It is with a very heavy heart that I write this article. However, I feel I must because for anyone facing drug addiction and/or alcoholism it’s a very serious matter. Good friends of mine lost their son this past week to addiction. Tomorrow they will bury him.
Out of every tragedy, there can be blessings. This family is already clinging to the blessings they know and I’m in awe of their faith. This post is a dedication to the late John Luke and the unwavering faith of his family. If you are a praying person, please lift up John, Liz & Melissa.
With this tragedy occurring I cannot help but feel blessed at what I’ve recovered from. I played Russian Roulette with my life when I was taking a concoction of different drugs and alcohol daily. Drug addiction is no joke. Alcoholism is no joke. While both can be a slow or a fast death, statistics show that drug addiction is more likely quick and alcoholism slow. Either way, the end of the road is a sad death.
I’ve attended too many funerals of friends who’ve died from addiction/alcoholism. Every time another one dies, I’m painfully reminded of the death I escaped.
If you are a person in recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism, you are blessed. Sadly not everyone makes it out alive so if you have, please stay sober.
A Parent’s Worst Fear
On Tuesday, my good friend, Liz, texted me and asked that I leave one of my prayers on her voicemail. Her son, John Luke was missing and the last she saw him, he was high. You see, I know all too well what her son has struggled with for many years. I did as was asked and kept praying. Later that night I received a text that drug dealers dumped his lifeless body in a ravine.
Everything in me sank and I felt helpless. I can only imagine how they felt.
These people have such strong faith that their first reaction was to pray over his body and ask for a miracle. After all, Jesus raised people from the dead and He also said, we would do greater things than Him.
That miracle didn’t occur so they took their faith and clung to the community they know.
It Takes a Community to Recover
This family is heavily involved in Celebrate Recovery for their own recovery. Additionally, they pastor a church. They are leaning on everyone they know to get them through this. Furthermore, and quite amazingly, they are still giving back.
Three days after he buried his son, John the father of John Luke, shared his own testimony about his recovery from a host of hangups, hurts and habits at a Celebrate Recovery meeting. Near the end, he talked about his son’s death. There was not a dry eye in the house.
I recognize grieving is a very personal matter and everyone does it in their own way. A wise person once told me that no one can tell another person how to grieve. I appreciate that.
I was blown away that John, who had his testimony scheduled, prayed and felt he was to proceed with it. He felt it might help others and that it did. He was faithful to what he was called to do in spite of the pain he is going through.
I got to meet their beautiful daughter, Melissa, and hug all three. Sometimes no words need to be spoken. We just need to be there for one another.
I cannot write this piece without giving others a place to turn. I do have a page on my website with a myriad of recovery resources. Please check it out; however, I do want to highlight several. I got sober with a popular 12-step program that saved my life. Out of respect for tradition 11, I’ll leave it nameless.
Now I attend Celebrate Recovery (CR) due to my faith. CR is a Christ-centered 12-step program for anyone who wants to recover from any hurt, habit or hangup. That includes basically everything so all are welcome.
Our typical format is that we start in worship, pray, celebrate milestones, read the 12 steps and their biblical comparisons, read the 8 principles based on the beatitudes, and go over the guidelines. Then we either hear someone share their testimony or have a lesson. This is done in one large group with both men & women present. During the second hour we break out by gender so that we can get into more personal discussions.
If you are a parent with a child struggling with addiction, I highly recommend PAL which stands for parents of addicted loved ones. My friends Fred & Cathy are another great resource. They have a son who is recovering from addiction and know first hand of the pain, misery, and fear that all parents in this situation experience.
Fred writes a blog titled, Money With a Purpose, and he & his wife have gotten raw about their experiences with their son. Additionally, they were featured in Money Magainze with other parents in regards to practicing tough love with their opioid-addicted children.
My final thoughts are this, if you are in recovery, stay here. If you are still struggling know that there is help so don’t do it alone. And if you are a parent of a child struggling with an addiction or alcohol please get a healthy support group like PAL.
We are not meant to live this life alone. We need one another.
John Luke had salvation and his family has peace about where his soul went. Lastly, this life is but a mist so don’t take it for granted.