“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
There have been many times where I have said to myself, “I cannot take this anymore.” The deception, the pain, the frustration, and the struggle had taken their toll on me. One day I realized I was fighting a battle, not with my son, but with myself and society.
I was determined that, as his father, I should be able to save, inspire, rescue, cure, and fix my son. Every failure, every setback, every relapse, every deception seemed like failure. I was failing as a parent. I was failing as a father. The fact that my son was struggling with drugs in the first place was a reflection on me as a parent. I must have failed somewhere along the line. Now, it was up to me to right the ship, undo the mistakes, and fix the problem. Except I can’t. I must be failing.
When I read this verse, I look at the word “weakness” not as a personal failing or flaw, but something that exists in my life that makes me human. We all have strengths – those aspects in our personality or DNA that are unique, special, and powerful to us. We also have weaknesses – areas where we are not as strong which require we focus on improving on, developing, our rely on others with those strengths to guide and support us. No one is perfectly gifted in every aspect life. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses. Many people go to great lengths to hide their weaknesses for fear of what others might think if anyone ever knew what those weaknesses were.
A weakness is not a failing. It is simply not our strength. It is not how we desire people to discover who we are. We want everyone to see our gifts and hide our shortcomings. But a weakness can be a gift. Once we recognize where we could be stronger, better, or more developed it creates the potential to improve on it. Rather than hide our weakness, we bring it into the open in all authenticity and humility so we can begin to work-on, improve, or minimize that weakness within us.
I look at addiction, or being the parent dealing with addiction in the family as a weakness. It is something that we have in our lives that isn’t the most exciting, wonderful, or joyous component of our world. It does not make us screwed up, a failure, socially unacceptable, or an outcast. Only we can do this to ourselves. If we let others label our weakness with their judgment, we are surrendering the potential power in our weaknesses to their scrutiny.
Nobody is perfect. Everyone has a weakness. The weaknesses in each of us is what enables and challenges us to learn, grow, develop, change, inspire, and honor. It is the brave, courageous, and powerful person that brings their weaknesses into view so they can change, improve, or alter it.
If your child is dealing with an addiction, recognize it is a weakness to deal with. It is not a failing or a flow. It is your struggle. It is an opportunity to powerfully use that weakness to educate and teach, to overcome ignorance and fear, and to inspire, guide and love others dealing with the same weakness.
The weakness of my son’s addiction is not a failing, it is a gift. As I learn, grow, and challenge myself to manage this weakness in my family everything I learn represents an opportunity to help others while educating those who don’t understand or are terrified of the word “addiction.”
Get your complimentary audio of my program “Three Ways to Rise Above the Addiction Drama.” Taken from the lessons of my experiences with my youngest son’s heroin addiction, I provide three behavioral tips for parents that will help them find more peace and clarity in dealing with the chaotic and destructive actions of a child dealing with addiction. To get your complimentary copy click here.