Friday, May 10, 2013

Who Is Responsible?

I have a dear friend I'll call Jennifer (I have no friends by that name) who has struggled most of her life with alcohol and drug addiction. She's been married several times and has raised four children. The youngest, her son, I'll call Darren.

Jennifer's life has been tumultuous from birth. She was the only daughter with four older brothers, who used to beat her and molest her. Her father also beat her while her mother stood by and did nothing. At some point Jennifer learned to fight back. She learned to use whatever was at hand and she learned she couldn't trust men. They lived in the country and at that time the law would not have interfered.

I don't know at what age she began smoking, drinking, and doing drugs, but it continued through her marriages. At least one daughter, now grown, will have nothing to do with her. She has been through rehab, had kicked it, given her heart and life to the Lord Jesus, and fallen back time and again. She has been in and out of prison, as has her son, Darren.

Darren has been on his own since about age 15, also, drinking and taking drugs. He hates himself and blames his mother for all of his problems. He loves and hates her at the same time. Both of them have so much anger and hurt inside. They play it off of each other. When Jennifer gets out of prison and tries to get her life straight, Darren calls her, screaming at her, accusing her of not caring, because as long as he is still doing drugs she can't be around him. It's too much temptation for her, and it could land her back in prison. So he curses at her, tells her he will commit suicide if she doesn't help him. He rips her heart to shreds, throws it at her feet, and tells her it's all her fault. What is a mother to do? She gives in. He's her flesh and blood, and she thinks he's at least partly right: it is her fault for not being a better role model and parent when he was small.

But Darren is an adult now, making his own decisions. As an adult he needs to take responsibility for his own decisions. He has not allowed her to be his parent for about 12 years. It's time to face reality, face his own consequences, man up and stop blaming mom for the decisions he's making now. He needs to set his mother free from the guilt he is piling on her.

If your situation is similar to this, remember that no matter how many mistakes you've made, redemption is still possible and available through Jesus Christ. He wants to take your burdens. He wants to take your pain and sorrow and replace them with His love, joy, and peace. He wants to make you whole. Why don't you invite Him into your heart and life? He loves you and has great plans for you. What have you got to lose? Just tell Him you're sorry for your sins, ask Him to forgive you, and ask Him to take control of your life. It won't be easy, but it will be better than what you have now. If you fall back into your sin, just keep going to Him, apologize, ask His forgiveness, and ask Him to help you overcome. Seek professional help if you feel you need it. There are a few good, Godly counselors out there. There is no shame in trying to make your life better. God bless.

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