Addiction or Connection? (667)
Sin will take you further than you want to go, make you stay longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you ever imagined. A recent article in the NY Times outlined the process of opioid addiction and why so many people find themselves and why they overdose trying to get free of it. Brad and Wayne found it an eye-opening article not only to stir compassion for those so captive but also found interesting parallels between drug abuse and the power of sin to rewire our brains for bondage. They also talk about how a growing relationship with God can rewire our brain to break our addictions and how real connection breaks the power of addictive behavior.
Heroin Addiction Explained: How Opioids Hijack Your Brain in the New York Times
Everything You Think You Know about Addiction Is Wrong, A TED talk by Johann Hari
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I’ve been fighting this battle with my 27 year-old daughter for the past 9 years. She is a meth addict, and I’ve seen all faces of what addiction can do to a beautiful young spirit. I fought her on it, and it made my physically ill — cancer, a stroke, finally I decided I could no longer fix this. I gave it to God. I kept reminding myself that as much as I loved her, He loves her even more in ways I can’t even comprehend. Now I can close my eyes at night, ask Him to watch over her, ask Him to keep watching over her because she is just a wounded spirit and is stuck in this addiction. Addicts have to WANT to break free — and many times they don’t want to at the moment. Now I just love her, just tell her I love her. I do maintain my bottom line though — she is not allowed in my home as long as she is still in active use. This was our last resort, but I want her to want to come home bad enough to get the help. It’s a real burden to bear as a parent, you have to be able to give it all competely and irravocably over to the Father — but once you do there IS hope and there IS freedom 🙂
Your comment touched my heart deeply. I am saddened by pain you have experienced over the last several years as a result of your daughter’s addiction. I appreciate your journey through your grief as an affected family member and thank you for sharing a piece of it here.
We can lead a horse to water, but we cannot make them drink. We can make them thirsty though. Your love for your daughter along with healthy boundaries is what she desperately needs, I think.
I am a recovering addict. The behavior that came out of my addiction broke many hearts. My guilt and shame contributed greatly to my spiral downward. It was a vicious and deadly cycle.
Although I understand that there are those trapped in addiction who are not willing to surrender and engage in a recovery process, I also believe there are those who are unable to surrender for reasons we can’t commprehend.
Ruth, I will pray for your daughter each night asking Father to protect and guide her to hope and freedom.
Probably the BEST podcast in a long time. So many thoughts that we could go extremely deep on each one. I think there is enough depth in the material that a trinity of collaborators could write a shackesque book on it all. Oops, there’s another topic.
One thing, on all the podcasts; I’m looking for a Windows or phone app that would easily create a transcript of the audio, similar to what is available on the TED talks. For people whose brains were knit together in a similar fashion as mine, it would add another dimension of soulful feeding if I had a transcript or the like that I could put in a notebook and add comments, highlight, reference scripture, a journal with etc. With even a slower pace in my now geriatric life, there is a lot here that doesn’t travel deep enough into my soul to sprout into much new life. But maybe there is a whole different dynamic at play here that I have to be more patient to be able to see.
Hi Ruth and Pat.
I feel as Perry did as well as my brain works better with visuals than hearing, but I manage. I can rerun the podcast and the pictures become more complete. Never lose heart . God is Faithful. He meets us in our slower pace. I also have a granddaughter with drug problems and I feel for you. The Lord has taken me through many trials and difficulties and contrary to how we feel, He never leaves us. I am an old man now and know the Lord as the satisfaction of my soul.
The older I get the more I appreciate this life is a schooling for all of us and chastenings are one of the chief methods God employs in the training of His children what ever age. Often they are sent for the correcting of our faults. Even Job said “Cause me to understand wherein I have erred”.I need to remind myself that it is the “rod” and not the sword which is smiting me; and that the rod is held in the hand of our loving Father—and not the avenging Judge.
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2-3). Moreover, they break down selfishness and make us more sympathetic to our fellow-sufferers, “Who comfort us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble” (2 Cor. 1:4).
Ray, your words had a lot of resonance. Blesings, Sue
Ray, your words had a lot of resonance. Thanks for pointing back to Him. Blesings, Sue
Never meant to post twice…technology “got” me! Sorry!
Wow! Titu 2:11 in the context and light you share is completely different than what I was taught at a legalistic/cult like type group I used to be in.. That verse was taught to me and ingrained to me (preached often that particular verse) meant grace is not mercy/forgiveness but it’s the power to not sin.
So what I think I’m gathering is that yes grace gives us power to not sin but it’s because grace IS mercy/forgiveness?
My own experience in my journey with God before and after that group is that grace is forgiveness and seems that way constant through the Bible yet that one verse since being ingrained to me…I have never been able to see how it really fit with the grace I experienced in my relationship with Him and also saw in bible. I have been healed as others from leaving this group and experiencing His grace but very thankful for new light on this verse in Titus that was used/preached to shame people if they messed up….they were failing at living in His power(grace)…
It’s crazy how deceptive things can be with using verses…
Thank you Wayne and Brad this will continue to help me…as I plan to meditate on this with the Holy Spirit helping me. It’s crazy because when I listened to the podcast the last 10 minutes or so I kept routinely getting interrupted and I had to replay it like 5x before I heard what was said…I think possibly the enemy was wanting to keep me in the dark.
And now I’ve listened over and over those last 7 min or so…this is really breakthrough…to see the verse as grace teaches us to say no…if we are not saying no it’s not withholding grace that helps us.
I’m actually attending a bible study on Titus…it will be interesting what the author of the study interprets that verse.
I can imagine the heartache the family feels when their adult children become enslaved by drugs. There is much feelings of frustration, alarm, sadness, hopelessness, despair, guilt, shame, anger and etc. Parents world is turned upside down, and the mind is filled with wanting to know why. It’s important to know why, so if there was things that was done that caused wounding in the child that lead them seek out numbing substances. And there is times that it wasn’t anything that happened within the family, that the wounding occurred outside of it. And there is children that because they are sensitive they are more prone to be wounded easier and seek to numb themselves out, because the vulnerability is too much to bear.
I often hear the feelings of the parents and what I see missing is what is the child feeling? How awful it must feel to be a slave to drugs, to have no control whatsoever. That the drugs run their lives and harms their relationships. The only way a parent can help is when their is a relationship, not so much how the parent is attached to their child, but how much the child is attached to their parent. Does this child want to be good for their parent? Are they resisting depending, holding the parent at arms length, pushing them away? You can only parent a child whom has given you their heart, without it you have no influence. It’s up to the parent to make it easy and safe to depend. Parenting is a maze with much grieving for all the futilities, for all the hasn’t worked, can’t work and will never work.
No one should ever force a parent into helping their adult child who struggles with addiction. That is a hard path to walk and it may never bear fruit, while the love the parent has for the child might not ever sink in, it will transform the parent in the process. Once a parent feels the calling within their heart to take charge and move to reach their lost lamb. There is some really great resources from Dr. Gabor Mate and Dr. Gordon Neufeld(Developmental psychologist). These men are looking deeper and seeking insight and understanding. To make sense from the inside out. When we see then we can take action.
I’ll leave this for last, I’m sure what I wrote will stir up lots of feelings of guilt. Guilt is an important emotion, we need to feel it and have our sadness for the things we can’t fix or change. A parent can’t do their important work of care-taking without this emotion. If we try to flee from it, we are only fleeing from our responsibilities. All emotions have a purpose, they are meant to take care of us, to move us to action. The more we can make room for the feelings, the better we can set our intentions on what really matters to us. Cutting it out, does not help. We need to add in what’s missing. All the virtues are mixed feelings, the conflict between two emotions.
Impulses to react and caring about impact = Self-Control
Frustration and caring feelings = Patience
Fear of the dragon and caring about the treasure = Courage
Concern for self and caring for another = Consideration
Impulses to get even and caring feelings = Forgiveness
Limitations and caring enough to make something work = Sacrifice
(From Neufeld Intensive 1: Making Sense of Kids course)