Faith in the fire: When you love an addict (Part 2)

alone-with-his-thoughts_free_stock_photos_picjumbo_HNCK9089-1570x1047Continued from Part 1

The next thing I knew, Gordon wasn’t the focus in the room – I was. They were quickly and efficiently hoisting me up onto a gurney and wheeling me out into the hallway where they left me to come to my senses. I lay there in a stupor of sadness and madness. I was devastated that this was my drunk and bloody son in the other room. And I was mad at myself for being too weak to stay the course with him. Even if I got up off the bed, they weren’t going to let me back in there. Now I just had to sit and listen to howling and not be able to hold my son’s hand. I had to be alone with the feelings of embarrassment that I was the mother who couldn’t save her son from addiction, let alone stay on her feet in the presence of his wreckage. I didn’t know much at that time about being the parent of an addict, so I lay there in a pool of my own guilt while my son was being stitched up in the next room.

After we checked out, I brought Gordon home. He had not been living with us when this accident occurred. A few months after his 18th birthday in the middle of his senior year of high school, Gordon moved out of our house to live with friends – who I assumed were doing and selling drugs. But we could no longer corral or control him. His behavior in our home had become intolerable and we had to think of the welfare of the four children who still lived with us and needed a semi-normal life. Gordon was breaking out every night, and had reached the age of emancipation, so we had no choice but to let him move out.

But on this night after the accident, I brought Gordon back to our house and planned to put him to bed and deal with him in the morning. After we arrived home, Gordon turned to me in the car and flatly told me that he hated me. He told me that he would never want to become a Christian because I was the worst person he knew and if I was a Christian then the whole thing was a joke.

Again, I didn’t have any training in dealing with addicts at that time, and I hadn’t been to any support group meetings or read any literature. So hearing those words that night, after all that I had gone through because of his addiction, cut me like a knife. I didn’t know whether to hit him in his stitched up eye or burst into tears.

So I did nothing. I got out of the car, opened his door, and helped him into the house and up the stairs into his old room. I put him to bed and shut the door. I didn’t say a word.

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Faith in the fire: When you love an addict (Part 1)


This post is a departure from my regular posts due to the content. But I have always found that sharing real life struggles helps someone somewhere. If you’re the one it touches, please know that you’re not alone.

I jumped up in bed so quickly that my head was spinning. I had been pulled out of deep sleep so harshly that I was disoriented and dizzy. It took a couple more seconds to realize that the phone was ringing. Why is the phone ringing? What time is it?

The clock said 2:15AM. This isn’t going to be good.

When the phone rings at these hours, it’s always a call that pulls the breath out of my body and leaves me without strength under the weight of whatever horrible news is coming at me from the other end of the phone. These calls are every parent’s worst nightmare and I’ve had too many of them.

The voice on the other end of the phone was my 19 year old son. He was drunk, crying and scared. He said he was in the emergency room, that he thought he was going to lose his eye and that the cops were there. He begged me to come to him. He kept saying how scared he was and how much pain he was in. Somehow, I managed to discern that he had been in a car accident and had put his face through the windshield. There was either glass in his eye or near his eye causing him a lot of pain. I’ll be right there.

I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes and put my hair back in a baseball cap. The hospital was an eight minute drive from home in which time my mind came to its fully alert mode and started trying to process the pieces of crazed information that had come from my manic son. I tried the best I could to brace myself for whatever I was going to see when I walked into the emergency room since I had no way of knowing just how bad the injuries were.

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Fruit that Remains: Excerpts from my journals that nourished me and might encourage you, too!


Fruit That Remains: Lessons from my journals. These are excerpts from my journals over the years. Some are more current than others. I love going back into my journals because I always get refreshed and re-learn the lessons that the Lord has taught me and that I have faithfully scribed.

While in my daily devotions this morning, the Holy Spirit brought this phrase to my mind: “Do not make the Word of God of no effect.” Yikes! What does that mean??

I knew I had learned that Scripture from the Bible and that Jesus had said it, but I couldn’t recall where or to whom he had said it.  What were the circumstances? I needed to dig deeper as I felt the Lord correcting me.

When I looked up the reference, I found that this quote is in Mark 7:13. The King James Version of the Bible says, ‘Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.’ The New American Standard version says it like this: “…thus invalidating the Word of God by your tradition which have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

In this passage, Jesus is chastising the Pharisees because they put all of their religious emphasis on outward displays and man-made rules while their hearts are far from God. When Jesus says that the Pharisees “invalidate” or “make of none effect” the Word of God, the original Greek language that the text is written in uses the word, “akuroo”. Jesus uses “akuroo” to describe how they invalidate the Word and void it of power and effect by acting as though they can change it, adapt it, manipulate its message or disregard Who the Author is.

Akuroo (Strong’s Akuroo) is the negative, or the upside-down version, of the word, “kuroo” (Strong’s Kuroo) which means “to validate, confirm publicly, ratify”. “Kuroo” itself comes from another root word, “”kurios” (Strong’s Kurios) which means, “Master, Lord, the greeting of a servant to his master, the title given to God, the Messiah”.

When I don’t reverence the entire Word, I make its power of no effect in my life. After all, the Word is Jesus. John says in John 1:1,  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I must greet the Word with the reverence of a servant. The Word is not here to serve me, but I the Word. I am not here to take parts of the Word and make it fit my mold but the Word is here to mold me into its form. I am its servant not the other way around. I don’t get to decide what parts I want to read or obey…IF I want God’s power to be in it, that is! The power comes through reverence and honor.

No wonder Jesus was chastising the Pharisees here. They were standing right in front of the incarnation of the Word they professed to know backward and forward and they couldn’t recognize him. Meanwhile, the wounded, the blind, and the rejected knew right away that He was the Light of the world and the remedy for all that was broken. They knew that one word from His mouth would bring healing, cleansing and restoration to everything that was ruined in their lives.

If I believe that this Word is God-breathed, that Jesus is the Word (even if I don’t understand totally how that works), then I will approach the Word with the same faith, expectation, and devotion of those who saw and touched Jesus in the flesh. I will approach this powerful, restorative Word on my knees – either physically or spiritually.

Lord God, I repent for not honoring Your Word and hearing Your voice every time I read it. I repent for the times that I have handled your word incorrectly and without proper reverence and awe.  I ask for your forgiveness for the times that I have approached Your Word casually and routinely. Please open my eyes, my ears and my heart to see and hear You in Your Word. And help me to never again handle it with vile hands, human goals and selfish reasons. Your Word has suspended the heavens above the earth, created everything seen and unseen and will still remain for all of the eternal ages to come. Jesus, you are the Word that stood before creation, brought creation into being and still upholds all things.  I honor You, my Master and Lord. Help me to hear Your voice of love as You speak to me. 

Falling: How we fall and how we get up (Part 2)


The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  Psalm 37:23, 24 

Now let’s look at the fall. When I fell three years ago in my house, I fell so hard that my children who were in the basement came running up to see what happened. They said it sounded like something blew up in the house! The pain was immediate and the injuries were long lasting. The cost and time involved to remedy the injuries was extensive.

I have heard many Christians who have fallen in sin say that they couldn’t believe that they were capable of doing what they did. They say that their fall seemed to sneak up on them from behind and blew up everything in their lives.

Many years ago, I found myself in that situation. I became involved in an ungodly relationship. Two weeks after the sinful relationship began, I woke up from my trance. I looked at what I was doing and realized that I was at risk of losing everything! I felt as though a hex had been cast over me that caused me to act and think in a way that was totally contrary to all of the pursuits of my life to that point. Who was this person in the mirror that could be so vile and selfish and blind?

I had to face the sin, come clean, and go through a season of deep cleansing with the help of my Pastor. The cost was extensive. The enemy had set a trap for me and because my eyes were not fixed on Jesus as my All-in-All, I fell right into it. I felt as though one day I was walking well with the Lord and the next day I was lying face down in my sin.

But the reality is that for a season of time I had not been guarding my heart and dealing honestly with my thoughts. The ground was beginning to freeze all around me and I wasn’t paying attention to the chill…until I slipped and fell. I was not taking sin seriously. I felt that I could handle it. Until it handled me.

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Falling: How we fall and how we get up (Part 1)


The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  Psalm 37:23, 24 

I caught myself just in time. My foot started to slip out from under me as I walked to my car on our snowy driveway, but I managed to catch my balance before the slip turned ugly.

I live in New England and winter here can often mean slipping and falling on ice and snow. Therefore, after driveways and walkways have been shoveled, we bring out the salt and sand to ensure that people can keep their footing and not take a header due to slick conditions.

I have been fortunate this winter in that I haven’t slipped or fallen even though we’ve had record amounts of snow and a layer of ice underneath that snow. I’m so grateful for the fact that I haven’t fallen and here’s why: I fell three years ago – in my own home, of all places!  It took six months, hundreds of dollars and countless hours of office visits to recover my strength and the fitness level I was at when the accident happened.

So why am I blogging about NOT falling? How is that interesting at all? Well, this morning, I was meditating on the Scripture in Jude 1:24, 25: To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Underline mine)

God keeps us from falling. That’s really good news! Obviously, the writer of that scripture is talking about spiritually falling, so that makes this even better news! But we have a part to play in cooperating with the Lord as He works to keep us from falling.

Let’s look at the results of falls first and then make the correlation to what happens to us spiritually when we fall.

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Getting Unstuck: Step into the light again

Stuck -jeremy-bishopDo you feel stuck? How long have you been stuck? Was there a situation that happened that threw you into the “stuck” state?

If the definition of stuck is ‘stationary by some obstruction’, then I believe that many times we can get stuck because something happened that we don’t process in a biblical way.  Chronologically, the calendar keeps moving forward, but emotionally, the hands of the clock stand still as we are locked in pain, bitterness, or grief. Someone has hurt us, we hurt ourselves, or some situation has transpired that threw us down the rabbit hole and we don’t know how to get out.  The pain and question marks become the unwanted house guests who refuse to leave.

If we’re Bible believing Christians, this is particularly burdensome, because we have all of this Scripture that promises that the Lord will carry our burdens, that He will be our peace, and that no weapon formed against us will prosper.  So how do we handle the loss when a weapon formed against us does seem to prosper – when we lose a loved one or a relationship, when we experience a large setback like divorce or bankruptcy, or when a habit or addiction has caused us to make some hurtful choices and now we’re living in the stink of those choices?

I believe the answer is to learn how to process our situations in light of the Truth of Who God is and what He says He will do with our messes. We get stuck because a trauma has frozen us in one spot.

But there are ways to get “unstuck”. Let’s look at a couple.

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Flight of the Monarch: Guest Blog Post

Below is a blog written by my friend, Jamie Sasien. I know you’ll be blessed. I look forward to hosting other guest bloggers on my site so stay tuned!

As a homeschooling mom of three children I’m always learning.  My girls and I have been studying insects and when we got to the butterflies we watched some videos on the Monarch.  Did you know that a Monarch butterfly will travel from the north of America and Canada all the way to Southern California or the middle of Mexico each fall?  This is known as the flight of the Monarch.  It got me thinking to my original reason for wanting to write years ago.  God gave me this idea that we as parents are on a journey in raising our children to take the next step of their life.  Our children may not go through a full metamorphosis like the butterfly, but it sometimes feels like it.

So as I was thinking about the butterfly, it got me thinking of our lives with kids.  Butterfly’s mate while in Mexico and then the females in spring begin their long journey back north, where they lay their eggs.  They know that they need to lay their eggs specifically on milkweed, as this is what the baby caterpillars will eat once they are born.  Like our little ones, the first thing they need is food.  Remember those late nights nursing and making sure our little ones had plenty to eat.  Our babies don’t grow as quickly as these small caterpillars but like the caterpillar in this stage, all they do is eat and sleep.


Photo by Yoal Desurmont on Unsplash

The next stage is the pupa stage.  This is the time when they undergo huge transformations.  For us this stage begins in the pre-k years and continues through the teen years.  These years our children are going through the most transformation.  These can be the hardest of years and the most enjoyable. Then one day they begin to emerge, they begin to crawl out of those years.  They first need to dry their wings before they can take their first flight.  I think of this as a time usually when they are beginning to drive and get their first job.

Monarch Butterfly.jpg

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

What happens last is the most amazing step.  The steps when we let them go.  We let them fly.  They may not go 2,000 miles away, but it may seem like it when you drop them off to school or send them away to boot camp.  This is what we have been planning for, preparing them for, molding them into.  Thankfully our process isn’t as short as the butterfly, but it feels as if it was just yesterday that we left one stage and entered the next.  I’m not sure what stage of parenting you are in, but God is in all of it.  He has told us this was his plan when he said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

God knows that our job is to prepare them for where they are going.  Each stage is a step in letting go.  We let go with everything we do with our children.

  • We let go when we wean from nursing.
  • We let go so they can take that first step.
  • We let go when they sleep through the night.
  • We let go when we send them to school.
  • We let go when they begin to read on their own.
  • We let go when they can make their own breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • We let go when they can do their own laundry.
  • We let go when they begin to drive.
  • We let go…… (You fill in the blank.)

Now you:

  • What steps have you taken in letting go?
  • Have you even noticed your letting them go each step of the way?
  • How are you training your children?
  • What example are you giving them?
  • What steps do you need God’s help in?
  • Are you praying over them during these steps?

You are taking these steps each day, week, year in letting your babies fly.  Your babies are to take their journey, to begin their life.  However, you have a job now at the stage you are in.  It doesn’t matter what mistakes you have made in the past.  You can begin again fresh today.  Remember, “With God, all things are possible.” Your part is in training your children, molding them, praying for them.  They may buck and balk along the way, but what you have done, raising them in the Lord, will come to pass.  Trust the Lord.  Trust the process.  God will never let you down, especially when it comes to your children, His children.

My prayer for you:

May God encourage you today.  Know God is pleased with you and He will guide you in raising your children. I pray that God would give you wisdom and knowledge in raising your children.  I pray that He would love them through you and that your children would come to know the Lord because of your teaching and example.  May God bless you in this journey and may you enjoy the process. I pray you will have God’s perfect peace letting your children fly into the plans He has for them.  Amen

About the author of this post:  Jamie Sasien is a homeschooling mom of three ages 13, 12, and 8.  She is also married to her best friend of 16 years.  She writes on a blog: One Day to the Next, where she shares about her love of parenting, marriage, and Jesus.