No Matter What

I have five kids, two cats, two dogs, and two Sugar Gliders. We live in a tan ranch on a quiet court at the top of a hill with a big yard, trees to climb, plenty of swings, a trampoline, two zip lines, space to play, and a long drive that’s part chalkboard, part tennis and part basketball court.

And we love the outdoors – love to open the windows wide and invite the breezes in to play, to walk through the yard and welcome each new season. But this year spring quietly slipped through the gate while I wasn’t looking, sprouted lush and green as I clung to the edge of a cliff, hanging by a thread to two of my five kids, one breath, one look away from…


and addiction.

Cliffs I never expected to climb. Not me. Not my kids. They’re good kids. Both. Baptized. Confirmed. Love the Lord. Go to church. Serve Him here and overseas. Know the Word. Read it. Sing it. Play it. Hear it by choice.

And yet here we are.

We talk. A lot. Every day. Deeply. About almost everything. We laugh. I know these kids. I bore them, taught them, love them, and always will. No matter what.

Yet here we are.

In this place. Hovering at the edge. Hanging on by a thread.

And it’s humbling because not everyone understands, even inside the church, fearing addiction like a contagion. And if I’m totally honest, I understand, for I felt the same, before it was me, my kid, this cliff. Before we were here. Hanging on by a thread.

And it’s hard. And somehow good. Because we talk. Still. A lot. And laugh. And cry. And pray, sometimes simply, “Father, ohhhh…Father…no words, just I love you.”

And I hug these hurting, growing-up kids a little harder, a little longer. Thankful for another minute, one more chance to love, to give, to share this day, my heart. Clinging close. Breathing in His Presence.

And maybe it’s enough. For now. For today.

Maybe forever. Because maybe this is what it means to live in the moment. Present. Right here. Right now. On these twin peaks where self crumples to my feet in a heap, and I cling to the Rock, knowing we are His and He loves us. Always. No matter what.

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed….Nothing will be impossible for you.” — Matthew 17:20


17 thoughts on “No Matter What

  1. pastordt

    Oh, Cindee – I am just so sorry. And yet I celebrate with you the openness with which you share these struggles. And both of the cliffs you describe are diseases, first, last and always. Your two precious kids are fighting for their very lives. May our good God bless you with extra measures of wisdom, grace, courage and honesty. And may he lead you along the way to the right help, the right people, the right program – whatever. Because God works through all these avenues, yes, God surely does. Many, many blessings.


  2. Sharon O

    wow…your reality is hard. I love your honesty. How can we pray if we don’t know? Yes the church doesn not understand addictions. It is not just a ‘pray it away’ game. IT is deeply rooted and hard to heal. NOT impossible but for sure difficult. take care of yourself and rest in the knowing you are not alone. Praying for you and your children.


  3. Laura Rath

    Bless you for your honest and heart-felt post. I believe it will be a blessing to others in similar situations.
    In Christ,


  4. In the midst of your trials, you praise Him. You acknowledge our Hope and our Deliverer, and I appreciate it. I’m certain He does too! Cindee, you are a Psalm writer of these times. We, your readers, come away with riches and our resulting prayers of intercession are a treasure we ALL can share.
    May sudden, unexpected blessings enrich all your family’s moments.
    Healing and Peace be yours, our Sister.


  5. Hold to your faith and do not dispair! God can glorify Himself before the eyes of many! Do not doubt that your prayers will be answered. For he has heard your prayers already! Just like when Daniel prayed and his answer did not come for a while because of spritual interference. But his faith persevered and the message was received..I do not know the verse number but it is in Jeremiah,” Heal me lord and i will be healed, save me lord and i will be saved, for you are the one i praise” The only support i can give you my sister is my faith…God has always answered my prayers! I will pray for your two children using those words from Jeremiah, and wait on the lord in prayer! my heart and love is with you and your family! My heart is moved, so i know that God is moved too! He wil be with you!


  6. A tragic story that so many endure. I pray that yours turns out well, and I hope–as I’m sure you hope–it will help others that must face these same struggles.
    I am posting a similar (fictional) piece on my blog, and on Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday. Would you mind if I link your post on my post?


      1. Sherry Mashburn

        I found your story through Charlie’s link. It is a very moving account, and you and your family are in my prayers.


  7. Pingback: Clean As You Go « Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still… and know that I am God"

  8. Thank you, Cindy, for showing God’s true love through your family. Loving them desperately right. where. they. are. That the only power strong enough to save any of us is Him and His great mercy. That we are all just as desperate for His healing but so much is hidden. I am so grateful for your faith in Him and for your great testimony of humility to His redemptive power. I pray that you and your family are surrounded by life-givers to walk this journey with you, knowing that not one single second is unaccounted for in His eyes.


  9. nmetzler

    Thank you for sharing. In your rawness is beauty. Breathtaking and steaming with life. Even in pain and heartache. I understand. I was there with my brother and I walked beside him and ah! such sorrow but today I see the fruit of grace.

    May you also witness it, friend.


  10. ceciliamariepulliam

    As I have mentioned before, I’ve been in your place and understand. Put them in God’s hands. He will carry them, and you through this. Praying for you, Cindee. Watching your children hurt and struggle is the most painful part of parenthood.


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