Addiction is NOT a Disease

I cannot agree more. The writer did a great job of what has been on my mind. As I’ve written before about being on the OTHER side of addiction, this so-called ‘disease’ is a nasty byproduct of sin. Since reading through the scriptures it’s easily seen that God is not a respecter of persons and every person is accounted for and precious to Him.

Addiction is NOT a disease, much to the dismay of my family members who believe this. My opinion is that people want to shirk some of the responsibility of their addiction to something or someone else calling it not just a disease, but a hereditary disease. Nothing can be further from the truth. God did not make one person an alcoholic, another a meth addict, another obese & diabetic, and another pristine clean. However, understanding that there is truth to generational sin will free the addicted from thinking in terms that it’s someone else’s mess they have to clean up. Rather, let the addicted understand, accept, and believe in restoration. ~ My Life as a Christian

On the OTHER Side of Addiction

We hear on the news, internet, and other media sources about addiction, the addict, what the addict did, etc. Addiction is ugly and deadly. But I’m on the OTHER side of addiction, I’m his mom.

What seems like a million years ago, I was married to an addict. Saw it all with my own eyes…and so did my kid.

Every day I wondered if this was going to be THAT day. Will I find him dead? Will he crash his vehicle again? Is he in jail again? Will he come home? Will he hurt us again? Again and again, over and over…I waited for the other shoe to drop. It’s a surreal thing watching someone slowly commit suicide with drugs and alcohol and be completely helpless.

And every day of this marriage my young son watched and was witness to this daily chaos. As parents we want to protect our kids and home, but when you are married to an addict you’re too busy dealing with the addiction than trying to keep a home and family and a job. And for that I have begged God for forgiveness that my sweet child had to see this horror when all I had to do was just leave. I had to find out many years later that the cancer had spread.

The last day I saw him was 25 years ago, TODAY.

I won’t go through all of the gory details, that’s for me and God to know. But I do want to address what it’s like on the OTHER side of addiction….because that addiction spread like a cancer to one of my children.

Unlike a very bad marriage, you can’t just ‘leave’ your kids. An addicted adult child is much harder to understand and deal with because they are forever your children, not a bad marriage. I truly thought that after seeing with his young eyes how bad addiction was that it would be the absolute last thing that would happen to him. The cancer spread anyway and without any fanfare…yes, I was totally blindsided because I was never a drug user. Remember this the next time you think your kids aren’t paying attention to what you are saying or doing.

About thirteen years ago, I gave my life to Jesus and eventually became ordained…all before I found out about my son’s addiction. Now I have different eyes to see through and a different heart to love with. The hard thing for my kid to do was confess his addiction to me, the hard thing for me to do was accept the fact that it happened.

Just like with my ex-husband, I have to deal with codependency and enabling. I don’t want to make his addiction worse, I want to make his recovery extraordinary! But isn’t that just like a Christian, wanting to give the devil a great big ole black eye? Then what does a person do, on the OTHER side of addiction? Every day for me I struggle with wondering if I’ll get THAT phone call and every day he struggles with the real pain of detoxing. It’s harrowing, it’s hard and it’s exhausting.

Certainly I am NOT alone, although for the rest of you I wish it were just me. But as people on the OTHER side of addiction, we have to band up with the LORD and each other to face that precious face of our addicted adult child. This is a love I never knew I had but God is GOOD! He gives us this supernatural strength to see our kids with His eyes.

If there is one thing I would say to ANY addict, it is this: YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FORSAKEN. You are NOT an accident or mistake. Your life is NOT over. You are important to GOD! And here’s why: The Bible says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture says that we are all known by God since the beginning of the world with a purpose and path already assigned to us. There is no mistake or accident, God does NOT make mistakes! God cannot lie! We are all His, and He is ours. 

If there is one thing that is foremost on my mind about my addicted adult child is that I never want him to feel hopeless or worthless. That kind of desperation paralyzes me; and if it does that to me, I cannot imagine what that does to him.

As a mom, I have said that I would die for my child if it meant saving theirs. I’m sure you’ve said the same thing. But One mightier than I has died for him, and died for me! Jesus is the only way to true salvation and restoration! I could die for my kid but that would do nothing for him when Jesus can give him the true love that will save his life!

Addiction is forever, so is Eternity. And for as much as I LOVE my son, God loves him even MORE!

Every day I wake up giving my kid to Jesus and trusting God to heal and restore him from drugs, then I ask God to keep my heart full of love and understanding with the right balance to help my kid, not hurt him. After that I thank God for a husband who cares for and loves my kid and me. I can’t imagine my life without either of these guys.

Recovery…restoration is one day at a time, for all of us, even on the OTHER side of addiction.

“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

TRUSTJESUS

 

A Prayer of Praise for the Mourning Christian

Though You say You delight in me,
I find no comfort.
Though You say You love me,
I cannot feel.

And through my sorrow I see dimly
Because the enemy seeks me;
I loathe my encompassing skin
And know the serpent is watching.

What of the night, where is the Watchman?
My soul quakes in joy and apprehension.
Where is my Salvation
In the darkest of hours?

While I mourn and lament
Your promises come!
As You have pledged,
I will have peace.

Even through a renewed affliction
I hear Your voice;
Even in the darkest of the day
I have Your assurances!

O Lord, I am not alone and I am not forsaken;
For I am Yours forever and You are mine.

I will Praise You forever!
I am Yours!
My prayers have been answered
In the midst of my mourning.

©revkatherinemarple

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The Christian Public Witness

My husband and I were having a conversation about being a public witness. What I mean by ‘public’ is sidewalk ministry at the abortion facility or street ministry at strip clubs, bars, for example. Public means what and where is legal. Public means public, anyone can be there…even the opposition. TRUSTJESUS

In public ministry people love to battle, to justify sin, to embed their superiority. But the truth is they know they’re living a lie out loud, they know way deep down that this lie they live is getting harder and harder to keep up with.

When I remember who I used to be before Christ, I had to keep my justifications in absolute order so that I wouldn’t seem WRONG or in error of a badly lived life…after all, who’s life is it anyway? I thought it was mine alone.

GETTING TO THE POINT: There was not one time that I was ever confronted with a public witness for Christ, not at the abortion facility where my mother forced me to go to OR at the local night life clubs/bars I used to frequent.

Do we know we are a sinner? Yes. Even if we have one shred of ‘morality’, we know that we are failing God and slowly losing our life to sin.

A public witness does what Christ told us to do, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature”. Being a public witness for Christ is not a comfortable thing to do, people don’t like being confronted with a jealous God.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25, NKJV

Most people are caught up in a worldly web of deception, a web of discontent…a web they feel they cannot be free of. And like most people, I wanted someone to come along and save me from this horrible life…was I worth more than a glass of vodka and a pack of cigarettes? As I sat in that bar every day….I mean EVERY DAY….I wished for that great guy to come along and save me. And one day He did. But it wasn’t who I expected.

I didn’t believe in the supernatural, I saw only in disparity, what was around me. Never was I told I was better than the next cocktail, the next guy, the next party. I HATED to look at myself in the mirror, I HATED what I saw, I HATED ME. And the reason I hated me was because I allowed it.

Much like the woman at the well [John 4], I gave up. This life is what it is, I can’t change it, my family left me, my children left me, my dignity left me. All I had left to do was die.

But then Jesus came, He didn’t say I feel like going to Samaria or say maybe I’ll go through Samaria…Jesus said He NEEDED to go through Samaria. He met her where she was, at the well. This was her divine appointment with her Savior.

Street preachers and ministers meet people where they are to preach a loving Jesus who wants to save them from this existence of stacking sin in a neat pile. We are all the same, we need a Savior to be saved from this life….we have enough ‘friends’ to help us out with sin.

There is no judgement, just “Go and sin no more”. One day your accusers will go away, one at a time. And Jesus will be there for you. That’s the Jesus I know and that’s the Jesus we preach.

“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11

Street preachers/ministers are Christian Public Witnesses, just like the Apostles. Christianity hasn’t changed – we’ve changed it. We keep putting Jesus in a nicely decorated box called the Church. Church was NEVER a building but a concept and a reality since the first century.

Churches are full of people and Pastors that are hearers only. The street affords nothing but the purity of the Word and the intent behind it because I did not get saved in a church, I was presented with the Gospel by a man who was led by God to tell me about Jesus. You see, He came to where I was – at work and hungover.

Thank  you God for bringing Him to me.

TESTIMONY: Choosing LIFE & Faith, no matter what.

For there to be a testimony, there has to be a test. And as Christians, we are tested all the time. In a time when a woman finds herself pregnant at the very worst time, God tells us it’s never bad time to be the life giver He made women to be. Since the foundation of the WORLD we have been known by God, each with a divine purpose only He can give.

FAITH.

Being on the sidewalk, we hear so many ‘reasons’ why they can’t have their baby. But there are no reasons…not ONE…good enough to kill an innocent unborn child entrusted to the parents by God.

What a blessing to read this incredible testimony given by God’s woman, a woman who follows Him no matter what. After all, lemonade tastes much better than sour, bitter lemons.

Thank you God’s woman, for sharing this incredible testimony, and thank you for choosing LIFE: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” [Gal 6:2]

Written in her own hand, enjoy this beautiful testimony:

One year ago today at this time I was saying hello for the first time to my 2nd little bundle of joy, Zachary! I knew as soon as I found out he was a boy that the Lord put the name Zachary on my heart for him. I knew the meaning of the name at the time but I didn’t know why in particular the Lord wanted me to name him it until after he was born. You see I’m not going to go into details but a few months before Zach’s birth I started going through one of the worst times of my life and it was something completely out of my control. There was nothing I could do to avoid or help the situation but I had to just deal with it and do it 7 months pregnant at that! The beauty of being a child of God though is that I didn’t have to deal with it on my own but as always my Heavenly Father was right there by my side taking care of me in any way He could. If I only had the time to tell you all how many ways God has showed me how much He loves me and has had my back through this thing! One of the biggest ways was by Him giving me Zach. Before his birth I honestly was a little worried about how I was going to take care of a newborn and a 3 year old in my emotional state but after he was born and I spent a little time with him I understood immediately why the Lord gave me the name Zachary for him. Zachary means “God remembered” so you see in a time of deep despair God remembered me and gave me a literal bundle of joy! He really is just the happiest most laid back baby ever and has been since his birth. You can pretty much guarantee a laugh out of him whenever you see him. Of course my 3 year old already made me smile and laugh everyday no matter what but the Lord gave me another little blessing to make me smile and laugh even more despite what I was going through. Words can’t even describe the love I have for my 2 little boys and the joy that they bring to my life! [Anonymous]

The Bible says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Jesus

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 30

As I wrap up this 30 Days of Parenting Prayer, I am inundated with so many emotions…most of which I brought up during these 30 days. If there is one thing that I can’t say enough [well, maybe two] is that we are parents to our kids forever. They were our children since the beginning of time [Jeremiah 1:5] and will be even into Eternity. The second is that prayer should be the FIRST thing we do, not as a last ditch effort to save the day.

Being a parent is has been the one thing that people take for granted as if it’s a right rather than the privilege that it is. I am PRIVILEGED to be their mother, whether they give a darn or not. It is I that has to answer to God for being their mother, it is I that will ultimately bear the day when I have to answer to God for my parenting.

We take advantage of the system by allowing our own dreams supersede those of our kids; once we do that, we fail. When you hear “You’re pregnant!”, your private, comfortable life is over and a new life is about to embark. We are but vessels, not God.

Secular/worldly feminism has no room in motherhood, but a God-intended feminist does. It’s true: there is such a thing as a God-intended Feminist. She was profiled in the Bible, Proverbs 31. She wasn’t perfect, in fact Bathsheba FAILED…but she was used mightily by God and was blessed to be the intended mother to Solomon.

Bad women do not have to be bad mothers. In other words, I have failed, you have failed…but through the Grace of God we are given chance after chance after chance to do it right. God knows our kids depend on us so He is quite willing to help us to be better. And, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A BETTER PARENT.

v17 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; v18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 1Peter 3:17-18

Pray for BALANCE. It’s been a great 30 days of reflection but I certainly see how I can do better, even after all these years. God Bless you all.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 26

Many years ago I was forced to leave the area in which I was born to begin a new life. I had to leave my family because of my now ex-husband to do it. My ex, who was raised by hard working never-in-debt church-going family-oriented people, was an adult kid that had a drug, alcohol and gambling problem [that led to domestic violence] which eventually became my problem. I remember so vividly my EX-mother-in-law saying, “You knew him when you married him“. NOT true, I did not know these things…but that really isn’t the point. The point is that SHE knew he had addictions and did not warn me; it was as if she was passing him off to me so she didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Some of us, who never exhibited addiction, have children who may eventually have an addiction. But should a parent just pass them off? When did they stop being a parent? I have a myriad of cousins that are grandparents already, and they are still battling alcohol, meth, crack, etc. At least half of them are still living with their parents. I know their mothers, not one of them is an addict of any kind.

Dear Mom & Dad: Your children’s poor choices are not your fault. But enabling them to continue their ‘choices’, is. Don’t clean up their messes, pray over them – they need restoration.

There are some parents that have children and practically gift them the generational sin they have. How often have we seen a generational problem with alcohol and claim it’s in the DNA to justify it? Generational sin is passed on through mimicking what we see while we grow up. God has never created one single person that is an alcoholic or addict BUT they are born into sin with the propensity to sin [the sin nature] BECAUSE of the Fall of Adam:

“v1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. v2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

And then:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

The answer is that we NEVER stop being a parent. EVER. Ignoring or passing off a problem and acting unaware is just plain evil. However, I do realize we can’t make these kids do anything. But one thing we can do is PRAY and NEVER FLINCH.

Pray to be an open book to your children, not an open checkbook. They need to hear about Jesus incessantly, they are our ministry!

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 25

We live in a fast food drive-by world. If you blink you missed it. As I mentioned in a previous post, we also have adult kid in-laws and step adult kids. Like tons of families, we are a blended family. And it can become a tangled web, for sure. But never at any time did we dare to replace the other parent or grandparent. We are who we are, we are who we identify with, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold“, [Prov 22:1]

Society has changed so drastically and with it the family dynamic….or rather, a cluster of people that have set aside the true gift of family for me me ME.

God is not pleased. He put us together for reasons only He can provide, but a plan He has! He has knit us together for a purpose.

I know my family is a mess but I can’t imagine changing the lineup would have had a better result:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Pray that these kids not lament where they came from. God knows where they ARE and will BE. He is in control!

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 24

When dealing with our adult kids, we also deal with their adult spouses….or ex-spouses. Everyone takes a corner in the ring, waits for the bell and it’s been 12 rounds ever since….with every one of them. I lamented in an earlier Prayer Challenge that our grandkids hardly ever see us…but how can they when everyone wants to go to court, sue, take custody, get money, etc. ALL THE TIME. These so-called adult kids are teaching our grandkids how to work the court system rather than play sports or go to camp.

Then, rather than just being a kid, they are taught hate and how to lie. They hear one side bad mouth the other side…on both sides. No child should have to know such information about their parents and family. I distinctly remember my grandmother saying bad things about my dad and I told him what she said. He flipped out, and rightly so. Now, let me explain one thing: She may have been right. But it was not her place to talk over me, at nine years old, to other adults about my ‘lousy’ dad.

We put way too much on our kids when we speak of things that have nothing to do with them. We put the responsibility of knowing such things on tiny shoulders that grow up too fast. They try to understand, they ask questions, and before you know it they are acting out. They consider themselves adults rather than kids.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Even in Christian households we are training up our kids to be lousy adults by keeping them in the loop about things that are none of their business. Christians expect Sunday School to teach their kids about God rather than themselves. Christians aren’t teaching how to be Godly but how to circumvent the system God created.

We have to be the stewards that God made us so that the next generation will have a better chance at making better choices at life.

Pray for the children and their parents; the anger is so great that they don’t see who is in the line of fire. Pray for God’s guidance rather than hoping for the best.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 23

Has the earth somehow flipped on its axis? Society has turned a 180 with the way we deal with our family. My husband and I were talking about our grandmothers and how we revered them…respected them because we should. I mean, why wouldn’t we? Isn’t that NORMAL? I certainly thought so. Our adult kids believed their grandmas walked on water! But here we are, our adult kids think we are of no real use and don’t bother teaching their children to respect their grandparents: US.

These kids make us feel like we have to do some real recon to see our grandkids or at least see a photo now and then. And since the advent of social media and smart phones, this should NOT be a problem or an inconvenience….but it is.

This ain’t rocket science, this is minute-to-minute real life that we are missing out on because some of our adult kids think their kids don’t need us. We know what the problem is, and what the one common denominator is: GOD.

THIS is what, or really WHO, offends some of our kids…GOD. I can’t emphasize enough how much Jesus has brought us through EVERYTHING! We give him Glory and Honor and Praise no matter what. This is the same God that gave them life and breath, the same God that loves them beyond measure, THE VERY SAME GOD that saved my life…and God is the problem? How can anyone reconcile that God is the problem when it is God that SAVES and HEALS?

v6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
v
7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
v8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
v
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
v
10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. [Colossians 2:6-10]

Being a Child of God in the world today is tough enough but when our own families and kids come against us, it’s HARD. But we cannot give up the Faith or we have NOTHING. What our kids don’t understand yet is that WITH God we are better parents and grandparents.

Pray that God will send a mentor, a spiritual ‘speedbump’ to our adult kids. Through prayer and fasting we can combat this and be better Christians for it. Remember, this is a TEST. And with every test comes a testimony.