When my son’s life first took a dramatic, addiction-related turn, many of the early casualties were my hopes and dreams I envisioned for him. From the time he was a boy, I envisioned the man he would become. His personality traits, unique skills, passions and interests reinforced my dreams. Then suddenly all that went out the window as addiction took over this wonderful person.
It is incredibly painful to watch your hopes and dreams appear to die. It is extremely difficult to release your hold on what you believed was possible for this child you raised. Not only are you witnessing a life interrupted, but you begin to fight for the life that could have been.
It can be even harder in this season to remember that God still has a plan – a GOOD plan – for your child’s life; and, that he has a good plan for yours as well. What you are witnessing is how God’s plans and your plans conflict. Regardless of how painful the current situation is and the impact of this unexpected, difficult path, you and your child are in God’s hands.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
When I was in the worst stages of my experiences with my son’s addiction, I felt completely powerless and helpless over his actions. I did everything I could to short-circuit or interrupt this freefall that had become his new path. Until I discovered this verse and reflected upon it. Did I believe it? What kind of future and hope did my son have now?
Instead of praying, “God please help me save my son,” I decided to change my prayer. I gave thanks to God for his plans: “God, I don’t know what you have in store for my son; but, I am grateful you have a plan for his life.” I gave it to God. Instead of wrestling for control over a life that I have no control over, I thankfully left it up to God to work his plan. Immediately, a calm and peace washed over me. I have prayed that prayer several times as the stresses of events washed over me. Each time, I found peace in the reality that this is God’s plan and I need to learn to trust in him.
“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21 NKJV)
God has a wonderful plan for our lives and for the lives of our children. Releasing your hold on how you thought life would turn out for your child and submitting to the unknown of God’s plan for both of you are massive steps of faith. And faith is not faith if you see the path and end result clearly. What we are living and experiencing in these moments of grief and loss and pain are but a small segment of a very large picture. God has the canvas and he is the painter. Paintings in process look messy, difficult, and often resemble little of the finished product. Instead of trying to wrestle control of the brush, we can practice waiting and watching in awe at the master’s work, and find joy and gratitude in his vision – his Master Painter’s eye – for our lives.
Are you the parent of a child addicted to drugs or alcohol? The emotional rollercoaster of addiction is not God’s best for you or your family. Dave Cooke is an Addiction Coach and an internationally recognized speaker. Let him show you how to move your family back on track in a healthier direction by applying Christian principles. To contact Dave for private coaching, go to http://www.100pedals.com/coaching/ or email dave@100Pedals.com. You’ll be amazed what a difference an hour with Dave can make in your life!
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