I may not know your name. I may not know where you live. I may not know the circumstances of your birth. I may not know if you live a life of privilege or want. I may not know what events have occurred in your life to bring you to where you are now. What I want you to know is that I care and I am not the only one who does.
You feel hopeless, don't you? Because of your choices. Like there is no use trying anymore? Like you will never be able to resist the demon that has you addicted? Those are lies straight from the pit of hell. You were created by a God who loves you and has plans for your life. As long as you are breathing, hope remains. So keep breathing. You were not meant to be a slave to addiction. I know that first time, and even the next and the next, was your choice and I know you regret it. Did you start with something you thought was harmless? Something you would be able to control? Marijuana maybe? Or perhaps a beer? It would just help you relax, forget, or so you thought. Did you find that you needed it more and more frequently? Did it lose its allure because it no longer had the effect you wanted or needed? Did you look for something more, something stronger? It was readily available, too, wasn't it? Now it has you trapped and you feel there is no way out. I want you to realize there is a way out.
Addiction, whether it be to drugs or alcohol, does not have to claim your soul and life. There is a power greater than that which enslaves you. It is found in Jesus Christ. That is your first step. Some will only need to take that one step to be set free. Others will struggle and battle for years to come, maybe a lifetime. Much of that will depend upon what the addiction is. But after taking that first step, they will never battle alone. Maybe your family had to choose to let you go because of the danger to those you love and who love you. That does not mean they have stopped hoping that you will be able to overcome. It does not mean they do not care.
I implore you to take the first step in turning to Christ. Then take the next step in seeking medical treatment. This is not going to be an easy journey. It will be the hardest journey of your entire life, but it is a journey you will not regret. It could save your soul, your life, your family. That is so worth the struggle.
Maybe you are asking yourself why I would care or write this letter to you. I care because you are worth it. YOU ARE WORTH IT! In the past two weeks two young adults who had taken that first step and turned to Christ, but who still struggled, succumbed to their addictions. They left behind grieving families and friends. Wives, children, parents, all questioning what more could they have done or what could they have done differently. I pray God will bring them peace for they did the best they could. I also pray that when they are strong enough, they will use the story of their husband/sons to reach out to others who battle addiction. There could be no greater honor to their loved ones than to possibly prevent another from meeting the same end.
One thing we as Christians must do is let those who are struggling know we are supporting them. Not by enabling them, but by praying and helping to hold them accountable. Our churches must do a better job of reaching out to the struggling, mentoring and discipling. We cannot accept the sin, but we can offer hope to the sinner. We may need to give up time we planned to spend elsewhere to just listen. Not all are qualified to counsel or become directly involved, but we can pray. We can care. We can be the link to the first step.
And to the dear anonymous who has not yet crossed that line, don't! Both the young men I mentioned would tell you, if they could, don't ever let there be a first time.