Woah, what a year it has been. In 2013, I encountered many accomplishments, joyful experiences, and captured memories I will always remember. While 2013 was a remarkable year, it was also a very devastating year. Within three days of the death of my grandmother, my 22 year sister and very best friend was admitted into in-patient rehab for drugs and alcohol. She stayed sober for roughly seven months and then relapsed this last week. In these moments she is battling whether to stay on the long and tough journey of sobriety, or just give up.
I see in Kaylin a tender, loving, compassionate, playful, free-spirited, goofy, beautiful soul. She has the ability to bring out the very best in people; the side that most others do not have the opportunity to see. She has always been my role model. When we haven’t had anyone else, we have had each other.
I hate addiction. I hate it more than anything in the world. I hate the way it has stolen joy from my sister and the way it has completely taken over her life. I hate the way my family has had to suffer because of it. I hate to see addiction be passed down from generation to generation in my family. I hate that I can’t fix Kaylin’s addiction.
Addiction is a disease. Satan loves it because it is his way of completely taking possession of a persons’ life. Addiction robs us of our desire for Eternal Love, the Beloved, and leaves us settling for superficial and temporary satisfaction. In the process, it sucks everything good out of us, leaving us emptier each time. It all seems so pleasing to the eye, but leaves you in a dark, lonely place that seems impossible to escape. It destroys yourself and all relationships in the process because it robs you of love. You no longer love yourself, just the substances that are somehow suppose to make you feel love (or something like that). Possibly the saddest part is that you no longer know how to feel love. I hate my sister’s addiction because it’s hard to reach her soul anymore. It is so consumed with addiction that she is isolated from the very person I used to see in her, the cherished creation God made her to be. I know that she is still herself underneath all of the shit she resorts to, but I haven’t seen her soul in too long.
I think what the second most heartbreaking part of Kaylin’s addiction is that she is settling. She is missing out on the most satisfying, joyful and freeing gift: The romance of a relationship with The Father that begins on earth and keeps growing deeper for eternity. Kaylin reminds me of how God saw Israel. Just like Israel was God’s chosen city, Kaylin is God’s chosen daughter. God names Israel His Bride and calls Israel His ‘Virgin Israel.’ He said that Israel was “Holy” and “the first fruits of The Lord’s harvest.” This means that Israel is pure, chosen, and adored. God gives the people of Israel everything they could ever want because He loves them, yet Israel neglects The Father for temporary satisfaction. God contends to Israel, begging her to return. He said to Israel, “I will not look to you in anger, for I am merciful… only acknowledge your guilt… and I will give you shepherds who feed you with knowledge and understanding” ….” I will cleanse her from all the guilt and sin against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy.” This is my prayer of desperation for Kaylin. I pray desperately, day in and day out that God breaks into Kaylin’s heart and invades her with who He is, and that she will receive it. I know once she experiences His glory, she can never run or hide from it. His romance will become her new addiction. My prayer is that she will realize very soon that she is God’s chosen and cherished daughter. She is pure, beautiful and worthy. She is adored and valued. The Father is jealous for her. I want so badly for Kaylin to understand all of this, but she is not in a place where she does. It doesn’t click in her head.
Which leads me to the most heartbreaking part of watching Kaylin continue to be defeated by her addiction. It’s that she doesn’t want God’s romance or love. She doesn’t want Him at all. My soul aches and yearns for the demons holding her hostage to be destroyed by The power of The Father. I trust that God is planting seeds in her life that will one day produce fruit. I trust that He has her and that eternity has been set in her heart (Ecclesiastes 3).
God’s heart breaks for her Israel, for Kaylin, and for us because He knows that we so easily settle for a life that we think is the best, but is actually second best. We all have an addiction to something, whether it’s food, pornography, working out, being in control, a significant other (or the thought of one), social media, or the obsession of how others view us. All of these things take the place of the eternal Love God wants to give us. This is why any sin breaks the heart of God, because He has something so much better to give us: intimacy with Himself. We were designed for it. Once you allow the spirit to invade you at your very core, you begin to see God for who He is and not who we make Him to be. This is radical Love that cannot be matched with anything else on this side of heaven. To think that we are the only creatures in existence designed to experience the love, sacredness, and glory of God is possibly the most profound, life-changing realization I have ever made.
My encouragement/challenge to you is to let Him invade your every fiber because you will never view life the same. Surrender limiting God to the way you have always viewed Him and give Him credit for who He is: The one who is closer than your skin and the Author of your next breath. You will be forever wrapped up in the romance of the one who is the designer of your every detail. The romance you have with The Father will become so intimate that He will become bigger than everything we think will bring satisfaction. He will be what you set your hope in, find freedom in, and rest in day in and day out. My prayer for Kaylin, for you, and for me is that we would realize that we were created to be apart of the most romantic Love Story in all of history. Once we experience it, nothing else will quench the thirst for The Beloved.