Hello Recovery Friends, Seekers, And Welcome New Friends,
I have many recovery friends and supporters who are always there for me when I seem to have a rough day, need direction, or just a friend to talk to and lean on every now and then. Even those of us who are in “long-term” recovery always need a “lift Up” at times. Being in recovery means being aware of how you handle life challenges and trials that may come our way. And yes, we learn many skills and tools to cope with this, but we still need to have a good, healthy support system we can rely on when things get a little hard to handle.
That’s where were my good friend, “Aaron Emerson” comes in. He is a wonderful supportive recovery pal. He’s more in early recovery, but the growth he has accomplished is amazing. No, we have not met face to face, but I know he was “Spiritually” brought into my life for a reason. I learn so much as I follow his recovery on-line, and all the awesome work he AND HIS father, Wes are doing together to help others with recovery, and outreach work to help those with drug addiction and more!
I happen to read their new email blog update of Aaron’s father. It’s a new post on their helpful website, “New Life Recovery Outreach” http://www.newliferecoveryoutreach.org and it’s so touching and has good insights of a “Parents Point Of View”…
So I thought I would share it with all of you…
One of the exciting aspects of my son Aaron’s recovery from heroin addiction is that doors are beginning to open for him to share his story publicly with others in various places. As a recovering person, Aaron has a passion to help others who struggle with addiction. This coming Sunday, Aaron and I have been invited to share our “story” at a church in Jackson, Michigan, speaking to a youth group, as well as their parents. We thank God for this opportunity to reach out, and pray that God will use us as his instruments. Here is a preview of what I plan to share with these precious people.
As I thought about my part in this presentation, a gospel story in Matthew 17 came to mind. The heading over this passage in my Bible states, “A Boy is Healed.” In this story, a very troubled Dad approached Jesus on behalf of his young son. Kneeling before the Savior, he asked for mercy on behalf of his son, whose life was out of control. The Dad diagnosed his son’s problem as Epilepsy-a condition which causes loss of control of the body; fainting; shaking, and the inability to move. The caring Father told Jesus that his son “suffers severely and often falls.” The boy’s Father could not help him. Further, the loving Dad took his son to Jesus disciples, but they were not able to help him, either. This sounds a lot like drug addiction and the effects it has on its victims and families.
In verse 18, Jesus gave a different diagnosis: the young man was demon possessed. In 30 years as a Pastor, I have never encountered a “demon possessed” person. But, according to the scriptures, demons are real. Demons exist in our world and they torment people. In my experience, I have dealt with many people whose lives are tormented by the devil. A scripture in the New Testament, 1 Peter 5:8 calls the devil “your adversary, who walks like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” What a sobering statement! There is a real devil who seeks to destroy people’s lives.
I would like to talk about one of the biggest ways Satan is controlling and devouring the lives of young people today: through drugs. Like the young man in Matthew 17, drugs lead to “severe suffering.” Drugs are Satan’s weapons. They lead to addiction…suffering…the ruination of lives, and ultimately, the taking of lives. In Matthew 17, Satan had this young man under his control, and he tormented him daily. This boy was helpless, and so too, was his Dad, who desperately desired to see his boy set free. Can you relate to this story? It is strikingly similar to what drugs do to young people and their loved ones!
Based on my personal experience, I believe drugs are a demonic influence in our present generation. Drug use changes people’s personalities. Drugs become the God in the user’s life. Drugs ruin hopes and dreams. They lead to legal consequences, jail, and prison. Drugs tear families apart, and drugs claim lives on a daily basis.
I have personally witnessed the demonic power of drugs in my own family. I have been a Christian since 1973. I have pastored 6 churches in a span of 30 years. I have been married for 34 years, and have four children and four grandchildren. And yet I, like so many others, have become, as they say, “the face of addiction.”
You see, I was much like the Dad we meet in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 17. In 2006, my son, Aaron began using drugs, and in a brief period of time, he became totally addicted. My son was an addict! His life was out of control. Allow me to remind you about who Aaron was, and is. Aaron is a good kid with many fine qualities (caring, sensitive, humble, sincere, and loyal). He became a Christian at a young age, and was raised in a loving, stable family in a small town. Aaron has always loved his family, his brothers and sister, parents and extended family. We are a very close-knit family. He was also an outstanding athlete-a 3 sport star in baseball, football, and basketball. I truly believed he had a bright future in baseball in particular; he was so gifted as an athlete.
However, the demon of drugs got ahold of Aaron’s life. For seven long years, I watched him suffer, and like the Dad in Matthew 17, I couldn’t help my son. He quit all of his sports. He dropped out of school. He lost all of his true friends. He got into legal trouble and became entangled in the legal system. Aaron spent months in juvenile detention centers, and very lengthy periods of time in jail. He could have gone to prison. He was in and out of rehab facilities, and he overdosed on several occasions and nearly died on a number of instances.
By 2013, I was at the point of desperation. As I have shared previously, I thought my son was going to die and I began to prepare emotionally (if that is possible) for the loss of my child. Finally, I came to the point of simply letting go and letting God. There was nothing more I could do. It was up to God, and Aaron. Like the father in Matthew 17, I was desperate and all I could do was turn Aaron over to God.
Do you remember the heading I referenced above the passage in Matthew 17? “A boy is healed.” Well, in that biblical story, Jesus cast out a demon that was dwelling within that young man. The boy was delivered and healed! Jesus Christ has a power over the devil and his demon forces.
Today, the good news is that Aaron has been delivered and he has been healed by Jesus Christ. Aaron finally reached the point where he truly wanted to be delivered and healed. He was sick of being sick! Jesus has performed yet another miracle, and I am so thankful to say that he has been totally clean for 10 months. It’s a daily struggle, each day at a time, but thank God, my boy is healed. This, my friends, is our story and I pray that it brings inspiration to you today!
(Aaron Emerson and his father, Wes Emerson)
Was that not just an awesome blog share! They both have “Love for the Lord” as I do! And the lord has performed “Miracles” in Aaron’s recovery as he has mine. Even though I’m a recovering addicted gambler, and a wee too much alcohol when I gambled, I learn so much about other addictions from many of my recovery friends. One thing I do find interesting though, the habits, poor choice’s, and behaviors are very much the same from one addiction to another.
Also, the shame, low self-worth, denial, blame, and others is also them. These are just a few of the things I learn when I meet others in recovery from other types of addictions.
I want to Thank Aaron for always letting me share his “Recovery Outreach Blog Posts”!
I encourage you to Visit their website, follow them on Twitter & Facebook too! And as always, let Aaron & Wes know “Catherine Lyon” sent you!
God Bless Everyone!,
Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon