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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Would you take my suggestion?: The true test of respect

take-my-suggestionI love to make suggestions.  I feel really happy when I suggest a restaurant to someone and they try it and have a great experience.  I will go to great pains to passionately describe why someone should try a certain restaurant, or book or check out a podcast that I have listened to.  And it bothers me to no end when the person I am trying to convince gives me the impression that they don’t have an interest in trying out my suggestion.  I have often thought about why this bothers me so much. What do I care if they miss out on a fabulous meal or a marvelously written book? It’s their loss, right? But it does bother me.  A lot!

In giving this thought, I realize that I am bothered simply because I care.  I want the people in my life to have every great experience I have had and I want to be able to share in that with them. For instance, when a friend comes back to me after having read a book or listened to a podcast I recommended, and they gush about how amazing it was, we now have something deeper to share.  We now have a common experience that we can talk about. I also have the joy in my heart of knowing that my recommendation added value to my friend’s life in some small way.

So did you know that in the Bible God has made countless recommendations that add value to our lives? Not only does He have the most intimate knowledge of what is best for us, But He knows what we will enjoy, what will keep us free from misery, and what will feed our souls. Out of this most intimate knowledge of us, He recommends actions and behaviors.

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