Is your child an addict or are they making other destructive choices that hurt you? Are they breaking your heart? If so, I have a proposal. It may sound rather odd, but hear me out. Why don’t you become addicted, too?
Wait a minute. Have I lost my mind completely – well, not yet, I hope.
Instead of becoming addicted to things that are destructive or hurtful, why not become addicted to things that are beneficial and could be helpful? There can be good dependencies, can’t there? I hope you’ll become addicted to these in the sense that you’re dependent on them to feel normal; you’re unable to stop without adverse effects. Become enthusiastically devoted to them so that you need them in your life.
In 2015 I suggest you become addicted to:
Detaching instead of being emotionally tangled up in your child’s life; over-helping and enabling.
Letting go instead of trying to control; needing them to behave in a certain way.
Honesty instead of not saying what you really think or feel.
Authenticity instead of pretending you’re okay when you’re not.
A support group instead of isolating and withdrawing in your pain.
Loving your spouse instead of neglecting your marriage relationship.
Loving your other children instead of focusing too much attention on your troubled child.
Selflessness and helping others instead of thinking about your own problems all the time.
Refreshing yourself instead of having a pity party, neglecting yourself.
Laughter instead of being so serious, feeling guilty about enjoying yourself once in a while.
Courageous love that gives your child the gift of learning from pain, yet still lets them know you’ll be there for them when they’re ready to change.
Peace; the peace of Christ that can rule in your heart, even when it’s chaotic in your child’s life – it doesn’t have to be in yours, too.
Forgiveness instead of holding on to grudges and past hurts, yet not letting yourself be taken advantage of.
Gratitude instead of only thinking about the losses and disappointments of the past, there’s still so much to be thankful for.
God’s Word instead of listening to what others say. Fill your mind with what the Maker of the Universe has to say. It’s really all that matters. And He has a lot to say that can give you comfort, strength, courage, hope, and peace in every situation.
Prayer instead of walking away from God, ignoring him. He didn’t do this to you. It’s a result of living in a broken world where bad things happen to good people and even the best parents sometimes have children who become addicted, suffer with a mental illness, attempt suicide, are gay, addicted to pornography, are incarcerated, or hurt you and themselves in a myriad of other ways.
Worship instead of losing your faith. Continue to believe no matter how things look. There is still a God who is real and who really does love and care about you and your son or daughter, no matter what they’ve done. As you praise Him, your soul will be uplifted, your burden, lightened.
Jesus. Above everything else, be addicted to him. He’s what you really need to get through this. He’s all you truly need to have a love-filled, purposeful, meaningful life. Not one free from trials and troubles – there is no such thing – but one that’s worth living, even if your child is addicted.
Thank you, God. Fill us, we pray.
In Jesus’ name, who we need most of all.
**I encourage you to pick one thing on this list that you want to do more of this year. Write it down and remind yourself daily. Ask a close friend to pray with you about it. It can make a big difference, especially when your child’s addicted.