I once called our beloved Dr. MacAfee, my son’s addiction therapist, to talk about suffering: During the fourteen years of my son’s addiction, I suffered, as we all do when we see our child destroy himself and his life. At that time, I received an email from a mom in which she wrote, “You need to quit complaining about your suffering. You need to learn from it.” Although I understood the concept of learning from pain, I also felt confused and hurt. Was I not ‘allowed’ to talk about or feel the constant heartache? I needed help putting things together. 

Dr. MacAfee’s responded: “Life is suffering. Until we get this concept, we can’t move on. Although days are filled with many beautiful moments, suffering is part of life. The question is not how do we live without pain, but how do we allow that pain to transform us. Suffering can be redemptive, sculpting us into better people if we let it. The problem is when we get mired in our own suffering, and resist it, then it becomes nonproductive. Acceptance of pain allows it to pass through us.”

Today’s Promise to consider:  Addiction taught me that pain is both the cross and the resurrection. We all suffer, and no one is immune. Whether the pain we experience is part of the current pandemic, addiction, health issues, money problems, or a myriad of other heartaches, today I will allow it to flow through me. I will breathe deeply, not resist the hurt, and let the trauma help me to grow.





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libbycataldiAmy SolfisburgPat Nichols Recent comment authors
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Pat Nichols
Pat Nichols

The continual suffering that my son’s addiction created eventually lead me to find a different path. I needed a path that allowed me to “Stay Close” to my son but a path that freed me from the devastation of habitual suffering. The fear never fully left me but I learned how to deal with it in a manner that freed me from it’s control. It’s not an easy or short journey but there are paths that lead to a return of peace and serenity. I learned I had to release all of my knowledge and allow a new educational flow… Read more »

Amy Solfisburg
Amy Solfisburg

Libby, hi, this is just what I needed to hear today. I am suffering and not only am I suffering I can’t stop obsessing about my son who is serving another eight years in prison, as a result of his addiction. I want to stop obsessing about him I have tried everything I can possibly think of, am I selfish? Am I thinking only of myself? Why can I not let this go? I love Jesus with all of my heart and believe and know that he will take care of him. Please, how do I allow this pain to… Read more »