Monthly Archives: October 2015

Being Ready Part 3: A Parent’s Perspective

Over the past several years we have learned a lot about what it means to walk with people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. The reality is that addiction doesn’t only take a toll on the addict himself, it also wrecks havoc on their family and close friends. Last week we shared a post from a recovering addict where he talked about the difference between the times he said he was ready to change versus when he truly was ready. Today, we want you to hear from a parent of a recovering addict and differences she saw in her son over the years. We’re grateful to God for the work he’s done in this family.

Many times I heard from my son that he was “really going to do it this time.” Oh, how I so wanted to believe it. I remember discussions that seemed so real, and so logical that I really thought this time he meant it. He could sound so believable with his talk about going back to school, getting a job with benefits, or going to AA meetings on a regular basis, because an addict needs to do those things to be accountable, so he said. I remember he would say he was tired of living like that, and I really do believe he was being truthful, but his actions and follow through just weren’t there.

 I did my best to help him. I was his Mother afterall, I should be able to fix, or at least help him heal and do what he needs to do. I talked to him until I was blue in the face, and I just knew my tough love, tough talk, would get him on track to do the right thing, because he would always agree with me, and acknowledge that he now knew what needed to be done. I look back and see what a complete fool I was to ever believe I had convinced him to get help. I was truly an obstacle to his sobriety.

 It wasn’t until his Dad and I stepped back, and surrendered him totally to our Lord and Savior, that things began to change. I had finally reached my “enough”, and couldn’t deal with this anymore. I believe God had been waiting for me to get that point, and probably wondered if I would ever trust Him enough to give our son totally to Him. As much as I love my son, I know our Heavenly Father loves him even more.

Our son, for a lack of a better term, finally “hit rock bottom”, when he ended up on the streets and under a bridge for a few days and nights.

Several months later, he shared  his testimony and said that all he had during that time was a bag of clothes and God. It was during that time he saw the other side of addiction. He didn’t want to live this way. He said he prayed, and wanted to be delivered from this life.

We began to notice changes in him over a period of months. His language changed. The music he listened to changed. His whole demeanor changed and he began to live for God. We began to see a joy in his life that we hadn’t seen in many years.

We serve a faithful God. His mercies are new everyday. Our son had to be taken to the darkest, desolate, loneliest place for God to get his undivided attention. God had to allow me to get to my “enough”, so that I would surrender my son to him, so that He could do what needed to be done in my son’s life. Our journey has been amazing, and I am grateful everyday.

 

We serve a faithful God. His mercies are new everyday. Our son had to be taken to the darkest, desolate, loneliest place for God to get his undivided attention. God had to allow me to get to my “enough”, so that I would surrender my son to him, so that He could do what needed to be done in my son’s life. Our journey has been amazing, and I am grateful everyday.

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Being Ready Part 2: An Addict’s Perspective

The things I’d think when I wasn’t really ready to change….

 “I’m ready to get clean. I’m tired of people constantly being on my back about my addiction. I want to get clean to show them I’m not this person they see now. I still want to have fun, but I’ll lay off these things for a while, get a good job, show some stability, and I’ll just drink and have fun every now and then.”

 The things I thought when I truly was ready…

 “I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of hurting those around me. I’m tire of letting myself down every time I try to accomplish the things I set out to do before my addiction. I’m tired of being unhappy and unmotivated. I’d do anything to get myself out of this hole I’ve dug. I’m tired of feeling Godless. Lord, take this from me and mold me into the person you created me to be.”

 The quote above is from a young man that has been clean 20 months from a 2-year heroin addiction. No one is proud of a drug or alcohol addiction. Shame, embarrassment, and guilt rule the addict’s life. So, many of them are motivated by a desire to prove something to the people in their lives. They want to get clean to prove themselves to someone. The problem is, this motivation typically doesn’t last. What we’ve seen, however, is that when someone truly comes to a place where they recognize the need to get clean in order to live the life God has called them to live, the chances of success are much higher. We’re excited about what the Lord has done in this young man’s life. Over the next few posts we’ll dig into some more people’s perspective on this subject and how we’ve seen it play out over the years.

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What does it look like to be “ready”? Part I

How do you know when someone is ready for the grueling, painful, struggle that is recovery from drug addiction?
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We’ve found ourselves asking that question on a daily basis. We are constantly coming in contact with people who are telling us that they’re ready- ready for a fresh start, a new life, different circumstances, for a change. But what does being ready even mean? And can anyone ever actually be fully ready for something like this?

Someone can believe that they’re ready to change for a lot of different reasons. Many times it comes out of realizing the depth of their struggle, how much the drug has control over them. Other times it can be brought on by someone else reaching out and giving a person the option of something else to live for such as a job, friendships, family, or a place to live. It can also be a result of missing children, spouses or other loved ones. Even court mandated lifestyle changes can result in someone thinking they’re “ready” to turn their life around. One of the main reasons we hear people say that they’re ready to change is when they have nowhere else to turn.

We are constantly reminded that being ready can look different than what we would expect.

We’ll continue to unpack what being ready might look like and what comes next.

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God’s Perfect Timing

We don’t do a very good job of celebrating the ways we get to see God at work.

A guy that we’ve been working with lately was on the waiting list to get in a recovery program. We had him in some crisis housing and had some temporary work lined up for him while he waited.

He didn’t show up for work this morning, so we knew things weren’t good. Also, we felt like it was going to be another few weeks before a bed opened up for him in recovery. To our surprise, we got a call late this morning from the recovery program saying they had a spot available, but no one could get in touch with him. We knew what was happening with him, but had no way to track him down.

So, the only thing we knew to do was to have people pray. He just reached out to us to say that he had messed up and had a bad night. We were able to get him into the recovery program just a few minutes ago.

A few things here….

The recovery program had a bed come open on the exact day he desperately needed it. Also, he reached out to us after a bad screw up a lot earlier than most people do. If he hadn’t called today, the spot would have been gone.

Be in prayer for this young man as he takes this next step in a long, long journey. Pray that he would be freed from the bondage of addiction and would come to place where he trusts and treasures Jesus above anything else. We’ll be able to visit him on a consistent basis and continue our relationship with him while he’s there and be in a position to help him when he gets out. Pray for us to have wisdom and discernment through the process.

We know this all happened because people were praying and God was at work in his perfect timing. We appreciate you guys more than you know.

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