Do you remember being a small child and asking for the newest Nerf gun or Barbie doll when you passed the toy aisle? Do you also remember being told no by a parent who offered no explanation other than a simple, “Not right now.” How frustrated were you with the lack of conversation and feeling of not being satisfied without the very thing you longed for so much? We were on a mission to get the latest and greatest toy and when that was not an option we began the negotiation. Our hope was to wear that parent down until they gave in seeing that our way was best.
Often, we feel the same way when we bring our requests and desires to God and the answer is a resounding no. We often lack an understanding behind the answer given or feel as though no answer has been given at all. Driven by these feelings we create back up plans to get our needs met and change the answers until we find them satisfactory to our lives. We lack the trust in our Higher Power to meet our needs so we set out on a mission to meet them ourselves.
In family recovery, this mission is not only to get the desired outcomes for ourselves but for our loved ones as well. We are just so certain that if they can secure employment in a specific industry, regain a healthy relationship or master a sought-after skill that the results will catapult them into a position of desired sobriety. We offer our helpful suggestions, we shield them from rejection, we give of our energy, resources and time hoping that it will result in a positive outcome. We even pray fiercely for them pleading that our Higher Power solve their problems. But what happens when the story does not unfold in the manner we imagined our vision? The negotiation begins again.
Most of us devise back up plans for them. We default to a position of our human resources marshaled by our own will. The idea of waiting to see how God unfolds the story never crosses our mind and even if does, the idea is quickly replaced with the notion that God may need our help. We are on a mission to say the very least! We begin to look for alluring detours and shortcuts that will get our loved ones there quicker, failing to see that their journey in recovery is of utmost importance much more so than the actual destination. Each obstacle for an alcoholic and drug addict presents an opportunity for God to demonstrate His omnipotence. The same is true for us on our path to family recovery.
One of the many truths woven in recovery today for all members of the family is that we are on a need to know basis. God reveals solutions and answers in accordance with His will and timing rather than our own. It is more than tempting to get tangled up in the details of each other’s path but the result will always be the same. Each of us will come up short in an experience and reliance with our Creator. The new path offers a solution that is simple but not easy. Recovery denotes that we live on a basis of trusting and relying upon the Power of God. Which leaves us with the only answer we need to know today, you are on a need to know basis.