"It is my prayer that when the world looks out its window at me it will see the beauty of Christ, for in His forgiveness I can be 'whiter then snow' and can reflect His light to all around."
Mavis Rogness (Jon's Grandma)
"Children don't believe in a separate standard for adults. We/re tellingthem what life is all aboaut whether we realize it or not-and they're filling their minds with whatever is around them. What exapmple is your life putting on the mind's tape of the children who watch you? Love or hatred, reckless freedom or responsible living, honesty or expedience, sharing or keeping, direciton or drifting with the crowd? Someone is watching!
Mavis Rogness (Jon's Grandma)
From the Heart of Colleen Rogness
When my son Jon asked me to write something for his blog I originally thought I would not know what to say. How can I put into words all that we have went through and the feelings involved with the past many years? But here is to you Jon.
Our life has been paths of a roller coaster with allot of ups and allot of downs. We have had to hang on with a tight grip though all the trials we have went through. God has carried us along the way when we were unable to carry ourselves, and he held our hands the rest of the way. We have had tears and joys…
For a background on our family when we were married we were unable to have a baby, we prayed for many years but God didn’t grant us our wish. We continued to pray and seek adoption options. Within this time when we were on a waiting list for adoption God allowed us to become pregnant with our precious Jenna. So sweet, innocent and beautiful. What a blessing God has given us. What joy she brought back into our lives. But when she was 9 months old God called her home to be with him. This was a time of great sorrow, and disbelief… Why would he take our beautiful Jenna, after we waited so long for her? What is the answer? We felt at times like Our prayers were not being heard, or answered. We grieved so deeply for this child we wanted so bad. We were once again put on the waiting list for adoption. Our doctors told us we probably would never have another of our own. So we waited again and prayed.
Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
After 2 years God allowed us to adopt our son Jon… What a blessing…We were so excited to have him placed in our home. We loved him so very much. Then 2 years later, we again adopted a baby girl (Crysten). God again granted us much joy… Our hearts were overflowing to know that we were now parents once again. We loved the role of being a mom and dad… Two beautiful women gave up something of themselves to give to us, to bless us beyond words.. Within a year we found out I was expecting another, and had Tyler, then 3 years later, April. What a Blessing God has bestowed on us. Our arms were overflowing with all this love we had to offer these 4 beautiful children. We praise and thank the Lord for this gracious love for us.
Now on to my story of where we are now. Through the years we struggled with things in Jon’s life that at first we thought was something that would soon subside. We raised all our children the same.. We went to church every Sunday, we read the bible with our children at home, and we lived a Christian life. We raised out children with them knowing that someday they needed to have a personal relationship with Christ, and that our works wasn’t enough to get to heaven. We didn’t drink, or allow alcohol in our home.. We loved our kids, and did things with them. Taught them how to respect God, parents, elders, others. We brought them up knowing right from wrong. We always followed God’s rules, and man’s rules and taught our children to do likewise. But God had plans for our lives we would very soon not understand.
As the years went on Jon struggled with things in school, in life, with people, friends, family, etc.. We felt sometimes like we didn’t know what to do with him or where to go. We reached out to pastors, professional counselors, doctors. Sometimes feeling like nothing would help. We felt at times like we were failing as parents.. No matter what we did made a difference. Sometimes we felt like it made things worse. We weren't making excuses for his actions. We were just trying to help him learn his actions were inappropiate at times. But he did struggle with things that were sometimes out of his control. In school we felt like we were his only advocates and sometimes when we stepped in it made matters worse. But we kept praying, loving and doing our best.
Through the years Jon was placed in 2 different places for behavior issues due to some legal issues. It was so very hard to not have him in our home at this time. Why did God place Jon in our home to have him placed somewhere else? What did we do wrong to deserve this? We tried so very hard, but every thing seemed to be spiraling out of control. Our other children dealt with other kids and parents talking about him, and saying that he was a problem, and a terrible kid. But to us he wasn’t a problem. He was a child that we loved with issues that we needed to reach. We loved him anyway, through it all. He is our child, and we know that God would never give up on him and neither would we. God has a plan for him being in our home. He planned it each step of the way. We needed to just hang on and keep showing him our love for him.
When he came back from his last placement we saw such a change.. We were so happy. God was working in a positive way. We were gradually getting our son back. He was starting to feel better about himself, and know he was worth something. But deep down inside we always were concerned that this old behavior would return. And it soon did. When he returned to a school he started going the wrong direction again. We were again losing ground. At this point he was 18 years old and had to make his own choices. It was the hardest thing we had ever done was to tell Jon he was on his own, and he couldn’t live in our home if he was unwilling to follow our rules. By this point he was drinking, smoking, and running around.. He was out of control. We spent many nights praying for his safety as we didn’t know where he was or if he was alright. One night as I lay sleeping the phone rang, it was from Jon, but he didn’t call me on his own. He accidentally called our number. I truly feel that God allowed me to be called. Later I found out, it was a bad night for Jon, and when he didn’t answer when I said hello.. I got down on my hands and knees and prayed for him. He doesn’t remember this happening, but I know God used this and many other things to tell us to pray and keep him safe. God did keep him safe most of the time.
Then the day arrived that the police came to the door, and asked if we knew where Jon was? My heart sank, I prayed hard that God would keep my heart calm.. Where was our life going now? I’m not sure I could continue on with another problem. How can we continue on each day? This was the start of along many months of lawyers, trials, visits at the jail (only seeing him through the glass window), etc. If they only really knew Jon deep down they wouldn’t be trying so hard to put him away for so long. One disappointment after another went on the next few months. We found that the legal system is very broken.. And you are not innocent until proven guilty.. You are guilty until proven innocent. We found that parents don’t have any rights at all.. The legal system doesn’t allow you to know anything. Jon couldn’t tell us anything, the lawyer couldn’t tell us anything either. And we had to just sit back and take everything in daily. All the tears I shed during this time.. Sitting in the court room seeing my son in chains, having him called a extremely dangerous criminal. Having them talk about him like there was no one ever as bad as him. Presenting their case that he needed to be in prison for life. A little piece of my heart would die each time I heard more of the harsh words that they would say in court. This is my son, the man that I loved and took care of for so many years. The man I saw cry about small things like his dog coming close to death, and the tears he shed when his grandpa died from Lung Cancer, and he said, “Why did he have to smoke? Now we can’t have him with us anymore.” The many times he stood up for his friends even if they didn’t deserve it. But he was a faithful friend. There was sensitivity there whether people wanted to say it or not. He wasn’t as cold and no feeling as they wanted to make him out to be. Yes, he drifted away from the path that he needed to be on…He make some choices he shouldn’t have made. He stepped into situations that he should have avoided, but he was still a person with feeling, and a conscious. God still loved him.
Each day I got up not knowing what the day would hold.. Getting out of bed and trying to be positive was very difficult. But I had other children I needed to be there for. I needed to go on with life in spite of all the turmoil going on around me. I needed to be strong for my husband, other children and Jon. I needed to stay in God’s words, and remember that God has a plan. Even when my life is full of clouds and I see no plan with all the cloud cover. I need to remember that, Jon was heading in a bad direction and God couldn’t reach him. Maybe God needed to hit him over the head with a 2 x4. Maybe this is what will bring Jon around to the Lord a gain. My prayers would dwell on this being positive in Jon’s life and ours. But it was difficult at times. Psalm 18: 6 “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From this temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”
More days of hopes and dreams drifting away like a piece of wood on a breezy lake. I wanted to just grab them and say, “No, your not leaving me.. “ But slowly the day would come where Jon would be sentenced. The rest of his life was in the hands of a judge. It all remains a little unclear to me to this day. Why could this happen? How could Jon make those decisions? Why is God allowing all of this in our lives? I’m clinging to the verse Ps. 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” My hiding place is what I needed, hide from all the harsh words from the legal people, family, from other people that don’t understand. I had to keep thinking of songs of deliverance. No matter what he has done he is still my son whom I love very much. That love will never change. That love will never die. I don’t love his choices but I love the man. I will always be there for him. I will always try to be encouraging no matter how difficult that is some days. I will keep praying that God keeps him safe where he is at, and changes his heart. And God has answered my prayers, Jon is closer to God now then ever before. I continue praying that God will keep his faith strong in a place where it is easy to get discouraged and give up. I am so proud of the changes in his life.
We continue visiting often with his son Preston. Whom we feel keeps Jon going. His life is also a blessing and show Jon that God does have a plan. More then anything we want Preston to have a good relationship with Jon in spite of the fact Jon is in prison. He tares my heart apart when Preston wants daddy to come home with him and go fishing, or play ball with him. And the questions start coming from Preston to daddy, “Why are you here? When can you come home? But we know that this is just a short time in our life. Another long chapter that will come to an end. And within the chapter God has proven faithful to guide us and care for us.
Jon takes responsibility for his actions in the past and doesn't blame anyone for his choices. He knows that he alone made the choices and the wrong choices. And for now he is where he is suppose to be. And that God has a plan in it all.
Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
So on a final note, when I get weary that I can’t do this for as many years as I need too. I continue seeking for Gods strength. And no matter how hard the situation, and whether you don’t have the words to say to God, and you have so many unanswered questions. God will intercede for you. He will give us strength.
Rom. 8:24 “ For in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
WE LOVE YOU JON AND WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU.. WE THANK GOD FOR PUTTING YOU IN OUR LIVES. GOD IS SO VERY GOOD.
Written by Jon's Grandma "Mavis Rogness"
How do I pray for my son?
I cannot pray that his sky will always be blue, because he will learn and grow by knowing clouds and storms. Should his path always be sunny he will not know understanding of himself nor compassion for his brother. My son will find his greatest joy high on mountain top after the hard climb up from the valley. If there are no valleys there can be no mountains.
Yet, I cannot pray that his valleys be many. He is my son and if I couldI would trudge every valley from him- to smooth his path, for my desire is to protect him from danger and storm. How, then, can I pray that he will have trials when what I want for him is the greatest possible happiness?
Dare I pray "thy will be done'? Yes, I dare, for I know thy will is that all shall be saved. I know thy hands are strong , thy vision unblurred, and thy victory sure.
I do not know if you have planned for him a mountain to scale or a meadow to explore. I only know you have a plan. I pray that he may not leave his part undone. If my son's future holds high mountains, he will need much help as he climbs. If my son is to explore wide meadows, he will need much gidance to keep from losing the way.
Father, I pray that he will keep his eyes on the goal you set before him, be it high or humble, for only as long as the beauty of the meadow or the majestry of the mountain top beckons him will he refuse to be held in the mire of the swamp.
This I can pray for my son: Oh, God, that he will choose your way; that he will accept your Son as his Savior and guide, and that by your grace he will reach the goal.