Suggestions: Discussing issues and holding your prodigal accountable for their actions and whereabouts is very important. Since I didn’t grow up around alcohol or drugs, I didn’t know the warning signs: change of friends, depression, mood swings, financial problems, problems in school, lack of interest in previous pursuits, etc. On the other hand, when I talked to a drug and alcohol counselor regarding this, she said it’s difficult when your child is an adolescent to determine the difference between normal teenage behavior as opposed to the beginning of an addiction. Though I feel I could have been more aware of what was beginning to develop in Ben’s life, I’m glad I spent time in prayer, which I believe is one of the most powerful weapons we have against battling addictions and many other problems and issues.
Scriptures and Promises: During this time, fear and doubt haunted me. I continually talked to God and tried to hold on to some promises. My stomach flip-flopped, though I believed God could work on Ben and put him on the right path. These verses helped me from falling into despair:
- “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). This was a far cry from the actual situation, but I was learning, step by step, to trust God and believe He would eventually transform this terrible mess into something good. It took a lot of time in prayer before I could feel at peace with myself and God.
- “God works all things together for good for those who are called according to his purposes” (Romans 8:28). Though I wavered in this belief, I always came back to it. No matter what Ben went though, God could work it out for good. The problem was: would Ben allow God to work in his life? I hoped so.
- “And my God shall supply all my needs according to his riches and glory” (Philippians 4:19). God’s supplies are abundant, and I called upon Him day and night to get me through this emotional time and to keep me from getting really depressed.
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5).This was one of my all time favorite verses, and it helped me to stay sane when I just didn’t understand why Ben was making such a major mistake in his life.