Holidays are a great time, right?
Lights, trees, presents, and smiles.
Friends and families gather for warm hot cocoa and fun times around the fireplaces.
But what about for those of us who have lost someone?
It could be that a family member or close friend recently passed away. Or perhaps the person is away. This could be for work or the even more difficult scenarios such as prison or rehab. It’s even possible to have someone physically present but mentally or emotionally distant because of an addiction or other problematic situation.
The reasons why some of us are forced to face the holidays without the one we love vary.
The good news is that the methods for dealing with this dilemma are the same. They involve overcoming the same set of lies those of us who find ourselves in this position often believe.
Thinking that these 4 lies are true is where the battle really lies. Overcoming them and believing what is actually true is how we gain the victory.
Let’s look at each...
My name is Amos and I am a 37 year old “addict” working towards a better life through the Lord Jesus Christ. I am always hoping and praying for that better future, but I seem to catch myself being stuck in the darkness a lot. Wondering when this never-ending nightmare will be over – will I ever move forward? This never-ending battle of addiction.
I’ve come to focus on the things that I can change. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now have light from the Lord.” I’ve learned to live as a person of light. The more I live in God’s light the less I will want to be influenced by the darkness of the world around me. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
In Proverbs, we are told that wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you and...
“Do Not Attempt This at Home”
Guest Post Written by my Father, Pastor John Franich, Founder of SVTC.
This is a disclosure we often see on TV or newspaper ads when someone is offering medical help or advice on how to solve a problem or repair something. It’s also good advice if we have a family member going through an addiction. Except for this advice, who we all agree is good for others, think it doesn’t apply to us.
I had this very same experience several years ago in the early years of the beginning of Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge. While trying to build a ministry to help others with life-controlling problems, there was one developing right under my own roof. But of course, with a college degree, I had all the answers. But it is very different when the problem is that close to home. All the education and expertise you think you have when it’s your own doesn’t matter. Even if you have a reasonable IQ your EQ may...
How to Renew Your Hope After Losing It: Part Two
3 Practical Applications
This is part two of a two-part article. If you missed the first
you can read part one: How to Renew Your Hope After Losing It: 3 General Principles
Hope is so important to human life. Along with faith and love, it is the oxygen of the human soul. With it, we can overcome any obstacle. Without it, even simple tasks in life feel overwhelming and debilitating.
In the first part of this two-post series, we discussed 3 general ways we can renew our hope by using our God-given resources to help others.
In this post, we will explore 3 practical ways we can apply those resources and get involved while our hopes get renewed.
Let’s look at each one together.
A great place to start giving our time, treasure, and talent is in the surrounding community. We can partner with local churches and get involved with some of the programs they offer to people in the local community. Homeless shelters,...
How to Renew Your Hope After Losing It: Part One
3 General Principals
Hope is one of three things that lasts forever (1 Corinthians 13:13).
But that doesn’t mean our hopes are always fulfilled.
In fact, they can often be let down. And when that happens, we can be left devastated. That’s why the Bible lets us know that a “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12).
We all know what that feels like. We get passed up for a promotion we’ve hoped for after many years. Someone we were once close to doesn’t want to speak with us and we try to make it work but to no avail.
But some of us know what a hope deferred feels like on a deep level. And that is when we hope someone we love who is battling a drug or alcohol addiction would find freedom. Only to stay enslaved to the addiction, keeping us and themselves in the vicious cycle of broken promises to change.
In this situation, we have to find a way to overcome the sickening feeling of deferred...
When we love someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, we ride the struggle with the person. We do many things to help them. And in most cases, intervention becomes essential – we end up having to confront the addict about the behavior.
In a perfect world, we’d confront the person. (S)he would see how much their drug use is hurting themselves and the people they love. Change would occur. We’d all live happily ever after.
But we don’t live in a perfect world.
And in almost every case that is not the way interventions play out.
In fact, they often blow up in our faces.
The question is, how do we handle it when it does?
To answer this, we first must understand what happens. Normally, we will get one of three responses from the person when we try to intervene.
This is the outburst personality type. The person flies off the handle. Screams. Curses at us. Calls us names. Yells. Anger is unleashed on us for trying to help.
This is the lack of...
Loving an addict is tough.
Not only does the person go through ups and downs, but we go through them with the person as well.
In most cases, if the situation gets too bad, we can leave.
This isn’t always easy. But it is always an option.
Abused spouses can find support from friends and family and get to safer environments. Boyfriends can separate from girlfriends. Friends can find new people to associate with.
But if the addict is your own child, the situation becomes more difficult to deal with.
The reason is that we cannot (nor should we) separate from our children. Leaving the relationship is not an option.
Therefore, we have to learn to find peace when our children are addicted to drugs and alcohol but refuse to change.
Here are the 4 things we need to do to find that peace.
1. Trust in Christ
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds...
Have you ever experienced the frustration of trying to help someone who refuses to themselves?
How many times have you been burned trying to love someone who is selfish?
The reality is that this is a real problem. And it hurts.
This person could be a friend. It could be someone we are in a relationship with. Maybe it’s a family member.
We don’t want to stop helping them, but at the same time, we see no improvement and keep getting attacked for trying to be a friend.
Can you relate to this? Have you been asking what to do in this sort of situation?
If so, we’ve got some suggestions about how to handle an addict who only cares about themselves.
In fact, there are 3 things you can do to address this right away.
Let’s go through each one and see what insights we can glean.
1. Establish Boundaries
Agreeing to help someone does not mean you become their doormat for them to walk on as they please. This is especially the case if the addict you are trying to help is...
How to Deal with an Addict Who Always Lies to You
Has the person you’ve been trying to help on the road to recovery been lying to you?
Do you feel that the declarations of sobriety aren’t necessarily true?
Sometimes addicts try to hide their situation, especially from the people who would be most disappointed over their relapse.
If you find yourself in this situation, then there are 3 pieces of wisdom that you have to understand.
These 3 statements are powerful guidelines to follow if you feel that the addict you are trying to help is hiding their drug use and is lying to you about it.
But before we explore those 3 thoughts together, there is something we must remember.
The person isn’t lying to hurt you. (S)he is not doing it with the intention to cause you harm. There are several reasons why the person may be hiding the truth from you.
Proverbs 13:12 -
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
This verse is a picture of what most family members feel when it comes to their loved ones. It’s interesting how in the following verses there is a substantial list of contrast.
These differences parallel the rewards of obeying the Word of God and then the following consequences to disobeying the Word.
This one verse really stuck out to me when I was re-reading this passage after hearing a preacher deliver a sermon from it.
“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”
If your loved one is currently in rebellion, I know it can be hard to find this type of scripture comforting.
But it can certainly be a great learning tool to help us adjust our response to a challenging situation.It’s been my experience that when an addict typically makes a mess, most parents will jump right in and clean the mess up....