I hope you find encouragement from this brokenhearted parent’s story and the 4 revelations that helped change her life. Our stories may be different but our pain is the same.
“It’s been 13 long years on this rollercoaster called addiction. The first 11 years I found myself floundering in and out of hope–hope that God would reach in and save my son from himself; a hope that God would give me the picture-perfect future I had dreamed of. But, alas, it never came.
After the first decade of nurturing my hurt, (the painful reality of addiction forced upon me) and being angry with God for not hearing my pleas, I found myself in a desperate place.
I’m here to tell you mamas (and dads) that nothing changed until I changed. Did you hear that?
Nothing changed until I changed.
This change came because I finally realized that the only person I could change was me.
MY OWN JOURNEY
I started a journey of my own. My journey started in an effort to find myself, maybe the me I never knew, and a journey focused on what God said about me.
My journey led me to 4 revelations.
1. WHAT FAITH MEANS TO ME
My first revelation was that I needed to get straight on what faith meant to me. I had become codependent mostly because I lacked confidence in God.
Author, Ann Voskamp says, “The great challenge of faith is holding on to hope after you have lost your naivete.”
Because nothing ever seemed to change after years of praying, my faith became non-existent.
If you won’t step in, God, then I guess it’s up to me. I had always done things on my own strength. Yes, I had that much tenacity and arrogance that I thought I was fairly successful at most things I took on.
Until now, I thought as long as I was a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, nurse, friend…a good person, and always put other’s needs ahead of my own, God would reward me. This, friend, is not faith.
There was a disconnect between the amount of faith I built up and how I thought this faith would make my life easier. Why did I believe that the amount of faith someone had should give them some sort of break from hardships and pain?
Hebrews 11:1 says faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses.
James reminds us in James 1:3 AMP Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace.]
2. IT’S ALL GOD…WHATEVER HAPPENS
The next revelation was when in anger, complete surrender, and despair, I cried out to God. I said “whatever, God!” Just “whatever!” Whatever happens, it won’t be because of anything I did or didn’t do, it will be ALL You, Lord.
You see, I finally realized it was never about my ability in the first place. This mantra of “whatever’” became a pivotal point on my journey.
3. A SURPRISE AND ANOTHER PIVOTAL POINT
My next revelation was a surprise and another pivotal point. This one happened when I started going to a counselor. In our first session, she informed me I was grieving. Grieving? Really? I had never considered that. I just knew the years had broken me down. But after consideration, I realized she was spot on.
Moms (and dads) we are all grieving lost expectations. We are grieving what could have been. We are grieving over the perfect picture we had in our heads since the time of conception. And if you’re like me, you have been trying desperately to fix your child so you could maintain that perfect picture. This was significant for me.
We have hung on to that perfect image because we have hung our happiness on it.
We can’t do that any longer… It is our undoing.
4. HOW TO GET OFF THE ROLLERCOASTER
My last revelation was when I finally discovered how to get off the awful rollercoaster ride I was stuck on.
When I read Valerie’s book I was struck with the concept that I had a beast and I also needed recovery…terms I had been adverse to.
Her story and 9 actions for battle inspired me. They confirmed all that I had been discovering along my journey to wellness. I too could get off the mat and live a fulfilling life. She taught me that:
Fighting someone else’s battle that you have no chance of winning will leave you beyond exhausted.
THE DECISION TO LIVE COURAGEOUSLY
“Those of us who have made the decision to live courageously seem to cross an imaginary line. The courage line. Once you cross it you will never be the same.” ( Misery You Don’t Get My Company)
The best part of my story is that after all the pain and tears, I have come to the place of surrender, and now I wonder…what if God had spared me from all this pain years ago when I begged Him to? Would I be where I am today?
I still remember the day I whispered the unthinkable, what I never thought I could, Thank you, Lord, for this journey.
I’ll never forget it.”
– From an anonymous parent
**We at Hope for Hurting Parents hope that one day you will also be able to thank God for your journey. May this mom’s story facilitate your own life-changing revelations in the coming New Year. God bless you.
Comments are welcomed!!
What have you learned on your journey?
In what ways have you changed that you might not have unless God allowed you to experience the pain of a prodigal child?