Recently I shared the prayer in which I turned my son’s addiction-driven life over to the authority of God’s plan. Regardless of what I wanted for my son, I have no actual authority in that arena. It was his life, his choices. And I chose to believe it was still part of God’s ultimately good plan.
However, that prayer and belief didn’t free me from all decision-making activities regarding my son’s life and choices. It just meant that I didn’t have to keep getting caught up fighting to protect my hopes and dreams for his life. With the help of that prayer, I was able to start focusing just on those outcomes I was responsible for: how I live and how I love.
I had to learn in the hardest way possible that…
I am NOT responsible for the choices, decisions, or actions of others.
I AM responsible for how I respond to the behavior and choices of others.
I am NOT responsible for my emotions, which are natural reactions to the good and bad in the world around me.
I AM responsible for what I do with those feelings: my own behaviors and patterns that emerge from those feelings and reactions. The way I choose to manage my own life and actions is the only thing I can control.
Many parents struggle with doing the right thing as it relates to their children’s addiction. I know there were times I was terrified of making a mistake. As you struggle with doing what is best or right, you spend a lot of time searching for answers. Even in your prayers, you may ask God to tell you what to do.
It took me a while to realize it, but the answers to our questions have already been given us. It starts with trust. God has given you all you need to live according to his calling and his plan for your life on the day you focused your life on following Christ. God’s word, his law, and Christ’s example have shown the way. The opportunity for each of us is to empower ourselves to trust in his guidance for our lives.
“There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21 NKJV)
Next time you find yourself seeking God’s way or God’s will as you wrestle with those difficult decisions, do what you know you need to do. This is not a time to search for the right answer, but to trust that internal voice that says this is the way. I believe that is the spirit of God speaking to you, calling you forward into action.
After you make that decision, give thanks to God for his wisdom and his direction and move on. There is so much peace in trusting the authority of God’s direction than fighting the demons of fear, doubt, and worry. You’ve done all you can. Trust him to do his (much bigger) part.
Are you the parent of a child addicted to drugs or alcohol? The emotional roller coaster 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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