Embracing His Light: Reflecting on Holidays and Freedom from the Darkness of Addiction

Published on 30 May 2023 at 12:57

The holiday season, meant to be a time of joy and celebration, can be especially challenging when addiction has a grip on you or your loved one. I recall the haunting memories of past holidays with Ricky in the struggle of addiction, and how they filled me with dread and sorrow.


Ricky's addiction seemed to intensify during these times, leaving me puzzled about its connection to the holidays and yearning to understand why. As the holiday season approached, I observed Ricky's demeanor shift, becoming more restless and agitated. It was as if the joy and cheerfulness surrounding him only amplified his internal struggles. I tried to grasp the correlation between the festivities and his addiction, searching for clues that could shed light on this puzzling phenomenon. Perhaps the emphasis on family gatherings and social events triggered feelings of loneliness and inadequacy within Ricky, prompting him to seek relief in substances. Maybe the pressure to maintain a facade of happiness during the holidays heightened his anxiety and led him to rely on his addiction as a coping mechanism. Whatever the reason, the connection between Ricky's addiction and the holidays eluded me, leaving me grappling with a mix of concern and a genuine desire to comprehend the complex web of emotions that entangled him during this time of year.


The questions from our children and family about Ricky's whereabouts became a painful routine, met with silence and a look that conveyed more than words ever could. Deceptively telling our two youngest children that their daddy was busy or working, to shield their innocent minds from the harsh truth. The expression in our oldest daughter's eyes spoke volumes, conveying the painful realization that he wouldn't be joining us for the holidays. In that moment, I could see the depth of her understanding and empathy, as well as the profound heartache she carried within her.  To them, their daddy was perfect, their hero, while in Ricky's heart, he carried a burden of unworthiness, especially when it came to our children. No matter the stage of his life, I knew without a doubt that he loved them more than anything in this world, even if his actions didn't always reflect it. In his perspective, staying absent seemed better than exposing them to the dark side of addiction. Although there were moments when they witnessed the effects of his addiction through heated arguments or saw me struggle with hurt, anger, and bitterness, we tried our best to shield them from it, to protect them as much as we could, with what knowledge we had in that time.


As I found relief in my faith in God, I embarked on a mission to remind him of his worth, his capacity for love, and his deservingness of peace and happiness. Despite the difficulties I faced, including moments of anger, disappointment, and the struggle to convince myself of certain truths, I recognized that those truths also applied to me. It was not always easy to confront my own flaws and accept personal responsibility, but deep down, I knew that acknowledging and embracing these truths was crucial for personal growth and self-improvement. Despite the challenges, I remained committed to facing the reality and making positive changes in my life. 


Throughout this profound journey, I have come to learn a crucial lesson that has forever changed my perspective. It is a lesson born out of personal experience, one that has shown me the relentless determination of the enemy when he has a hold on your life. I have witnessed firsthand how the adversary will go to great lengths to prevent you from perceiving anything good, obstructing your vision and discouraging you from embracing the promises and blessings bestowed upon you by the Lord. The enemy's ultimate desire is to confine you to the desolate depths of despair, where hope appears distant and unattainable. In our unfortunate state, we allowed ourselves to be captured by Satan's web of deception, becoming convinced that his way was the only path available and that there could be no better life than the one we were currently living. Compelled by an inescapable force, we embarked on the journey through the treacherous darkness, tightly clutching onto the fragile strands of hope. The abyss stretched out before us, a haunting presence that cast an ominous shadow, as surrendering to its depths appeared to hold the power to seal our fate in irreversible darkness.


However, in the midst of relentless turmoil and lingering uncertainty, a remarkable resilience began to emerge from within us, enabling us to resist the vice-like grip of the enemy and pursue the radiant light that lay just beyond our reach. This revelation sparked a profound transformation within us, shattering the illusion we had once embraced and illuminating the path of truth before us. We came to realize that the enemy's power is inherently useless when confronted with unwavering faith, and it is in God's promises that we find the key to deliverance and restoration. Though our journey was filled with daunting challenges, it ultimately led us to a divine revelation – even in the darkest of times, there exists a steadfast path that guides us toward the magnificent radiance of the Lord's love and redemption.


Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude and the overwhelming sense of blessing that fills my heart. In the face of countless challenges and obstacles, I am immensely thankful that we possessed just enough faith to persist. It was our unwavering belief and trust in something greater than ourselves that carried us through the darkest of times. Through the depths of despair and uncertainty, we clung to that flickering light of hope, never losing sight of the possibility of a brighter future. And oh, what a revelation awaited us on the other side of the abyss! As we emerged from the shadows, we were bathed in the glorious light of our Lord's love, grace, and mercy. It was a transformative experience that deepened our connection with the divine, filling our lives with profound meaning and purpose. Looking back, I am in awe of the incredible journey we undertook and the profound blessings that unfolded when we least expected them. Truly, we are humbled and forever grateful for the faith that carried us through and illuminated our path.


Now, we have spent a year of holidays free from the clutches of the enemy, cradled in the hands of our mighty God, basking in His beautiful radiant light. While Ricky is at Hope Center Ministries, completing the program's final stretch, I acknowledge that our dream of spending every holiday together hasn't fully transpired. Nonetheless, I take comfort in Ricky's unwavering dedication to personal growth and recovery. Despite the temporary separation, I wholeheartedly support his journey towards healing and transformation. I understand the program's significance, providing Ricky with essential tools and guidance to conquer his challenges. Though I initially longed for a different scenario with holidays, I now embrace and trust in God's divine plan. This period in Ricky's life is crucial for his well-being and future endeavors. Placing my faith in God brings comfort, knowing His path leads Ricky to a brighter future. I eagerly anticipate the day we can reunite, cherishing the missed moments of love and joy. Throughout this temporary separation, my unwavering faith in God's guidance gives me strength. His love encompasses us all, regardless of physical proximity. In Ricky's current season, I continue to uplift him through prayers, encouragement, and unshakable belief in his ability to overcome. I wholeheartedly choose God's path above all others, finding comfort in the peace that comes from trusting His divine plan. Having experienced life from various perspectives, I confidently affirm that nothing compares to being in the presence of God.


The holiday season, once a time of despair and heartache, has been transformed into a season of hope and redemption. I reflect on our journey, and my heart swells with gratitude for the faith that kept us fighting, leading us to discover the breathtaking light of the Lord that shines even in the darkest of times. While our path continues to unfold, we hold onto the peace and comfort that God's plan brings. We stand as witnesses to the overwhelming strength and power of our God, surpassing anything Satan could ever wield. May our story inspire others to hold onto faith and find their way to the radiance and grace that awaits them on the other side of darkness.

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Michelle Greene
a year ago

I can testify to the despair of the addiction during the holidays . Easter always being the most profound . It seemed Ricky would be clean and sober ; participating fully with the Jade and the babies , smile of his face and appeared spirit filled . However , often he would relapse almost immediately after that wonderful day with many accolades to his recovery; even to the point we tempered our encouragement in fear it would trigger him . That was Satan , no doubt ; Do not underestimate the power of the darkness . Acknowledge and rebuke him often to achieve peace on earth as it is in heaven in Jesus Christ our savior 😇🙏🏼

a year ago

I am so proud of you for this. To share something so private takes a lot of courage. I see the growth and faith between you two. I am so grateful for this turn in all of your lives and the chance to have your family at peace!