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Precious Prodigal
Today's Blog Post

 
 

There is nothing in the world more devastating
to a parent than to have a prodigal child.

 

 
   
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  August 03, 2015:  Letters to Susan Part 10: Remember this whole recovery thing is a process.
#trusttheprocess #change
 
 
 
  Philippians 1:6 ďBeing confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus ChristĒ

Part of this post is my response to a devastated parent who emailed me asking how she could help her prodigal. (Note: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.)


Dear Susan:

A friend, who is in a recovery program, told me her ďsponsorĒ said she only needed to change one thing about herself. Encouraged, my friend asked what it was, and her sponsor answered, ďEverything.Ē While I understand the intent, I have to say, ďGood luck with that!Ē because changing ďeverythingĒ is quite a challenge, isnít it?

Of course, when someone you love is acting out in destructive ways, itís pretty obvious that something needs to change. But I think you already know that. I hope you also know you canít change another person. We can only change ourselves, and believe me when I tell you that changing Rita is a big enough challenge for me.

Most people are resistant to change, and Iím no exception. I donít easily adapt to new traffic patterns, new work schedules, or even Daylight Saving Time. There are people who change their furniture around regularly; Iím not one of them. If you dislike change as much as I do, you understand what I mean.

But think about it for a minute. Does anything in our lives really stay the same? We grow, we age, kids are born, grow up and move away, and the seasons come and go. Isnít life really a series of natural, spontaneous changes?

Of course, the changes Iím talking about are a whole lot harder than those normal life changes. However, if youíre going to survive loving a prodigal and have any peace, serenity or joy, youíll need to let God begin to make some changes in you and to be His partner in making those changes. And youíll need to recognize that itís a process. Like any growth, it takes time and hard work.

Weíve been unsuccessful at growing grass in our back yard, so we decided to hydro-seed. We first needed to prepare the ground, and that meant clearing away some of the rocks. Notice I didnít say all the rocksÖgetting rid of every single rock just isnít going to happenÖneither in my back yard nor in my life. So the work began.

With a cultivator (an evil tool that looks like a hoe but has tines), a rake, and sometimes a shovel, I began the overwhelming task of getting rid of those rocks. Iím not 25 or physically strong, so the work had to be adapted somewhat. Despite blisters on my hands, sunburn, and sore muscles, I worked on those rocks every single day for more than three weeks. I was often exhausted, but I was also determined and knew that if I wanted grass, I had to do the work and trust the process.

Clearing those rocks from my back yard was the hardest thing Iíve ever done, and it didnít happen overnight. If I had tried to get every single rock or focused on how far I had to go, I would have quit after a day or two. Instead, I focused on the rocks I needed to work on that day and on the grass I would have at the end.

Effective change is like thatÖgradual, focused, goal-oriented, and specific to you. And the most effective changes require planning and hard work. But I survived both my prodigal and my back yard, and youíre going to survive this too, Susan. I promise you are.

Remember this whole thing is a process, and a faithful God is your partner in that process. He isnít going to leave the job half done but will finish what He has begun. (
Phil 1:6) In the meantime, be patient with the process and with yourself in the process.

Challenge for Today: What might happen if we, just for today, reminded ourselves that recovery is a process?
 
 
 
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  It isnít easy to walk a wilderness path, and we who do often feel alone. But there is a God who knows our every fear and heartbreak, and He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. If you would like to know more about how you can have a personal relationship with Him, CLICK HERE.  
 
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  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,