A lot of my clients and friends of mine happen to be mammas of loved ones who have struggled or whom are struggling with addiction. God uses those rough roads we've traveled down and leads us to others who might need a bit of a roadmap.
So many have come to me this month with "how did you get through the Holiday season not knowing where she was, or worse, knowing where she was but not able to help?" My answer will always remain the same:
B L I N D F A I T H.
I struggled with whether or not I would even hang a stocking each year. What was worse? The pain I would feel after seeing a full one never received, or seeing an empty one without any hope? It was a toss up and depending on the year, He led me to do what I couldn't do for myself.
One year she called me from a payphone and she was freezing and asked me for money for a hotel. I would answer every single phone call for years and on my lucky days, it would actually be her. I was ice skating with her four siblings the night I got the call because I owed it to them to do my very best to carry on and it was painful but I was also so thankful to have children to celebrate with . I hoped if things got bad enough, cold enough or hard enough, she would stop. The hardest thing I did that night was to tell her no. I was not willing to allow her to get warm and use in a motel but I told her I would come pick her up, feed her and she could come home. My Christmas wish was not her own. I didn't sleep that night and many nights after but God did comfort me by whispering to my soul that I may have been saving her life that night instead of harming her. One year on Christmas, I delivered one tiny bag of
to the door of her treatment center because I wasn't allowed to visit yet. I was so proud of her and so hopeful. One year, I had the absolute pleasure of her presence on Christmas morning only to realize she would leave me the next day and I wouldn't see her for over a year.
I don't say these things to shame her, to scare you, or to create sadness in your heart. I say these things because I kept God at the center of every single tear I cried and prayer I moaned. The amount of hope and faith I had each and every day that the next day would be better; that I would see her; that I would hug her.... filled me with an unexpected sense of peace and prolonged endurance. I created a beautiful prayer room. I threw my Bible away. I ran to get it right back. I drank vodka at 11 in the morning because I couldn't manage. I realized that was dumb. I kept searching. I started a support group. I got angry. I cried. I prayed. I waited.
I learned to find myself. I learned to forgive myself. I needed to sit with the uncomfortable emotions and feel all the feels.
I don't know what you are facing right now but I do want to tell you a few things. This moment of heavy expectations or loss or celebration that you are with your people with the sneaky fear it'll all happen again will pass. You have to hold on to remembering that this season is also super hard for the person you are missing. I am not excusing their addiction or absence because I know it's hard for everyone involved. What I am saying is I need you to be stronger than your emotions. That voice that tells you you can't make it through the season or the pain or the fear that tries to keep you in bed or from celebrating those around you will go away and life will balance back out. You have to keep doing the next right thing; self care, setting your boundaries and asking yourself what you are and aren't willing to do for them and sticking to it like a broken record. I need you to keep asking God to give you that sense of hope and endurance and I want you to ask Him to show you a gift each day and I want you to look for it and write it down. That sunrise matters. That text from a friend counts. The dog walks and puppy kisses mean something. Look for them.
I often tell my clients and my friends that they are only in charge of what they decide to do. I ask them to visualize going to bed at night and reflecting on their day and I ask them to make a choice in what that looks like for them before it happens.
How did I get through it? How will you? He equips you with what you need. You, my sister in Christ, are the seeker and once you seek, you WILL find all that He has. You often won't even see it, like I didn't.
B L I N D FAITH.