And so, we spiral further into our sickness by remaining in a cycle that is too big for us. And we don't speak of it. No one does.
DEANNA: I have met so many people who live in the middle of life. They haven't imploded as yet, but they also haven't reached their potential. And a lot of these people have great resources and fabulous lives—on the surface. But behind the scenes, they are controlled by something more negative.
I know of what I speak here. As I mentioned in my book Don't Bet Against Me, my life's journey did not always go as I had planned. Brett and I ran into our share of obstacles in the beginning and spent a great deal of time working our way through one difficult moment after another. For example, it was not easy for me being a single mom, but I also worried about the future and, with so much uncertainty in our lives, the possibility of entering into a marriage covenant that might have no chance of working. We didn't understand the full scope of what such a decision might mean, and so we trudged through the path doing the best we could.
And added to this relational question were the questions we would face years later with Brett's addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol. For anyone who faces addiction, these questions are profound, frightening, and uncertain. One day, everything is wonderful. The next, the sky is falling. We couldn't move in any real direction, and so we became prisoners to our circumstances. We definitely found ourselves in the midst of a chronic pattern of living.
Yet thankfully, after much prayer, a lot of tough love, and an unbelievable will, Brett kicked both the painkillers and the alcohol. He is, today, the man I first fell in love with and the best father and husband one could imagine. But his journey—our journey—reminds me that all of us are susceptible to the broken places of our souls, and none of us chooses to walk into a shattered life. Over time the broken pieces accumulate, and we wonder if we can get them back in place again. When the chronic nature takes over, we retreat to whatever makes us feel better about ourselves.
The Brett I know today is not the same person as the man of so many years ago. He is the real deal—sweet, determined, caring, genuine. His love for life and his love for his family mean more to him than anything, even football.
But when the chronic life takes over, this worry of uncontrollable decisions and addictions makes us into someone else and then causes us, most tragically, to forget our first loves. As things hit a low point in our lives, I walked out the door of our home and told him that I would not be back until he got himself straight. Brett considers that moment like watching a car wreck in slow motion. His life was whittling away.
That is the Adversary's purpose for the chronic patterns we find ourselves in. Remember, he doesn't have to do it all at once. In fact, I have found Satan to be quite lazy and slothful. He can pick away one piece at a time, until one day, as with a loved one with an addiction problem, we just don't recognize that person anymore.
Worry number six, the worry of participating in uncontrollable addictions, is about becoming "hostage to life." Certainly, this is not normal. God has something more in store.
Worry Number Seven: Taking on Broken Approaches to Community