So, we prayed and prayed all day that we would be led in the right direction regarding the young “struggler” in our AR class.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect opportunity. The Facilitator was unable to attend, nor could he find a substitute to take his place, so it would be just Husband and I to lead the class. This is good, because the facilitator is a very very very verbose man. He loves to hear himself talk. He has a lot of wisdom and insight to share- I’ll give him that- but WOW! Shut UP already! (It’s my deep sense of compassion that makes me such a great candidate to lead an addiction recovery group.)
Anyway- we picked up “PJ” and proceeded to get the lowdown on his life. Just the usual “BRT” stuff. With every single word he spoke it became clearer and clearer that he is a fellow “struggler.”
We get to the church, and we are the only ones there. For the past seven weeks, there has been one other consistent attendee, and a third person picked up three weeks ago. Not one of them showed.
It was just us.
Opportunity has arrived!
We proceeded on with the class as usual- each of us reading a part of the step, then the action, followed by Husband reading the Facilitator’s prepared thoughts. Now it’s time to share.
As the conversation proceeded, it became quite clear that this kid is confused. He spoke of his addiction as something that he had rid himself of before, but because of stress, it had returned. He fully planned to have it gone from his life for good- all he needed was to exhibit more faith and dedication. I’m pretty sure at this point that his addiction is actually an addiction of some sort- not just his “SGA.”
Husband was delicately feeling PJ out- trying to draw him into his confidence- all the while listening to the spirit for “the moment.”
“The moment” never came. The spirit was not present. We spent most of the hour trying to convince the poor kid that his addiction didn’t make him a bad person. That the things that drive him to his addiction, and the temptations will most likely always be there. He will be battling this for the rest of his life. He won’t be able to close the door on this and never look at it again. He absolutely, with the help of the Lord, will be able to resist temptation- but only with a lot of constant vigilance and work.
He just didn’t get it.
“I need it gone, and I need it gone now” was what I kept hearing from him.
At one point we were discussing separating the temptation from the act and he said something like, “I know- God made me attracted to girls. It’s one thing to be attracted, and another thing to- kiss them- or whatever.”
Hmmm. Nice try sweetie.
We expressed our love and concern and support of him in his struggle- encouraged him to love himself and keep following the steps, try not to beat himself up if he falls behind, etc. .
Utter and complete failure.
Sometimes we see the possibility of doing great things- that the stars have aligned perfectly and God is using us for His divine purposes.
And then we see the reality. We are all just bumbling along and bumping into each other on occasion.
Who knows? Maybe next week. . .