It was the first time that I heard God. I felt so amazing, and happy. I had a purpose!
Hopeless. What does hopeless mean? Hopeless is having no hope, no possibility of solution, impossible, beyond hope of management or reform, no possibility of comfort or success, certain to fail. Such is the state of being hopeless as defined by the top two resources that Google pulled up. Although their definitions do sound pretty hopeless, in their efforts to remain as universal as possible they have completely left God out of the picture, and in doing so, have missed the root definition of hopeless. At the core of every hopeless situation, is the belief that God is not in control. When you buy into that lie, the only option left is to believe that you are in control, and from there it’s not hard to see how things start looking pretty impossible.
“Surrender control. God wants you vulnerable because that’s when He uses you. Trust and know that it is not bad to surrender.” The words of whom some have described as “hopeless.” For anonymity purposes, I’ll call her Ashley.
Ashley was born the youngest child of a “Christian” family. Her father was an alcoholic, staggering around for years hurling insults and negative comments. He was coupling the alcohol with prescription pain medication in an effort to forget the world, unknowingly creating a deadly concoction that later took his life.
By the time Ashley hit sixteen, she was suffering from depression. In an effort to band-aid the pain in her heart, she started stealing her father’s pills, and took up the alcohol she had watched for years. On top of that, Ashley started smoking marijuana as a way to feel better about life, and for a short while it would work, until the crash would come and she was reminded of how depressing reality was, how hopeless life had become.
When she married and had a child, she decided to quit smoking pot but soon realized the pain that had re-entered her life was very real. As a result, the pain meds were increased in an effort to “pick up the slack” where pot left off. It wasn’t long until she fit the title “hopeless addict” increasing her intake to fifteen vicodin a day, all in an effort to control her life. The medication became her focus; she was consumed with how long it was until she could pop her next pill and where to get the next bottle, whether it be through stealing or a prescription. She had absolutely no faith in God; she was not sure He even existed. Life became solely about her- her pills, her addiction, her desires. After many years of bad choices that were hurting both her and her family, Ashley contemplated ending it all. What was the point anyway? What was her purpose? All she was, was a selfish, hopeless, terrible person who didn’t deserve the air she breathed.
In a “last chance” effort, she met with a pastor and some friends who directed her to Set Free Ministries. For one full week, she met with God and a SFM team who looked past the addiction, and dealt with the root issues- the stored pain and unforgiveness in her heart.
“It was the first time that I heard God. I felt so amazing, and happy. I had a purpose!” Ashley says to me, her eyes watering up as she recalls that week. Ashley stopped the pills on the spot, and struggled through the withdrawal and detoxification process, but she knew she wasn’t alone, and that God had plans for her. She prayed that God would bring someone into her life, someone who was struggling the same way she was, so that she could use her testimony for His glory.
God answered her prayer! A woman asked Ashley to be her mentor for her drug rehab program and Ashley immediately accepted. She started going to the group meetings with the girl, where they met with doctors and other addicts. It didn’t take long for Ashley to realize that this type of rehab was not the answer. “There is absolutely no mention of God involved in the treatment. They are treating the addiction like it is a disease that the patients need to learn to cope with, making things tangible and controllable. Addiction is not the problem!”
Addiction is not the problem but a symptom of the problem, and is a poor substitute for God’s love, joy and peace promised in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Ashley knows this; she has been there, and she’s here to tell you that God is the only way to true recovery. When I asked Ashley what she would like to say to people who have found themselves in her situation, she said, “You cannot control His will for your life and addiction is your way of controlling. You have to hand it over, you have to surrender, in order to be set free from the addiction.”
Whether you believe it or not, you are not the one who is in control, therefore hopelessness has no place in your life. Take this promise of hope from the Lord and run with it, share it!