In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6
I’m thrilled today to welcome my friend and fellow Christian writer, TC Avey, as a guest blogger. She shares about her addiction—one that most of us can relate to—and how she overcame it.
|Worry and anxiety|
Late last year, I lost my father-in-law to lung cancer. This year, my husband’s aunt is battling stage four lung cancer. Both were life-long smokers. This has led me to pray about addictions. There are many types, some more obvious—like smoking, drinking, gambling, or overeating. Some are easier to hide—like pride, perfectionism, control, possessions/lust, and greed.
I want to take you through some truth journaling I’ve done about my own addiction. I pray it helps you identify your addictions and begin working through them with the help of Christ (Phil.1:6).
My addiction: Worry.
My anxiety masks itself in controlling behaviors. Feeling in control eases my fears and gives me a semblance of power in this crazy and unpredictable world.
What do I fear?
I fear not having enough food for my family, so when I see a “good deal,” I buy extra. Then having it neatly organized adds to my sense of control and gives me pride in a job well done (Matt 6:19-21).
I fear someone will unexpectedly drop by my house, so I clean it almost daily. I can’t have them think I’m a bad housekeeper. I must be a good steward of the possessions God has blessed me with…so I clean, clean, clean!
I have fears I cover up by trying to control my environment and be as perfect as I possibly can.
I fear…well, you get the picture.
Where did these fears come from?
Not from God. That’s certain (Romans 8:15, 2 Tim 1:7).
Many of my fears came from my childhood. My dad owned his own business, and he lived by the motto “better to give than receive.” On more than one occasion, that meant the homeless man on the street got my dad's last $20, while his family had to pawn something in order to eat.
As I grew up, I let insecurities about possessions rule my life. I realized I had this sinful habit, but it wasn’t until I began asking God to help me understand why people have such a hard time overcoming addictions that He revealed the true depth of my own.
Now, I know why the smoker can’t “just quit.”
Before the smoker can stop the addiction, they must realize why they began it. Otherwise, they will just pick up a new addiction to help ease the underlying issue.
I thought I was in control, but really my fears/insecurities controlled me. When God showed me where my fears stemmed from, I began asking Him to help me view my fears through His eyes, so I could live victoriously over them and not allow them to control me (Phil. 4:13, Romans 6:16).
Next God showed me all the times my family “almost” went without. Could my dad have used more discretion on giving? Maybe. If I look with human eyes.
But when I look through the eyes of God, I see my dad’s heart was in the right place. Our possessions aren’t ours to keep. They’re ours to bless others with. Not only that, God is our provider (Psalm 54:4, Matt 6:25-34).
Not once did God not provide.
On the issue of cleaning: My mom always kept a tidy house. So did I get a cleaning obsession from that?
No, God showed me it came from me not wanting to be judged by others.
I allowed what others thought of me to dictate my days. Over the years, I can count on one hand the number of times someone “unexpectedly” stopped by. So why I possessed this irrational desire to keep my house super clean is beyond me.
When I boiled down all these fears and control issues, I found the real culprit: Lack of faith and trust in God.
My addictions existed because I didn’t TRUST God. I thought I had to take care of everything. I had to be worthy in others' eyes. I justified it by saying I was being a good steward of the things God had given me (1 John 5:21).
I never realized they held me captive (John 8:34).
Now that I know what fuels my worry, I’m ready to break free.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
This doesn’t mean I’m going to become a lousy housekeeper. No, I must be a good steward. But I do it now with the right heart and mindset (Col 3:23). I also keep my priorities in line, and spending time with family trumps picking up toys. I'm even getting better at buying only what we need now, instead of purchasing ahead.
Questions for reflection:
What are your addictions?
Do you know what fuels them?
Are you ready to ask God to help you break free?
TC Avey is a Christian author devoted to God, family, friends, and nation. She blogs regularly at "Wisdom of a Fool."
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
Emily, who is battling osteosarcoma, will have her three-month follow-up scans and doctor’s appointment on Thursday. Family shares, “As always, we could use prayers and positive thoughts on Emily’s behalf to be free of cancer and treatment side-effects.”
Erica will have knee surgery Wednesday (today). Please praise for her surgeons, as well as for a good outcome.
Courtney's MRI came back clean again. Her doctor plans an MRI and a PET scan in October. If they are clear, another chemo med will be dropped. The plan is to eventually stop all chemo in the next six months since she has been on it continuous for two years. Her body needs a rest.
From her Caring Bridge site:
As you might imagine, Courtney's health and recovery is a work in progress. We respectfully ask for continued prayer on her behalf as she fights this mighty battle and the victories that we have and will see along the way. Hopefully we will get good news from her endocrinologist in the coming weeks and should anything else be amiss besides the thyroid, we will be able to begin a treatment program to address those issues and get Courtney to feeling stronger with less fatigue… Thank you so much for all of you who prayed special prayers for Courtney yesterday [last Wednesday]. God certainly heard and answered yours and ours! After seeing once again so many people yesterday at the Duke Cancer Center, we know that God must be hearing from so many other families and their loved ones pleading for help and healing like we have so many times. We just praise God for His continued walk with us and the wonderful way He is carrying Courtney through this journey.
If you have a prayer need, please share it in the comments or e-mail me confidential requests. Would you take a moment to pray for those who leave comments and those on the prayer list at the top of the blog? Thanks!
©Laura Hodges Poole