A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction
Pride Aside is one Father’s attempt to be vocal about his
son’s addiction, and how their family has navigated this
perilous journey together.
“Raw, brutally transparent, real, heart-wrenching,
inspiring, relatable, frustrating, unsettling,
“A gift of unsettled but secure
promise to those who are struggling
along the broken road called life.”
Dr. Rob Futral, Senior Pastor
Broadmoor Baptist Church, Madison MS
I dropped Joni off at the airport this morning, tracked her flight from
Jackson, MS to Atlanta, and am now tracking her flight from Atlanta to
Minneapolis. There, she will rent a car and make the three-hour drive to
Brookings, SD. It has been just over two months since Joni and I dropped Ben
off at Teen Challenge of the Dakotas in Brookings. Getting there was a threeday
process. We first flew to my parent’s house in Northwest Arkansas so he
could visit them before beginning his 16-month journey. Our flight was
cancelled, so we rented a car and drove from there to South Dakota.
Ben was very quiet over those three days. His spirit was defeated. He kept
saying he was looking forward to it, simply because it was something different.
He knew he needed something different, but he couldn’t identify it. Joni and I
knew he needed to fall in love with Jesus, but Ben needed to find this out for
himself. And from our twice a week phone calls, we have begun to hear a new
He called last night, and we updated him on Joni’s travel plans. She will
arrive in Brookings tonight, and tomorrow she will be allowed to spend eight
hours with him off campus, attend church with him Sunday, and then spend
another five hours off campus. In order to be granted these privileges, Ben had
to ‘phase up’ from Phase I to Phase II in the Teen Challenge program, which he
did earlier this week. In a small ceremony, Ben shared his story with the other
men, and shared with them how he now understood how Satan had lied to him
for so long, and talked about surrendering his life to Jesus. We asked Ben to
share some of the testimony with us, and he said he could not right now without
crying. We all know that God has forgiven Ben, but now he has to learn how to
After Joni went to bed last night, I came out to my office to write Ben a
letter for Joni to deliver to him.
I wish you somehow could know and feel how proud I am of you. I
know you can’t imagine that being true, but it is. God has long since
forgiven you, the old has passed away, the new has come. My prayer
for you is that you forgive yourself. There are two types of guilt found
in the Bible. Conviction and Condemnation. Conviction comes from
the Holy Spirit, and is good. You felt convicted, and you turned back to
God. 1 John 1:9 says “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” You
did, HE did, and it is over, it is in the past. Condemnation comes from
Satan and is meant to tear you down. But Romans 8:1 tells us it is O.K.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
Jesus.” You can’t complete your assignment here on earth if you allow
Satan to mock you and lie to you.
Every time you feel guilt, every time you feel shame, or every time
you feel despair about your past, I want you to laugh out loud and say,
“Satan, you are such an idiot if you think you can keep that stronghold
on me. My God forgave me.” God has an assignment for you to
complete. If He didn’t, you would not be here. It may be big, or it may
be small, but if you just stay focused on Him, you will find it and you
will complete it.
I miss you so much. I want to call or text you every day. But I am so
happy you are spending this time learning who you are in Christ. I
promise, it is so cool when you find your assignment, and then realize
how God has been preparing you for that assignment all along and you
didn’t even know it.
Put Pride Aside,