AUTHOR KIM YOUNGBLOOD’S BOOK, “WEEPING MAY LAST FOR A NIGHT,” DETAILS HER SON’S NINE YEARS OF STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION
by LISA PORTERFIELD THOMPSON
“I’m not a writer — I’m just a mom.” Kim Youngblood, local author, may not be a professional writer, but she is an incredible mother, with an incredible story to tell, and her book “Weeping May Last for a Night,” is a must-read for parents and anyone who might have a loved one struggling or who has struggled with addiction. Not only is the story she has to tell an amazing one, but Kim and her family are amazing as well.
Kim Youngblood was born and raised in Texarkana. She met her husband, Terry, when he was in college playing baseball for Henderson State, and she was a cheerleader at Arkansas High. The two dated for three years and married when she was 19 and he was 22. They were married a year and a half when their first son was born, and by the time her oldest was 8 years old they had three other children, ages 5, 3, and 1 month. To say she was busy was an understatement.
Early on in their marriage, Kim and Terry had issues, not unlike many young married couples. Though Kim became a Christian at a young age, she says those early marital struggles had her feeling pretty distant from God, and eventually those same struggles forced her to turn back to God and seek His help to work them out.
“When we started walking through a crisis like this with David, I knew God was the only hope. It felt natural to turn to God. I knew I had to give this entire thing to Him, because He was quite literally the only one who could fix it,” Kim said.
Kim and Terry’s second son, David, struggled with a drug addiction for nine years, and this family crisis is the topic of her book published in 2016.
Throughout the book, Kim describes how her faith in God helped her through this experience, and she encourages others to use their faith to deal with insurmountable challenges they may face. “At the time, I felt like the fervency and steadfastness and consistency of my prayers are what would provide a breakthrough that we so desperately needed. After the fact, I wanted to write this book to hopefully give someone hope,” she said. “This was such a horrible, hopeless situation for us, and if writing this book could give just one person a little hope, then it was worth it, but it has done that and so much more.”
In the book, Kim describes some very personal details of the family’s experiences with addiction, including not recognizing her son walking down the road near their home one day, and having to show extreme tough love in some frightening and gut-wrenching situations. Any mother reading will feel the exposed feelings she must have experienced while writing the book.
“I felt very vulnerable at many stages throughout the writing and publishing process,” Kim said. “I kept feeling all sorts of anxiety knowing that people would be reading what I wrote, not just the grammar and style of it, but the details of the entire experience. But, ultimately, it was because of my husband’s bravery and transparency in sharing his story, and David’s willingness to tell this story that I was able to put it all out there. I let him read it before I sent it to the editor in its entirety, and I let my husband and other children read it, too. Everyone was able to okay it before we published, or I wouldn’t have gone forward. Some parts of it still give me chills, but we want to give God all the glory for healing and deliverance for David and really restoration for our whole family. All of this was God’s doing.
“The only means to David coming out of addiction was God,” Kim said. “He went to rehab, and counseling, and they both help teach you ways to cope and things to avoid, but ultimately, even placing him in those programs and giving him tools to use was God’s doing. God did this. There’s no other reason David is living drug-free today.”
Kim said that when her family was living through the addiction crises with David she thought that even if he was healed from it, her family would still be ripped apart. “Relationships were bad, and there were so many hurts, but God has restored those relationships to be the sweetest thing now,” she said. “David and his Dad are very close, and he and his siblings have a great relationship, too.”
Kim admits that not every addiction story she’s heard or watched has a happy ending. “One of David’s closest friends lost his battle with addiction, and his mom came to the release party,” she said. “It is very difficult to know what to say to those parents, and others who are still struggling, but I do know in Christ we never lose. The child might have gotten away from God, but eternity can be sealed if we have a relationship with Him. Of course, we want deliverance for our children or loved one in this life, but for the parents who don’t see that come to fruition, there’s still hope.”
Kim also stressed that David’s happy ending was not a result of her faith. “This story is about God’s grace,” Kim said. “David’s healing wasn’t about our faith being bigger than anyone else’s, and it wasn’t because we did everything correctly. We made mistakes along this path. We enabled, and floundered and ultimately, it was God’s power that delivered him. We prayed, and went to the scriptures, but no one should feel like they aren’t a strong enough Christian to pray for their children. God says we need the faith of a mustard seed, and that can change things.”
Today, Kim and Terry’s children range from ages 30-38 and the couple has six grandchildren. Their oldest son and his family live in Texarkana, their youngest son and his wife live in Dallas, and their daughter and her husband live in Los Angeles. David is 35 living in Flower Mound, Texas, and working as an industrial electrician. He is married and has two daughters.
“He has a zeal for life,” Kim said. “He doesn’t like to talk about his story, but he does like to tell others about the hope of Jesus Christ and the peace He can provide. He’s not shy about sharing, and he’s so affectionate. He grabs me and hugs me and squeezes me tight, and it’s just such a precious thing.”
Kim looks back on the time her family experienced addiction with conflicted feelings: “The Lord taught me a lot through it, but if there’s more out there to learn, I want to learn it without going through something like that again. One of the greatest things I learned was that as long as we continue to be a person’s rescuer here on earth, they will never turn to God for help. After nine years, David finally did.”