I first saw Praying for Your Addicted Loved One by Sharron K. Cosby mentioned by Joyful Reader, and it caught my eye because we have had loved ones on both sides of our family struggle with various kinds of addictions.
The book is a series of 90 devotionals set up along the lines that in 12-step recovery programs, when people first start they are supposed to attend 90 meetings in 90 days as a help in breaking their old habits, forming new ones, and finding support. The author’s own son was addicted to drugs for years with various successes and relapses along the way, and her son says where he was once a “hopeless dope addict,” he now calls himself a “dope-less hope addict.”
That’s what stood out to me the most in this book: hope. If someone close to you has ever been addicted to drugs, you know how hopeless it can seem some times. You can’t reason with them because their addiction messes up their thinking. Even if they agree that drugs are destroying them and vow to stop, it takes very little to draw them in again.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Sharron shares that hope in the midst of dark and despairing times, through all of the problems and heartache that go along with having an addicted loved one. She also shares some good advice for interacting with them and encouraging hope in them and assuring of your love while not enabling them further in their addiction.
While a promise in Scripture that God will bring Israel back from the land of their captivity is not a direct promise that He will deliver an addicted loved one, verses like Jeremiah 30:10 do give hope: “Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.” Calling wanderers back, releasing captives, setting prisoners free is what He loves to do. Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
I can heartily recommend this book to anyone with a loved one snared in any kind of addiction.
(This will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)