By Jo Ann Carpenter
Addiction is a monster. Its big, warty body is black as night in the deepest part of a dense forest, and its arms gently caress you, until it slams you into a full body hold that you cannot escape.
This monster might relax its hold on you for a moment, allowing you to think you are in control; but then it can crush you, suffocating the life right out of you, and you become totally submissive to its strength and power.
Over the years, I have seen many men and women struggle with addiction. The cocaine monster gives you a euphoric feeling the first time you use that can never be achieved again. But you try; increase the amount and frequency you use, and it only increases the hold the monster has on you.
A friend once told me with the first inhale of cocaine when he blew out the smoke he watched his soul go up right in front of his eyes. His addiction cost him all of his material belongings, but the biggest loss of all was when Child Protective Services took his children from him.
He did so many bad things to support his addiction, not caring about anything but his next high. He kept using more but the high was never the same. He kept trying until one day he looked up and asked God to not let him die.
It was after that he sought help at Refuge of Hope. Through his faith in God and focus on his children he defeated the monster and completely turned his life around. No longer using drugs, living on his own, working two jobs he was free…
But in one weak moment, the monster pulled him back and he used drugs one night. I will never forget the look on his face when he told me what happened. He was in anguish over what he did. But he reached out to God for strength to once again overcome the addiction monster and he was successful.
God is still part of my friend’s life today and he is drug-free. It is sad that the monster destroyed his life and today you can see the after-effects in the lives of his children, now grown with kids of their own. They struggle with insecurity, anxiety, and low self-esteem. They now see how their dad has reclaimed his life and encourages them to seek God in every aspect of their lives.
The addiction monster is UGLY and I believe the only way to defeat it is through the healing power of Jesus! My friend will always be an addict, just one bad decision away from using drugs again. It is something he will battle the rest of his life, but now he wears the armor of God as he faces the monster.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for helping my friend. I pray that we can reach out to others and help them find You as they prepare to conquer the monsters in their life.