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Trust And Patience

This week has been brutal in the spiritual warfare battle.

The score at the top of the 6th (66) appears to be led by Mr Satan himself. The bases are loaded and I’m up to bat.

I’ve already struck out once this inning and it has taken the wind outta my sails, the bounce outta my ball.

Addiction has a way of flowing its evil lava into every nook and cranny available and using any tool possible to fracture families and communities.

The battle between good and evil has a long history.

I can understand if you are a non- believer. I respect that any reference to good and evil may -in your opionion- be simply a product of free will. People either choose to do good things or they don’t. Seems pretty clear cut. Until you start digging into why a human would continue to make poor choices despite bad consequences.

With children it’s easy to train them not to do things which may harm them. By repetition in the brain that if they touch something hot, they will get burned.

So why are our jails full of people who have suffered great losses from their choices? And yet keep re-offending.

Different reasons of course. I stick with my mantra of one size NEVER fits ALL. Some people are slower to learn. Some feel the benefits of addiction such as the CONNECTION with other addicts and that lifestyle outweigh having to deal with the judgement and pain of their old life.

We know now that humans crave connection – good or bad.

Massachusetts has seemed to figure out how to combat the revolving door of minor drug offenses with their outreach program:

It’s based on the idea that, for many drug users, a call to the police — for a nonfatal overdose or a drug-related crime such as theft — is the first time they get on the radar of any authority. So after the immediate crisis is over, officers follow up and offer help. That could be a warm bed for the night, a referral to a recovery coach or needle-exchange program, a ride to detox. At the very least, they’ll give out the overdose-rescue drug Narcan and talk about how to stay alive.

So there’s usually a lot more at play in what people choose, than to just say free will. It’s already been established that Purdue & big pharma was a huge incentive for a lot of physicians choices and ultimately our addicts choices. The draw of connection when other relationships are falling apart due to strict tough love with hurting family member. Most addicts in recovery agree that some form of darkness & evil came into play also.

We can make small changes in the system and fight for stigma change. We can recognize the draw of evil to pull struggling people astray. WE- the strong ones have to have the strength to combat that and BE their light!

Here is some amazing advice from first an addict in recovery then a mom/wife in recovery from her addicted loved one.

"When you're in recovery, you become close to making a difference in your life or in someone else's your gonna come under extreme attack, you're gonna be tested, you're gonna be tried. The enemy is going to come at you like a ton of bricks. He knows that you're a world changer, he knows you have purpose. He knows that your weakness is your addiction, because he put it there. He wants to destroy you before you can destroy him.
  You kick him square in the f****** teeth! You fight him with every ounce of energy that you have within you.  Pray, he hates that. He can't put you through more than you can handle. Addiction is not greater than you. It feels like it is within your flesh, but its only for a while, and it can be defeated- Foster Chambers
This is how I manage anger and anxiety. First, I understand that I can only control 10% of the life around me. It means 90% is controlled by others, so there will be a lot of offences and goodness to me from others. They are situations I cannot control, so I must be humble in all situations.
So I condition my mind to face the world. I do not make my mind that anybody who does anything wrong did it intentionally. Even if it was intentional, it has been done already, and my anger cannot unmake what she/he had done. Now should I get angry, my heart will pump blood in a rush that can affect my health; then I would have lost two times: first the act had been done and secondly my anger or anxiety can cause me sickness.
Then I understood the Biblical admonition which says, if it comes from you, live with all in peace.
The Bible knows there will be offences so the biggest lesson Jesus left for us was how He comported Himself from the court of Pontus Pilate unto the Cross.
The Almighty Jesus who raised the dead to life, healed the sick etc, was silent when He was being abused, slapped, spat on and whipped. It was this SILENCE that gave Him victory, due to His HUMILITY.
For us due to pride, we fight back and it ends up in violence and fights which give Satan the opportunity to damage us more on our various relationships.
When it becomes a case with the police, some friends who encourage us to retaliate may not take you to the police station, let alone pay the monies involved with you.
Believe God who says, it is up to Him to take vengeance on your behalf.

God is faithful and truthful. Stand by His words and be free, for which purpose Christ came to the World.-Bernice Afi Ndo

Home Base

Falling To Grace

As my son’s life spins more out of control, I feel myself spinning too. Falling away from him. Away from having to defend him. Away from justifying anything. It hurts. But it’s a numbing kind of hurt. A tired hurt.

I wonder, Is this how he felt when he was choosing between the choices he had? A numbing peace?
What stressors he faced, day after day. Running a business, keeping everyone happy. Never being enough. Never quite getting it right. Never feeling quite comfortable in his own skin. Always using humor & distraction to move away from those feelings.

Netflix’s new show Words on Bathroom walls shows the demons that mental illness brings and what people have to do to relieve those.

I’ve spent 18 months doing a deep dive into why my son started using. The entire time he was getting worse and worse. As Lorelie Rozzano started in her post today:

“Weeks, months, and years passed.
I grew progressively sicker, and somewhere along the way, I STOPPED CARING…

Justifications, rationalizations, and blame were ingrained in my thinking. My cognitive reasoning skills were poor—every thought I had allowed me to justify my behavior and rationalize my use.

Because my brain was a toxic chemical soup, my behaviors grew increasingly more unhealthy. I justified using, stealing, cheating, procrastinating, yelling, swearing, over/under-eating, shopping, and the many other poor choices I made.

I built a sticky web of deceit and drug dependency and then became trapped by my thinking. It was the worst kind of hell as I was both the victim and the perpetrator of my demise.

Lorelie Rozzano

I also have become trapped in my thinking. Thinking I can fix this.

I can’t.

And maybe that’s how he feels. Too much to fix…Without the know-how to do it.

Although WE can see the way out pretty clearly, their hijacked zero-coping skill brain can’t.

And we can’t tell them the way out. This lady describes the addicted brain response pretty well:

“The lack of coping skills to handle day to day challenges physical emotional psychological spiritual etc are the core reasoning behind the need to use n abuse all of which leads to self-destructive behaviors uncontrollable actions that without the desire for change leads to a self destructive lifestyle the individual will make the choice to stop n force themselves to feel n learn to manage feelings n problem solve if not they continue to self destruct n live day by day in the life of an addict only when the addict can begin to make rational decisions will he or she allow themselves to rebuild recondition the mind learning to think things through positive reinforcement- Marta Deleon

Keywords”The addict can begin…..” Not the addict’s mom… Everyone has to to their own work. Even then- there’s a certain point – like where I’m at now- to turn it over…..

I have to remember Joyce Meyer’s word in “Closer to God Each Day:

"We often get frustrated because we are trying to live by our own works when our lives were brought into being and designed by God to be lived by Grace. The more we try to figure out what to do to solve our dilemmas, the more confused, upset, and frustrated we will become.
.....just stop and say
"Oh Lord, give me Grace (your power and ability)." -Joyce Meyer

I can only pray that there’s enough Grace (divine love or pardon) to catch us both.

Home Base

Mustard Seeds

Don’t forget that it is Satan who roams this earth seeking whom he may devour. For every prayer and every tear, God is working in the back ground to make those prayers happen. We want it instantly.  That’s not always the case. It takes time. And usually our anger at the slowness is misguided when it’s Satan and his fallen ones that should get our anger. He(God) didn’t create this. And He will not force us to follow him. We all have choices in this life. I pray that God will put people in the suffering one’s path that will lead him to Jesus and back to your arms. Praying for his safety.

Home Base

The Dream

“What exactly seems to be the problem????”

I could hear the words echo like a child’s faraway pleading…

“Why, God?? Why can you part an entire sea of water but you can’t seem to fix my “little” problem.”

I spouted the accusations into the air like a thick plume of smog…

I felt the searing pain and confusion deep in my heart.

Why wasn’t I worthy enough for God’s attention?

Why did others have these spiritual experiences, yet my little family is still fractured seemingly beyond repair with what my eldest son’s addiction had caused?

I had prayed. Oh, how I had prayed.
Oh, I’ve always been a believer that there was a power greater than myself who was directing this harrowing game of life. But I had never truly NEEDED there to be one as much as I had the last 2-3 years.

That was about the time I started the wrenching conundrum of wanting more than anything to believe that there is SOMEONE who is listening and can take a look at my problems and put them on the “to be solved list”.

On this particular day, I wasn’t feeling my list was even visible, let alone being checked off.

My son was still deep in addiction, with no signs of wanting help. He had legal warrants for his arrest for many felonies for possession while trying to feed the cravings of his disease. He had abandoned his family; including his kids, lost his million-dollar business & had zero possessions or money to his name.

I had been praying to my God, with some anger and disappointment, that no mountains were being moved on my behalf. I had inquired fervently why I wasn’t good enough to receive all the spiritual blessings that “others” seem to get, with a very quick disclaimer of “not that I’m not appreciative of everything I have sir. “
So I drifted off to sleep with the compromise of “ok then, please just show me, my son, in the future with his kids & a house & a real job again…”
By dang it, I had not been awake the next morning for more than 30 seconds when I realized that my God had done it.

My dream…..

I was in some sort of open mall. I was with his ex-wife and his kids. Suddenly I see my son out of the corner of my eye. He’s strolling down the center like nothing!
I freeze!  It had been a year at least since they had seen each other but more than that, I KNEW she would think that I set her up just for him to see his kids.
I panicked, as she hurried to block her kids from seeing him, but it was too late. I was trying to reassure her that I didn’t know he was here….but it didn’t matter, his beautiful Daughter had seen him. She yelled, “Daddy!”
He took her in his arms.

This moment.
This moment that every child of an addict must feel.
To be abandoned-no-more. To be loved and cared for by the most important people in their life.
To feel validated.
Important.
In that moment, the drugs, a disease, work, or whatever else the reason was told for the disappearance from their life, didn’t matter.

Life was complete.

All the dots were connected.
They could now color in the black and white picture of the happy family & turn the page……

I somehow disappeared in typical dream fashion…

Only to reappear in chapter 3 or so. Where I visualized them talking and the kids playing together.

Wow.

God had done it again…

Now I’m wondering what to ask for tonight….