The addicted mind has one mission – feed the need. Satisfying this requirement involves many behaviors – denial, deception, manipulation, and survival. The easiest resources in this relentless quest to feed the need are those who love and trust them most—family and friends. Those who have a close relationship with someone with an addiction, often are the last to actually realize there is an issue and are the first to discover they have been victimized by the addiction in some fashion. For obvious reasons, one of the more immediate casualties of a loved one’s addiction is a complete loss of trust.
Trust is a gift. It is something earned with friends over time. In families, trust is almost unconditional from the start. Once earned, it is something to be respected and honored.
Trust is very personal. It is one of our ultimate of personal gifts. There is a component in trust which includes the sharing of very personal thoughts, ideas, and experiences with a confidence they can be safely shared and securely stored. Barriers come down and protection is provided.
This why when trust is broken it has such a damaging effect on those involved and on their relationship. Even if a fragmented relationship begins its reparations, the actor may be forgiven but the scars remain. Healing takes time, time takes time. Building trust, once broken, can be a long hard road back. Repeat experiences in a breakdown of trust completely destroys all confidence. Even when there is a desire to heal and forgive, the pain of betrayal is extremely strong.
I listened to a talk on Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11. The focal point of this scripture was the part where it says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl 3:11 NIV).
As I reflect on my roller coaster experiences with my son’s addiction, one of the casualties of this experience is my ability to really trust, not just my son, but myself and others, as well. I have learned to embrace my addiction journey, its lessons and experiences, as something designed to help me grow in my faith, as well as, in my love for and relationships with others. I have come to find enormous comfort in moving closer to God and in the transformative power of this journey.
Every time I experience a defeat or a setback, my confident trust in this journey and with all those involved, takes a major hit. I feel my defense mechanisms raised, my confidence dimming, and weakened ability to trust everything will work out. I fear failure everywhere. I am continually disappointed by little things and lose focus or disenchanted by any lack of progress, sensing it as a signal of more impending doom or another upcoming let down.
As I reflected on this message, I realize I am carrying the experience of broken, human trust into my relationship with God, my Father. I am not trusting Him as much I have in the past. I am losing connection to an important reality: even though my day-to-day experiences may hurt and disappoint, or the current season may seem dark and uncertain, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Breaking this down into critical key words…
- “has made” – He has already done it, planned for it, and has it worked out. Wait for it.
- “..in its time.” I’ve been managing my life according to my calendar, not His.
God’s word is clear. According to His schedule, His calendar, and His plan, everything has been made beautiful. When was the last time God’s promises failed you?
This won’t be an easy shift for me – the control freak with high goals, dreams, expectations, and an impatient, aggressive timeline. This week I am going to focus on reminding myself who I can really trust and embrace, with confidence. He knows what He is doing and He promised me it will all work out, beautifully. Good enough.
Want more insights from this blog? Join me on the podcast “100Pedals Talk: Inside the Blog” as I delve deeper into this post and share personal stories or reflections behind the article. (Note: The podcast relating to any particular blog is released on Thursday of the same week this blog is posted.) Subscribe to this podcast on I-Tunes here.
I would love to hear from you. What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help. Please let me know: dave@100Pedals.com.
Dave Cooke is going on the Road! Learn more about this year’s cross county cycling trip from Charleston, SC to San Diego, CA at Cycling for Recovery 2017.