Posts Tagged ‘alcoholic’

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you didn’t know your way around? You had no map to help you get your bearings or direct you to lostwhere you needed to go. You were lost. And on top of that you were alone. There was no one to ask for help. Or maybe you were in a foreign country and everyone  spoke another language. So they couldn’t help you.

It’s frightening and unsettling. This describes how I felt when I first learned my daughter had a serious problem with alcohol and drugs. Lost and disoriented I had no clue where to find help. At the time no one I knew had faced this with any of their children.

I’ve been on this path for a little over ten years now. It hasn’t been easy to find resources and learn about this strange, foreign world I found myself in the middle of. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite books for parents of addicts. Each one has helped me regain my bearings. (more…)


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*Feb 01 - 00:05*Have you found yourself in the position of not liking like the person your child has become? 

When they’re rude, hurtful, disrespectful and downright hateful it’s hard not to. Suddenly, we’re the bad guy; the enemy. 

Alcohol and drugs changed them. 

Depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses altered them.

Time in jail or prison made them different.

Trauma transformed them.

So much they’ve experienced has in a sense, taken our child from us.  Before we know it, they’re no longer the person we once knew. The sweet, innocent, son or daughter we  raised and have so many special memories of – where did they go?  What happened?  It’s baffling. Mystifying.

But they’re still our sons, our daughters.  Underneath it all is a frightened, lost soul.  Our precious child is still in there – somewhere.

Is there anything that can make a difference? What could it possibly be? magnified ocean sand


An unfailing love from God – demonstrated through you. None of us deserve it, yet, His love for us never fails, no matter what we’ve done.  Think about that for a minute.  Love that can’t wear out, give out or fizzle out.  It’s impossible – absolutely not possible – to ever cease to exist –  no way, no how –  for it to stop or come to an end . . . ever!

Nothing can separate us from God’s love.  NOT A THING.

I found it comforting to think of how much God loved my daughter, no matter what she did or what had been done to her.  Somehow, it gave me hope that if He loved her that much, then one day she just might be okay. I could put her in His hands and entrust her into His care because of this remarkable  love.

I could depend on it.  It was a sure thing.  It didn’t guarantee the outcome I wanted, but I could trust that out of His love He would do whatever it would take to try to reach her.  He’s faithful and He can do it.

When I was thinking about this, I remembered a song. Maybe you know it:

 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord. Great is thy faithfulness.” 

These two Bible verses sums it up well:

Lamentations 3:21-23   “Yet this I call to mind and therefore, I have hope; because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Psalm 119: 76a   “May your unfailing love be my comfort . . .”

Find comfort in knowing and believing that because God’s love never fails, there is always hope – for everyone.  As a dear friend of mine likes to sign her emails: LNF.  Love Never Fails!

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freedom2How can parents whose children are hurting and in bondage from drug or alcohol abuse, self-injury of all kinds (eating disorders, cutting, burning), pornography, same-sex attraction issues, gambling , suicide attempts, and mental illness find freedom?

What do these parents need to be free from?

They need to be free from every destructive emotion associated with their child that’s destroying their well-being, robbing them of their sanity: Fear, anxiety, worry, guilt, shame, despair, depression, anger, resentment, grief and more.

Personally, finding my freedom didn’t come from doing more, lecturing more, helping more, reading more (books or the Bible  – although reading did help and I do this all the time), or trying to fix my daughter more.

It wasn’t from worrying more, yelling more, crying more, or talking to a counselor more. Although talking to a counselor did help and I did need to express  my feelings as part of my grieving journey, but without the yelling or lecturing.

My freedom came from something else.  (more…)

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Crisis of any kind can put a marriage at risk. It is a treasure that must be carefully guarded.GuardCrisis comes to parents in many forms. Our biggest one was when our daughter began getting in trouble with alcohol and drugs in high school. Our painful journey continued for years. It would include self-injury, mental illness, sexual assault, suicide attempts and rehabs – the perfect storm for marriage trouble.

In situations like these, disagreements and conflicts increase. Irritability, misunderstandings and blame occur. Grief, confusion and helplessness consume.  My husband had heard these words of wisdom years earlier in a college class. He remembered them when we needed it most and took them to heart.

What can you do to guard your marriage when you have a rebellious child?

We determined we would be more intentional about our relationship by doing these 8 things:

·         1. Make time for fun. Plan a weekly date. Declare it a “no prodigal zone” not talking about your child.

·        2. Take turns being the bad guy. Don’t let one parent always give discipline or have the hard conversations.

·         3. Put your marriage first, not you child. One day they will move on and you will be left with one another.

·        4.  Memorize and practice these statements. “You may be right.” “What do you need from me right now?”  “I’m not the enemy.”

·        5.  Divorce is not an option. Remove the word from your vocabulary and never threaten it in the heat of the moment.  This gives security.

·         6. Forgive each other for mistakes and failures.  No one is perfect.  Give grace. We both need it – a lot.

·         7.   Be a united front. Don’t disagree in your child’s presence. Work out differences privately ahead of time so they can’t drive a wedge between you or play you against each other.

·         8. Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to “fix” each other. When sharing feelings, offer a listening ear and an understanding heart.

 Which one of these will you to start doing?

These Scriptures encouraged us:

“Two are better than one . . . If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-8

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Something I hate to do is wait, especially when I’m waiting for something I want to have happen. I can wait for a long time with no problem at all  for something I’mfrozen dreading:  A doctor’s appointment; results of a medical test; getting my teeth cleaned; a meeting to resolve some conflict or inter-personal problem – anything unpleasant. I don’t really want these things to happen. They can take a long time to occur as far as I’m concerned. That’s just fine with me.

But waiting for something I want to have happen,well, that’s quite different. I don’t like to wait for those things. You’re probably a lot like me.

This kind of waiting feels like a barren, frozen wasteland. And waiting for  my child to change when they’re making life-threatening choices involving drugs or alcohol, suffering from self injury, an eating disorder or mental illness, make repeated suicide attempts, in bondage to pornography, or are attracted to the same sex, is pure agony.

During a time in my life when I was having a particularly difficult time waiting for changes in my daughter’s life, I came across a book I found to be quite helpful. It had a huge impact on me when all I could do was cry out to God saying, “Help!”

I decided to share part of it with you in today’s post. The authors are two moms who have been there and understand what we go through every day. I hope their writing will encourage you as it did me.

“Of all the strategies we could suggest, waiting is perhaps the hardest. Somehow we feel better about dealing with our prodigals if we can take action – it gives us the false illusion that we are in control of things. The truth is, we’re not in control.  (more…)

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whyWhen things started to go wrong in your child’s life, even though you gave your best and did all you knew to do, did you start asking “why?” Why is this happening to me? Why can’t my son stop drinking and drugging? Why does my daughter suffer from mental illness and make repeated suicide attempts? Why is my child attracted to the same-sex? Why does my child have this relentless eating disorder? Why can’t they stop cutting themselves? Why can’t I help them? Why? Why? Why? It’s a crazy-maker.

The following thoughts are excerpts from a blog by Michael Hyatt. They were so powerful that I wanted to share them with you. He suggests that instead of tormenting ourselves asking why questions, we need to start asking some different ones, like “How can this make me better?”

You want to stop reading right now, but please give this a chance. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask why at all, but at some point it stops being helpful. Almost immediately, I think! Instead, we need to begin asking a whole new group of questions that will enable us to move forward.

Before I tell you Michael’s what questions, listen to his explanation: The answers we get are often determined by the questions we ask. Ask bad questions get bad answers and vice versa. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Now, here are his seven better questions to ask: (these can apply to any situation in your life)

1. What if this isn’t the end but a new beginning?

2. What if the answer to my prayer is just over the next hill?

3.  What if this is necessary for me in order to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?

4. What if God knows exactly what I need at this particular time?

5. What if God is speaking to me through means I would not have chosen, for a blessing I cannot see?

6. What does this experience make possible?

7. What will I be telling my grandchildren that I learned was so valuable in this season of my life?

God, help every parent reading this to shift from asking why to asking what. As they do, I pray it will bring about a change in perspective. And may this lead to a greater capacity of giving thanks  for every trial they face in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Does it feel impossible? This Bible verse may encourage you:

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.”  (Zechariah 4:6) NIV

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What promises can you count on when your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, has an eating disorder, cuts themselves, suffers with aSunset mental illness, is promiscuous, has same-sex identity issues, is incarcerated, is pregnant and not married, or has HIV/AIDS? Are there any? I have never had any sense of being promised things will turn out like I want, much less when I want. No “There, there now, don’t you worry. Everything is going to be just fine.” No, not me. If someone does say that, I politely thank them, then walk way as soon as I can, knowing they don’t understand. What I have done is –
turn to One who is bigger and stronger than I am, who really “gets it” – to God.
When we pray for our sons and daughters we come together around the promises of God. We celebrate, we believe, we trust, we rest, we wait and we say thank you for whatever He gives – or withholds.
How often I have wondered where God is and what is really happening. Have you?
As we wait we need an attitude of alertness to God’s still small voice and to his Word that has already been given in the Bible. Let’s come together around these promises. I urge you to make time to read the Bible everyday (God’s love letter to you) and look for promises. Dig in and find them. There are treasures waiting to be discovered.
As you find them write them down and make a list. Read your list often to remind yourself what you can depend on no matter what you see happening. If you’re anything like me you need constant reminders because this journey can be wearisome and long.
Author Henry Nowen wrote, we are “waiting in the knowledge that Someone wants to address us. . .” That’s something to think about.
When His Word comes to you, I pray it will become flesh in you and give you a whole new life. O God, this is what we long and pray for in our children’s lives, too. We will continue to wait with expectancy. We will remain tuned to your Word as we stand in your Presence – together. This is the only way we can live in such a chaotic world and survive spiritually.
“My soul is waiting for the Lord. I count on his word. My soul is longing for the Lord more than a watchman for daybreak. Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption” (Psalm 129:5-7)
Sing it loud – “My soul is waiting for the Lord – for his help and strength for the here and now — and for his ultimate return and the fulfillment of all his promises!

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