How to Love Someone Who’s An Addict

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This is not an easy post to write. I am not writing as the person who needs to learn how to love an addict. I am the addict addressing how to be loved. In my life I have been addicted to A LOT of things. Ranging from alcohol and drugs to pornography. By the grace of a loving God through Jesus Christ I have been set free from those addictions.

However, there is one ugly monster I cannot slay and it’s the addiction of approval. I know when you read this headline you were probably expecting a how to guide since it says “How to love someone that’s an addict.” What I hope you get from this post is exactly what it promises. Just not the step by step variety.

For me I have learned not to put myself in the sin of proximity. It means not allowing myself to be put in situations where I may fall off the wagon. So the first thing you can do is not be a stumbling block for those who struggle with addiction. If they are trying to not do something, don’t bring it around them. This goes for EVERYTHING from food to cigarettes.

Try not to reminisce about the good old days when such and such used to take place. All it does is make the person feel like you don’t love them for who they are, just what they used to be. I was a very crazy guy in my previous lifestyle. Now I am more laid back. I tend to play the background and let others take the center stage.

One of the best things you can do is love the person through all of their struggles. It is not an easy road to travel. I did not walk the road alone and can take no credit for the turn around made in my life. It is all due to the intervention of Jesus Christ into my life. But what I do know is the things mentioned above have helped me to remain clean and sober for almost 13 years.

It is a whole different story about my addiction to approval though. I can tell everyone all day long how we are to find our identity in Jesus and we are fully accepted in him. Knowing these things should be enough, but for me they aren’t. I enjoy hearing I have done a good job, people liked whatever I did or however the acknowledgment may come. I write this as a way to acknowledge my need to overcome this aspect of my life and trust God is enough not only for me but my entire family as well.

There are too many things in life people can become addicted to. Watch for the signs in your own life. Comfort can become a ruling emotion, longing to take over. Eating can easily get out of control (take it from me). I had gastric bypass three years ago because my weight had gotten out of control along with the rest of my health. So I understand the devastating effects of addiction and wanting to be loved.

While being loving make sure you are not also an enabler. You have to know when enough is enough. Tweet: Being an enabler is almost more dangerous to an addict than being the one who tells them no all the time. I’d rather you tell me no to an idea out of love and respect than to enable me out of fear or rejection.

I just need to keep reminding myself there is nothing in this world to hard for God to accomplish. He has brought me this far. From being an ex-thug, addict and thief. To having a B.S. in Religion (Magna Cum Laude) and working toward my Masters of Divinity. These are things I never in a million years would have dreamed of. It is my hope, when i am finished with this degree I will be able to use it well and not just for more accolades.

There you have it. Some practical ways to love an addict, and some more about me you may or may not have wanted to know. Now it’s your turn.

Question:What are some things in your life you may be addicted to?

Are We Supposed to Learn Something From Everything

church-402213_640I only ask the question because today I had to sit for almost three hours in a boring courtroom on a very hard bench. I couldn’t slouch or stretch without the bailiff having an attitude. For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while you know how bad my health is (I have fibromyalgia). So having to sit there was excruciating.

What made things worse was the fact I had only gotten four hours of sleep the night before. It was a rough night, only have to wake up early to go to a Bible Study. The study was a good time of fellowship around the Word of God in Daniel 5.

But back to my original question are we supposed to learn something from everything? If so I wonder what it is I’m supposed to learn from sitting in a place being so stiff and in pain. I guess you could say I am supposed to learn patience and endurance as my wife was saying.

It was definitely a test. I took a book with me to read, but was at first too tired to read, and then was in too much pain to focus on the book. I don’t know if your courts are like ours, but you are not allowed to have your phone or anything else electronic it looked like.

I can say today has been an eye opener for me in one regard. The same way I write for myself and it resonates with you all. So does a simple phone call placed to a brother in Christ to check on him. I know I appreciate it when one of the brothers reaches out to me, so I took it upon myself to give some guys the same care.

You may be asking what have I really learned today? Well, I’ll tell ya. I’ve learned courtroom benches hurt, and I am not the most patient of people. Most importantly I learned the importance of a well place act of kindness. You never know the impact it is going to have on someone. One of the brothers I contacted said the simple gesture of me calling him “Made my day.”

I don’t know about you, but being able to make someones day just warms my heart a little more. So yes we can learn something from everything, but we can not learn everything from one thing.

Question: What is something you have learned in the recent past?

Being Brutally Honest

Honestly speaking life is hard. I don’t just mean work, but every aspect of life. It feels like you have to always be on for people. At least that is the way it is for me, since I have fibromyalgia. Living a “normal” life is a struggle because there are days I don’t want to get out of the bed. I especially don’t enjoy leaving my house anymore.

Going to the store is a challenge for me. It is draining in all senses of the word. I used to be such a people person. That was until this stupid disease/syndrome got a hold of me. It has changed who I am on so many different levels. I am no longer the bubbly person I once was. My patience has gotten shorter. There is however one positive that has come from this.
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My relationship with Jesus has gotten better. I turn to him more often. I find peace in the fact that he told us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.(Matt 11:30). Even with that peace though it is still hard to maintain a great attitude all the time which is what I feel like I am supposed to do. When I am at church I want to talk to people and be polite most days. There are just some of those days, like the ones when I didn’t want to get out of bed. Trying to talk to people then is just plain rough.

Then there are my kids, I love them to death. They can just be a hand full sometimes. Especially the oldest who has the special needs. He can cause more stress which in turn causes fibro flares. Putting me in more pain. I don’t believe he does it on purpose. Either way it happens though. It is in those moments of struggle that I RUN to Jesus. One because I know he will always be there for me and two I don’ t know of anywhere else to run.

Add on top of all of that I am studying for my Masters of Divinity. Which takes up much of my time when the semester is in. With all of these things in mind I know of no other way in life to get by, than to run to Jesus. Sure I can run to a functional savior. In the end what good is that really going to do me?
What trials are you facing and how are you dealing with it?

Holiday Time: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

 

 Is it just me or is the most wonderful time of the year one of the most stressful times of year also? I have noticed that over the last seven years of marriage that the holidays tend to be more anwry than any other time of the year. When we were first married we had a huge fight our first Christmas because of something our son did to his cousin, it didn’t help that my wife was pregnant at the time. Then going back 20 years my father passed away just before the holiday season really got started on November 4, 1994. So that makes this a tough time of year for me. I do however remember one of the last presents that I ever got from my dad and i still have it to this day.  It was a stuffed teddy bear that was brown with a bow tie on we named it “Brownie” I know not super creative but it was the best I could do I was eleven at the time. This makes me sad thinking about it,  but it also makes me happy because I can still recall that last Christmas with my dad. 

     However, the holidays are not all bad. I have two sons who love Christmas and I know that one of them loves Jesus still not sure about the other. While one believes in Santa Claus and the other does not. That makes things a challenge around here trying to keep the oldest from spilling the beans. But each year we all get a new ornament from someone, usually the boys are getting the ornament from their grandparents along with my wife who gets one from her grandmother, and my wife buys me a new National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation ornament (that is my favorite Christmas movie). During Christmas break we will make cookies and generally watch a  lot of Christmas movies. The last several years we have gone caroling with members of our church through different neighborhoods. We are trying to instill in the boys the true meaning of Christmas that it is to celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While I personally don’t believe this is the day he was born on, it is the day we choose to celebrate it with the rest of the Christians around the globe. 
     The sad thing is not every Christian gets to celebrate Christmas like those of us here in the United States, there are countries that being a Christian is agains the law and you could go to jail or even die for your faith. I hope that my boys will never have to experience that kind of persecution in their lives, but if they do I pray they stand up for what they believe in.  This is also a hard season because not everyone can afford to do for their families like others can and it makes people feel less than. While it is not intentional it still happens. What we have to hope and hold on to is the day when the New Heaven and New Earth will appear and we no longer have to worry about this type of celebration because we will be enjoying the presence of Christ. I now that this post was a little more personal than some of my others and I hope you don’t mind. If you enjoyed this post will you comment and let me know. Because my goal is to create content you enjoy not just for me to be spewing words on the screen. 
I leave you with this: What are some fond memories you have of the holiday season?