A mother wrote to me: I’m giving up on prayer. Recovery was going well, I thought. Making meetings, new job he likes, nice girlfriend…I was beginning to trust and hope. In the last week, money taken from my purse, relapse, and violation of probation. Now it’s back to court and maybe prison this time. I’m afraid, and I can’t do this again.
My reflection: Why does fear seem so much stronger than hope? I don’t know, but there were countless times when I, too, felt like giving up on prayer. Often it’s easier to abandon hope and faith than to keep feeling crushed.
Today’s Promise to consider: When addiction’s chaos rises up again, smacks us, and knocks us to the ground, we hurt and feel despondent. It is then that we are in danger of giving up hope. But if we lose faith, all is lost. While it’s true that our loved ones need to fight their own battles, we can choose to stay close in hope and prayer. Today, let us make that choice.4796
Thank you so much for sharing this today. It was exactly what I needed in so many ways. I printed this and will keep it on me at all times.
Dear Allison, I’ll stay close to you in hope and prayer. We walk together. xo
I found a line in a poem by Jane Hirshfield that I find to be so true
”I know that hope is the hardest love we carry.”
Dear Beth, Thanks for sharing the line in the poem. It’s powerful….”Hope is the hardest love we carry.” Thank you. xo
Thank you. It was like a miracle I came across this post. As I sit sick with worry for my son I was giving up hope with prayers. I have prayed prayed and prayed but my son still keeps relapsing. I am scared. 7 months in rehab and relapse after a few days. I don’t know what to do or how to help him.
Dearest Joanna, I understand and am sorry. Many of us, here on this blog, relate to your words because we are (or have been there) ourselves. My son suffered a fourteen-year heroin addiction, and I, too, didn’t know what to do to help him. That is until I learned the words, “Stagli Vicino,” or “Stay Close to Him.” Our book Stay Close might help you to feel less alone. My sons helped me to write the story of my son’s addiction and recovery. Also, Al-Anon meetings were my saving grace. There I found people, who understand my pain and suffering without judgment. I’ll stay close in love and prayer.
I would never have survived without faith and prayers. My son has been in and out for prison for the better part of 17 years because of his addiction and the crimes he committed. Never give up.⛪
Dearest Terri, You and I walk together. I stand with you in never giving up. Where there is life, there is hope. Let’s keep each other and our children in our prayers. My love to you.
Last night when I heard the thunder and torrential rains, I felt despair that my son my be drenched, sleeping in the woods again. My husband and I refused to pay his rent for a new sober home, since he has been in and out of so many over the years. This morning I choose to push out my thoughts of regret and pity, and instead remind myself of why I set boundaries and to thank God for the rainstorm that may help my son choose to seek recovery.
Dear Laura, God bless you for all you’ve been through. I faced the same decision many times during my son’s fourteen-year heroin addiction. Boundaries keep us all safe – our children and us. Dr. MacAfee, my son’s beloved therapist, told me that it’s, ‘important to say what you mean and mean what you say.’ He said that our children need to know our boundaries so they can count on them. Moving boundaries cause anxiety and confusion. I join you in hope and faith. May the rainstorm bring your son to choose recovery. My love to you. xo
Such a good reminder. Sometimes we can get worn down and lose hope. Grace for today and hope for tomorrow
Dear Roberta, I love the word grace, and I love your sentence, “Grace for today and hope for tomorrow.” I join you in prayer and faith. xo
I stared at a poster at our local YMCA today of Proverbs 22:6
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” That has not been true for our family. I don’t know how to make sense of that verse. I have prayed over and over. Bought various prayer books. Put our child on every prayer chain I could find. Asked people to pray and most have given up.
It isn’t the substance abuse that is so disheartening, I guess I can understand the disease of addiction but it is the immorality, the rejection of every truth she was taught and given examples of while growing up. It is shocking.How, why, oh my! Just flood my mind but then I remind myself with writers like you that hope is hard work. Faith over fear is a choice I must make just like Sarah and Mary and Esther and many others. So I walk slowly, very wearily up Calvary’s hill and lay my burden at His feet.
Dearest Beth, I understand how you feel, and I have felt the same way many, many times. Once drugs take control over our children, they become someone else – immoral, hostile, ugly, and lost. They are under the drugs – the children we knew. I join you in prayer that your daughter comes home to herself and your family.
My older brother recently wrote to me about a similar thought. I offer you his words in hope and love:
“I was told by a Catholic nun one time that St. Teresa of Avila, a Spanish mystic and Mother Superior of her Carmelites, reportedly told her sisters that she had a vision of Jesus and He asked her, “Daughter, why are you so troubled?” She said, “Lord, we have many problems. We are in desperation. We need Your help! I myself am so troubled that I can barely eat.” And Jesus said to her, “But Daughter, you must eat. You must keep up your strength. Don’t you know that things are going to get worse?”
Jesus promised many things but one of the chief things He promised was the cross. “If you want to be one of my disciples you must pick up your cross every day and follow me.” But there are many days, and there have been many days, when I do not and did not want to pick up my cross. I wanted my cross to be taken away from me…at least for awhile. And I prayed that way. And sometimes I did get some relief and sometimes I did not get a nickel’s worth of relief. But I have come to understand that complaining to God and about God is actually OK with God…the Bible is full of stories of people doing just that. God doesn’t mind, He can handle it. He’s heard it for many, many millennia from billions and billions of us. So I just go on, letting Him know what’s up, and letting Him do whatever He decides. He’s God and I’m me, and as my sainted Nana used to say…but she said it in her broken English…”one day after another; that’s all you can do.”