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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,
reassuring.”

“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

Monday, April 20, 2015

Twice a week Joni and I receive a 15 minute phone call from Ben. Today marked 11 months to the day that Ben has been at Teen Challenge of the Dakotas in Brookings, SD. The first 8-9 months, all I can say is we somewhat dreaded those two weekly phone calls. While we wanted to hear our son’s voice, the pain and torment we often heard each week was gut wrenching. If you can imagine, waking up every morning with extreme almost debilitating anxiety, living with a constant panic attack for 16-hours a day, going to bed at night with the same feeling, and waking up 2-3 times a night filled with anxiety. Oh, and imagine living with that for over 250 straight days. That somewhat describes what Ben was feeling. So twice a week when he called, as much as he tried to stay positive, as much as he tried to put on a good front for his mom and dad, the pain he was feeling screamed through his voice.
However, in the past couple of months Ben has experienced some partial relief. As he explains it, Satan put lie upon lie into his head every day…’you are not good enough’, ‘you are not saved’, ‘what you have done is unforgivable’, and those thoughts have caused him to stay in a constant state of anxiety. Through prayer and deeper understanding of the scripture, he is often now able to identify those thoughts as the lies that they are, and find times of peace knowing they are lies from the enemy.
The last two months the phone calls have been wonderful. He was able to come home for a 7 day visit over Easter, and it was great to have him home with us. 2015-04-01 15.42.46
Ben was able to visit his grandfather, Joni’s father, in the hospital and share scripture with him. And today, on the 11-month anniversary of his arrival to TC Dakotas, Ben called to tell us his graduation date has been set for May 15. After graduation, Ben will move into the Re-Entry phase of Teen Challenge for 6-months.
Joni and I wish to thank you for your prayers and support. If we could ask one specific prayer request of you, it would be this. Ben asks that everyone pray if there be anything in him that is unholy, that God would remove it. Very simple, but very powerful. Thank you again for your prayers and support.

8 thoughts on “Monday, April 20, 2015”

  1. Wendy Watts Hankins says:

    Ben. Yes the devil is very real. He lurks in alcohol, drugs, domestic abuse, puts out negative thoughts in ones mind. He also brings about greed, lust, envy, depression, loneliness. I pray that God gives you the power to know the difference and to know what is true, loving, honest, hopeful, patience. And to be stronger each day and to know you have family and brothers/sisters in Christ on your side!! God is good all of the time!! Hugs!!!

  2. Kellie Powers says:

    Thank you for sharing – as we are still in a constant struggle with Satan for our Benjamin, no words can express hearing and feeling that anxiety in your child’s voice and heart as they deal with the King of lies…. May God continue to work within your son’s heart.
    Please continue to pray for our son, Benjamin- he is only 118 pounds – not good for a 5’9″ man of 27 years.
    God Bless all of you- God is good all the time
    Kellie- from Alabama

  3. Ralph K McLelland says:

    Steve, thank you so much for your open, honest and transparent approach of what is going on in the life of your family. It brings much healing to the world. Praying for for all of you brother

  4. Michele Mowry says:

    Praise God for Bens Breakthrough. Praying for you all. My son Dakota just went back to treatment for opiod addiction yesterday please pray for him.
    For Ben : Isaiah 40:31

  5. Susan Noble Jones says:

    Your book was heart wrenching for me. I have had no drug addiction in my immediate family but understand it somewhat through a cousin and a friend’s child. I feel more educated about what is out there for our children and many who are tempted by drugs on the street. I had no idea children could buy drugs in convenience/ retail stores! I’m so happy that
    Ben is at a good place in his life. May he continue in that good place. You and your wife are heroes in my eyes. I give thanks to our Heavenly Father that he has been by your faithful side through every turn. Thank you for this book and your blog. I will keep you in my prayers.

  6. Lisa says:

    Ben – I think of you so often and am so happy at your progress. Ever since I read your story you have been on my heart. Stay strong and may God continue to bless you and keep you safe.

  7. Julie says:

    Im happy for Ben and that he is asking God to remove obstacles that may hinder him in his recovery. I know that God does not just turn his back on us . My family is going through this as well although my son only stayed at Teen Challenge for 1 day. He is struggling with the same emotions that you described as you’re son. He is in another place now and I pray everyday that he can get some relief. I know that God has a plan for my son and Ben, there’s a reason for this maybe to be able to help others with what they’ve been through.
    Praying for you all

  8. Tracy says:

    Your book was given to me by an elder in my church. I am going through this warfare with my son right now and it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in dealing with this heartbreaking choice/disease that my son is falling prey to. I know God has a plan and his timing is perfect. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so happy and encouraged by Ben’s progress and life change. I also live in your area.

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