Advice to My Younger Self
I know that you just learned that your two oldest sons are addicted to heroin. I feel the heaviness of your heart, your terror and despair as you consider the possibility of losing them—not only physically but, more importantly, spiritually. I remember the barrage of Satan’s criticisms and lies and how alone you often felt. I know all the pain and sorrow you’re feeling. May I offer some advice from my eight years of experiences? Today I know the truth about so many things. I have also learned that the greatest gift from God is His Son. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Jesus has felt every pain and every sorrow, and so He knows perfectly how to comfort you—and He will. He sacrificed His life so that your sons can be healed through the enabling power of His Atonement, which is greater than the disease of addiction!
I have witnessed both of your sons’ steady conversion to the Lord, but, just as important, I have witnessed your personal growth and your joyous conversion to the Lord. You will have sacred experiences with the Savior and come to have a relationship with Him that you would have never had without the trial of addiction in your family.
Christy, Heavenly Father will answer all your prayers. Be patient, because some will take years to come to fruition. How grateful I am that He did not answer my prayers right away, because today I see the joy in your two sons as they labor in the recovery world to help many other souls come to Christ. They are effective tools in the Master’s hands.
The chaos of addiction will tend to bring out the worst in you. This will be an opportunity for you to discover those things in your life that are stopping you from having a “fullness of joy.” Beware of fear and all faces of pride, especially being judgmental and unforgiving, and blaming others for your emotions. Satan will blind you from the behaviors that fuel addiction and discord in your home. As you come to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit, He will soften your heart, which will allow you to access the Spirit’s gentle guidance and direction. It will be critical for you to hear the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and have the spirit of discernment to recognize the deceptions of Satan. Your softened heart will allow the Lord to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
Trusting God will give you peace. How to trust will be found through earnest prayer, scripture study, and attending addiction recovery meetings, not only to learn from the experiences of others, but to also feel divine revelation unique to you and your family’s specific needs.
Christy, you may not believe me now, but someday you will testify that God can turn our weaknesses into strengths and our greatest despairing defeats into our sweetest victories! You, your husband, and your sons will cherish opportunities to serve together as facilitators and missionaries of the Addiction Recovery Program. This journey of addiction will bring into your life true principles that will bless you, your family, and all future relationships. May God bless you on your recovery path!