The Graham's Story
Today, our prodigal is a 21 years old full time college student, he’s recently moved back into our home and we enjoy a mostly loving, respectful relationship with an adult man who is quickly maturing before our eyes. But that is not where the story of our prodigal begins.
It started right after our son’s thirteenth birthday, when he made a mental switch to stop being the “good kid that all of the parent’s loved” and decided to become the bad influence that parents did not want their children to associate with. As a young child, he was always one to push boundaries, but what was once a playful testing of Mom and Dad’s will, soon became all out rebellion, and that rebellion quickly paved the way to alcohol & drug abuse, falling grades in school, and being removed from school altogether. There was no more laughter in our home, only fear of the next phone call. Who would call first? The school? The police? The hospital? We were devastated with the loss of who our son used to be and felt completely lost as to what do next, or who to turn to. We worked with multiple therapists, but no real change ever took place in our home or our son’s heart.
After a string of events including multiple arrests, stealing our car, expulsion from school, and fights that threatened to become physical - we reached the far end of our limits and knew with certainty that we were losing the battle for our son’s heart. Thankfully, God was not through with our family and we were introduced to John & Fair Brocard and the Prodigal Child Ministry. With John’s very welcomed help, we arranged for our son to be escorted to a wilderness program in UT during the middle of the winter. Somewhere around the middle of his seven week stay, our son’s rebellious spirit broke and our family could finally begin the long, long road to recovery.
While our prodigal was in the wilderness, my wife and I were invited to attend a 10 week study on how our family (and our marriage) could learn to survive the upheaval left behind by a destructive prodigal. We were surrounded by other couples that were in various stages of pain, loss and recovery from their own prodigals and the bonding between all of us was almost instant. Everyone understood our pain and frustration and no one spoke to us accusingly. The study helped us accept any part we played in his in his rebellion, but to shed the incredible burden of guilt we felt each time our son made a poor choice or damaging decision. Not only did we learn to let go of the vain notion of controlling our son, we learned to let go of the bitterness that had built up in our marriage.
To say that God is using John & Fair to help families heal and survive is a gross understatement. Besides our own family, we have listened to similar stories from a multitude of other hurting couples that have found a renewed strength, faith and peace through the Prodigal Child Ministry. We have now been involved directly with the ministry for just over three years. We teach the same 10 week course in our home to other couples and single parents who are hurt and searching for answers, and searching for friends who will listen, love and support.
The Prodigal Child Ministry will forever be a part of our family, our story and our outreach to others. We did get our son back.
Thank you John and Fair.