Lessons Learned (Romans 8:5-9)

I did read the next chapter in Psalms this morning, but my heart kept going back to this. I could write about the Psalm, but what good would that do if I don’t go where my heart is.?

Someone I love is going through some things that I have been through. Before I went through it my sister went through it several years earlier. I saw her go through it but I was young and not so knowledgable about things then. It involved someone she loved very much who became a drug addict. For those of you who have experienced this. You’ve already related with me. Things worked out for her. I’m so thankful for that. I did learn things from those problems. I learned what drugs can do to a person. To a family. I saw the pain and destruction that they caused. That is probably one of the reasons I never wanted to try drugs. I did my share of herbal things,(which was not the right thing to do by the way),but hard drugs scared me . Because of my sister, I learned only a part of what they can do.

Fast forward several years and I found myself smack dab in the middle of a love affair with a full-blown addict myself. Lovely right ? Yes, things are great now. 10 years ago, I could not say that. Love can make you do some crazy things can’t it? Even when you know better. When your guts tell you things will never change and you’ve got to leave. Love screams he can change and to never give up. It’s supposed to I guess. Love is pure after all. God is love. But if you don’t have God. It’s not right to begin with.

I was saved. I believed and prayed. I just loved my addict more than I loved God. It ruined me. It killed me. My addict knew God too,but he loved me more than God. He loved drugs more than me. So, the fight to save him with my love ended badly. Love is supposed to change things. Loving the unlovable is what we are supposed to do right? Yes, but if we do that without loving God more. It will destroy you.

Watching this person I love go through the same monotony as I ,brings a lot of emotions back. I see how my family felt when I made the choices I made. You so badly want them to change. You know they can with every fiber of your being, yet they don’t. You don’t want to turn your back on them because they dont’ have anyone else. You are the only good thing they have. If you don’t help them no one will. Yeah, I know all about that.

I commend the wives who stick it out despite the struggle. I have read stories of women who have husbands as addicts and they remain in the fight to the very end. I couldn’t do it. I’m not one of those women. I wasn’t married. I should have been. I had children with him, but I’m thankful I wasn’t. I didn’t have that fight to deal with. I do not recommend having children out-of-wedlock. Nor living together without being married. But, we did.

My sister was married. So is this person I love who is going through this. It has been kind of up in the air what was going to happen really. No choices have been made whether things would change or not. I’m assuming he said things would change( I haven’t spoken directly to her yet) and she believes in him. As she should, but my reaction to it was not as understanding at first.

I wanted to say “are you kidding me? You know how this story ends. You are the third person who has been through this within our little circle (fourth really if ya count right outside the circle) and you really think its gonna end like you hope it will? How are you that stupid’?

Was that harsh? Probably. Honest? yep. The truth hurts sometimes. This is my truth though. Not the real Truth. I don’t want them to go through what I did. I don’t want them to go through what my sister did. Although they are three different people. They all made the same exact choice. To do drugs and to choose them over their families. I was not a happy camper this morning when I heard that she hadn’t left. I was livid. I was hurt. I was disappointed. In him. In her choice. Then I remembered. I was there too.

I was there when my addict told me he’d choose us over cocaine. I was willing to let go of all the lies and the hurt from that point on. I would forgive him 100%. He chose us and that was all it took. I would do my part and forgive and forget. Start clean. Start over new. From the bottom to the top. I just knew that my addict could beat the odds. He would come out on top. I knew he had the heart. I knew his soul was good. I knew if he’d do his part,I’d pull my weight and the worlds around with me because he was fighting for us.

He didn’t. My sister’s husband didn’t. The fourth person I mentioned earlier’s person didn’t either. All three chose drugs again and again. Talk about disappointment. Not only for yourself and the love they supposedly had for you wasn’t enough for them to stop. For your children who don’t have a choice who their daddy is. Or mama in some cases. They don’t get to choose who their parents are. They alone should be enough to fight for. Some people can’t fight I guess.

So, this morning while I was trying to not overreact about this choice the person made, I prayed. I asked God to show me what to do or say. I’ve given my advice. I’ve related to their feelings. I’ve let them know I knew how they felt. I’ve done all that I can do.

I’ve told her to make her choice with God in the lead. That they have to love God more. That was my mistake. That is what took me down. I didn’t know I wasn’t loving God like I should have been. I told her what I didn’t know then.

So all in my feelings this morning, I opened my Bible app on my phone and He showed me.

Romans 8:5-8 (5)For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.(6)For to be carnally minded is death;but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.(7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Bingo.Thank You Lord for showing me this. She too will have to make that choice. I gave my addict to God. In the middle of the chaos one night I just couldn’t take anymore. I wanted better for my children and I hit my knees. I begged him out loud to do whatever it takes to get him out of my life. I didn’t care what it was or how He had to do it. That he wouldn’t straighten out and I couldn’t do anything about it. Please take him out of our lives.

Several days later, he was arrested for robbing a convenience store and shooting the clerk. Thankfully he didn’t die. I blamed myself for that happening because I prayed for it. I carried that burden for a long time. It took me a long time to become Spiritually minded. I still have trouble at times. Ok, probably more than just at times. I’m learning.I fail, I fall. I get back up and I just keep going.

We have to choose God each and every day. To put Him first. To learn more about Him. To talk to Him each and every day. It is not something that happens naturally. You’ve got to get sick of this world and how it feels and seek Him. The only one who can change things. People can’t change without Him. You can say you have,but that strength to do so comes from Someone who gifted you with that strength.

The point here is, When you don’t understand why someone you love keeps choosing something other than “whats right”. Remember that they are not Spiritually minded. We can have personal opinions all we want. The Truth is the only thing that stands. Whether she needs to leave him or not is not my choice. It’s ultimately hers. Whether she will choose God first or not. Whether he will choose God or not. Most importantly if it is what God wants for the both of them.

Maybe her fairytale will come true. I truly hope it does. Her children deserve for it to. I can’t say that I wouldn’t envy her story if it does,but I would be more than joyful if they both choose the Lord and to walk His path. Wouldn’t that be beautiful? My own pain and experiences cause my opinions to lean in the opposite direction.

It all comes down to a choice. Not a choice made together. That comes after the choice to personally make that step of faith. I just pray they both do. I pray that we all do. It is not an easy choice. It is not an easy walk, but it does make you free. Freedom is priceless.

If you need to release someone to God, please consider doing that now. No amount of love from us will change them. No amount of support will make a difference. Release them to God. Let Him do His work. He is far better at it than us.

Lord, thank You for showing me Your Word this morning. To remind me that everyone is not where I am. That we are all in different stages in our faith. Forgive me for forgetting all too often that You are in control of everything. How grateful I am for that. You know our hearts Lord. I pray that You touch each life that is reading this. You know their difficulties. You are aware of their struggles. You know the ones who love others above You. They don’t mean to. Thank You for showing me the difference when I choose to love You first. I pray you touch the lives of those who are too low to recognize the power You have in their lives. We release our loved ones to You. You love them much better than we do. Please help them. Help them know who You are. Help them learn to choose You. Help them see their choices and to make the choice that is most pleasing to You. Help us make the choices that are pleasing to You. Help us learn to release our lives to you completely. Thank You for taking such good care of us. For Your never-ending mercy and grace that covers all of our failures. You are our safe place. Thank You for always being there. We want our loved ones to know you too. So they too can know the safety in You.

In Jesus name, Amen

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