I open the front screen door and step tentatively inside.
My eyes dart to where my sister sits on the couch with new, tanned skin and home-cut bangs. I want to tease her about her eternal compulsion to dye and cut her own hair on a whim, but I feel awkward, unsure.
The last time I saw my sister was six months before, when she was still addicted to drugs. Now she was home from the recovery center, but I couldn’t let go of the memory of what she was like before: bitter, explosive, so unlike herself. So I stand at the threshold of the door and wait.
Then she looks up. Her lips first pause, then curve into a playful smile. She leaps off the couch, bounds towards me, squeezes me tightly. She asks me 800 questions about my life, and we laugh as our conversation falls back into old patterns. It’s almost like we were before addiction took over her life.
But, as much as I want to move past the pain her addiction has caused me and my family, I can’t. I feel anxious, resentful, and afraid. I’m confused. Shouldn’t I be happy she’s home?
Hope in Uncertainty
Coping with a loved one’s addiction is hard. It’s easy to fall into cycles of feeling helpless and angry. It’s easy to feel guilty and outraged in a single moment. Resentment chokes out the grace you want to give. Unforgiveness festers.
Are you overwhelmed by a loved one’s addiction today? Whether your loved one is in recovery or is still in the throes of addiction, you can turn to God’s word for peace.
Take a few moments to reflect on some verses that helped me as I struggled with my sister’s addiction. I pray they comfort you as much as they have comforted me:
- Psalm 28:7 (GNTD)
The Lord protects and defends me;
I trust in him.
He gives me help and makes me glad;
I praise him with joyful songs.
- Matthew 11:28-29 (GNTD)
Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in
spirit; and you will find rest.
- Romans 5:3-5 (GNTD)
We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance
brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us,
for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's
gift to us.
- John 14:27 (GNTD)
Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the
world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.
- Ephesians 6:10 (CEV)
Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong.
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