal, has ignited her new podcast of the same name. She directs women's resources at Cru.

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