One of the hardest things to experience in life is watching someone you love struggle with an addiction. It’s difficult, because we want to see them succeed and lead a happy, full life but watch over and over again make the same mistakes that keep them in a never-ending cycle of destruction. The negative effects of their actions ripple in places you never thought were possible. If you’re in the middle of watching someone you care about walk through an addiction, here’s some simple, but powerful, truths on how to stay steadfast in your faith in Jesus, and continue to move your life forward even if they don’t.
You ARE NOT alone.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1:9, ESV). Dealing with stress from knowing that a loved one is struggling with an addiction can leave a person feeling vulnerable and isolated. But the truth is, even if you were to lose all people around you—you ARE NOT alone. God promises to be with us every step of our lives, and He means it. God works through His children, for His children, and the best thing you could do is get connected to your local church and link arms with others who will encourage you, pray for you, and do life with you. We recommend finding a Celebrate Recovery program near you to be able to talk about and heal from what you’re going through. (We may be biased, but we have a pretty incredible Celebrate Recovery program at our Tacoma Campus.)
You were meant for this battle.
"And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, ESV). It was not a mistake that you are connected to your loved one. As Christ followers, we are called to be salt and light wherever we’re placed. There may be times that you do not feel called or qualified, but don’t listen to those lies! God believes in your ability to love others the way He loves us. His timing is perfect. His plans are perfect, and He supplies all our needs. ALL of them, we need only to ask. The next time you begin to doubt yourself and question why you were placed in your situation, remember that God does not make mistakes. Run to a mess, knowing that the Holy Spirit will guide you through to the other side. You were made for this! (Watch this message from Pastor Sheila to encourage you.)
You do not have to carry this burden alone.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you reset. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” (Matthew 11:28–29, NIV). You may feel overwhelmed and burdened by loving, caring for, and worrying about your loved one. You might even be feeling guilty wishing you could do more, or maybe fear is gripping you at the idea of losing them altogether. Have an open conversation with Jesus, sharing with Him all your cares and burdens, asking Him into your situation. Do this daily so that your soul can be refreshed and your mind is ready to discern your next steps.
Put your Hope in the Lord.
“Hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is steadfast love and with Him is plentiful redemption,” (Psalm 130:7, ESV). Knowing who to put your hope in is essential to being steadfast in faith when loving a person with addictions. It’s easy to fall into the trap of putting your hope in counselors, medicine, treatment programs, and even your loved one, especially when positive results occur, but the truth is that not one thing or person is as perfect, almighty, or powerful as our heavenly Father. If you put your hope in the Lord, you will never be disappointed—putting your hope in anything other than God is too high of an expectation for one program or person to carry. Trust that God always has a plan, and it is always being worked out for your good. When we put our hope in the Lord, we’re able to give our loved ones what we’re meant to: love and grace.
We hope you take these truths and bury them deep in your heart. Get connected in the community at your local church—there is strength in numbers. There are many resources to help not just people with addictions but their loved ones as well. But before you go, here is a powerful promise from God for your journey. Know that He always keeps His promises.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
You can do this!