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Several years ago when my husband was my drug addicted boyfriend, a moment of clarity revealed just how much I allowed my life to revolve around his addiction.
One afternoon he was lying on his side as we talked, and I noticed a lighter hanging half-way out of his pocket. He had just gotten a sponsor in a twelve-step program (which thrilled me) and when I asked if he had relapsed he assured me that he was clean, that he hadn't worn that pair of jeans in a few months . . . the lighter must have already been there. Um. Could you come up with a better lie? I'm tryin' to have some hope here.
"Wendy, I promise I haven't used. I'll take a U.A. and prove it to you."
Ordinarily I would've agreed, but God used that day to reveal on the outside, a small change I'd made (by His grace) on the inside.
"Take a test. Don't take a test. I don't care. A month ago I'd have insisted that you take one. Then I'd have put my life on hold as I waited for the results. Waited to see if I was happy or mad. I realize now that the peace I want can't come from getting to the bottom of whether or not you used drugs today. The very fact that we're having this conversation is what keeps me in turmoil. It's my contribution to this mess we're in. Somewhere out there, there's a guy who doesn't have a lighter hangin' out of his pocket and Visine in the console of his car."
Did I really mean what I said? I did the best I could to keep my eyes on God and my own business. It still took a few years before my baby steps matured into a belief I could walk in with confidence. It's interesting that when I changed, a new path for our relationship was created.
The "management" of another person's recovery process is just one of the many ways we fuel the cycle of insanity. Today, my joy in the Lord does not hinge on my husband's sobriety. However, he and I both agree that the season of living day in and day out around addiction is over. Christ is the center, from which healthy boundaries are received. and to whom trust in the outcome is given.
For years I believed a lie. I believed that if I could find a way to keep my loved one clean and sober, then I could finally live in peace. Will you prayerfully consider that these unhealthy emotional attachments are a hindrance to healing?
He feeds on ashes; A deceived heart has turned him aside, And he cannot deliver his soul, Nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" Isaiah 44: 20
Published on Thursday, July 5, 2012 @ 11:47 AM CDT