Updated: May 13, 2021
Everyone struggles with addiction. It is the universal condition of the human heart. In today’s society, it is used as a label to categorized specific people that have gone too far and carries a particular stigma and shame for those that abuse substances, food, or possibly gambling. However, the reality is that God designed each and everyone of us to be worshippers, consumed with Him and in communion with His heart. Addiction is the worship war that we all battle each and every day to keep God at the rightful place that He should be in our lives. The things of this world continually seek this place in our hearts, minds and souls, and no one is immune to the struggle.
Everything we do is a product of worship. Each and every single day we are giving our hearts to something and, if it isn’t God, it is something that He created. It can be good things, great things, that we are giving our hearts to, but in the end if it isn’t to build His kingdom and worship Him, we need to be rescued from ourselves and our idolatrous hearts. Luckily, He is faithful, His grace is enough, and He will not let us go in this journey to whole hearted devotion. However, He alone is the one that can satisfy this craving in our souls.
When you look at the dictionary definition of addiction it is, “Addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity.” When you are addicted it means that you are physically or mentally dependent on this substance, thing or activity. You can’t stop it without occurring adverse effects. Whether it be a physical withdrawal, depression, depravity of soul (the empty, barren, lifeless feeling), or incessant cravings, there is a pain when you cut it out of your life. This “thing” has become an obsession and it is what you look to in order to soothe your soul and give you the peace, joy, validation and identity that only He can give.
This physiological and/or psychological need for something other than God can most definitely be a habit forming substance but it can also be trying to fix, control or save another person. It can be perfectionism and being obsessed with always getting it right. It can be screens, social media, entertainment, sports, shopping, ect. Addictions also come in the form of workaholics that need to build their own kingdom and assuage their pride and egos by doing so. Idols in our lives can also be religion, a church, politics, or a particular program you subscribe to. The things that battle for our hearts are everywhere and its important that we do not limit ourselves to society’s definition and start to remove the stigma and shame that keeps people from being free and living in the joy and peace that we were all created for.
When self-reflecting upon your own heart there are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
1.) What am I most passionate about? What do I think about most? Talk about most?
2.) Where do I spend my money?
3.) Where do I give me time?
4.) When I feel stressed, what/who do I go to first to feel better?
If there are any areas that you see that you might need to work on after answering these- there is Hope! Biblical hope is a confident expectation of a guaranteed result that changes the way you live. It is confident in the awesome love, power, faithfulness, grace, patience and wisdom of God. God will do all that He has planned and promised to do- and that is to complete the good work that He has started in you. He is in control and He is always, alway good. In starting Hope Over Addiction, we are committed to life change and we hope to be a source of encouragement for anyone that is seeking grow in the knowledge of who He is and overcome this battle that we all face each day.
As for my own journey (Adrienne), addiction has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Many of my first memories are seeing those that I love struggle with alcohol and drugs. It has been woven throughout the story of my childhood, into my adulthood and most recently into my marriage. While I have struggled myself with using alcohol to cope to some degree or nicotine to destress, my biggest addiction that I have battled in life are addicts themselves.
I become obsessed with them in the same way the ones we love are obsessed with another fix of the substance of their choice. I put them in the place that God should be in my life and I put my entire focus upon them. I want to rescue, save, and punish them. I want to love them back to life and force them to choose me and our relationship over their substance. I want to put their lives back together and control their choices to fit my path and plan for them. I have lectured, coached, coerced and attempted to rationalize them back to my reality. I have spent days unable to function, enjoy everyday activities, connect to God or be present in the moment. In the process, I have lost myself and my joy, hope, and peace. I have become just as sick and unhealthy as they are. I have battled addiction too, even though it is a person rather than a substance.
However, I am a work in progress and the Lord isn’t finished with me yet! Together, we hope to encourage you along your journey- whatever your struggle may be or where ever you may be on it. Whether you fall into the camp of someone battling addiction or you are a loved one of someone battling addiction- we are here for you and we get it. What we have discovered is that many of the tools and resources that help those that are battling substance abuse are helpful for loved ones too. We will be posting these on this site for you and encourage you to do the same as we move together towards our own freedom and healing.