How One Heroin Addict's Death Led Two Hundred Souls to Jesus

How One Heroin Addict's Death Led Two Hundred Souls to Jesus

As many of you know, I recently moved from Canada back to the USA. Same general area, different community. This time, I’m lucky enough to call the ever-popular Hillsong Church my family’s home church. It’s pretty cool, I have to say. If you ever get the opportunity to attend a Hillsong service, I highly recommend it. One of the things I love the most about the church is tho opens and welcoming attitude of the patrons. Everyone comes as they are. A big sign at the front says, “Welcome Home” and you’re invited in with smiles, jeans and a lot of really, great music.

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Forgiveness, A Gift that Sets the Giver Free

Forgiveness, A Gift that Sets the Giver Free

There she sat next to me in the pew. This time her recovery included a commitment to go back to church. I fought hard to no avail to keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks. My emotions were running high as she sat there as tangible proof of an answer to so many prayers. I didn't know then, that it wasn't going to last but I remember so vividly what God showed me that day.

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My Loved One Has an Addiction, What Can I Do?

My Loved One Has an Addiction, What Can I Do?

This is a question I hear often but has a very complicated answer. While the definition of addiction is the same across the board and the behaviours for each type of addiction come out, in the same manner, the actual addiction itself does need to be treated differently. So I’m going to say, it depends on what your loved one is addicted to. 

I’m going to split this into the “big four” addictions. Some of these, I have up-close and personal experience with while others I do not, so if you’re the spouse of said addiction and you’re like, “Ummm, Leah, that’s whack advice!” I'm so sorry, that’s totally okay by me.

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How to Deal With Guilt and Shame as the Parent of an Addict

How to Deal With Guilt and Shame as the Parent of an Addict

When I reached this point in my story I looked up and sitting directly across from me was a lady whose eyes I could see, were filling with tears. I spoke to her directly and said, "This is the toughest part isn't it?" and she nodded.

This is the point in my story where I talk about the guilt. This was the hardest hurdle for me to get over.

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No Need to be a Scaredy Cat! Faith Guide for Crisis Situations

No Need to be a Scaredy Cat! Faith Guide for Crisis Situations

I know I’m, “Preaching to the choir” when I say this but there’s nothing like addiction to bring a spirit of fear into your life. Whatever anxieties or insecurities may have been present before, that you were able to disguise, push through, convince yourself weren’t there, they all come back with addiction. They say addiction is a “family disease” and while I don’t believe in the disease aspect of it, I do believe it’s a family affair! 

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The Year I Lost Christmas: A Story About Grief and Addiction

The Year I Lost Christmas: A Story About Grief and Addiction

I distinctly remember the year I lost my Christmas. I didn’t lose the meaning of the season or my appreciation for the birth of my Lord and Saviour. It was His strength that got me through it all but hovering above my Christmas was a dark cloud, a memory. For me, this cloud hovered almost a decade. I felt it every time she relapsed. It lifted during times when she was doing well and then returned with each stumble backwards. Its name is grief. 

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You Can Love Your Child and Hate Their Substance Abuse

You Can Love Your Child and Hate Their Substance Abuse

Blonde hair, blue eyes and a wealth of talent. She was my first born; Beautiful, funny, smart and excelled at anything she put her mind to from track and field, dance and figure skating. She had a beautiful voice and sang like an angel. She had the drive and determination of an Olympic athlete. She could have done anything she wanted but ended up doing none of the things she dreamed of because deep inside her lived a little girl who felt unworthy.

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How to Support a Friend Whose Loved One is an Addict

How to Support a Friend Whose Loved One is an Addict

What's My Family Member's Life Like?

The best way to describe how it feels to have a loved one battling addiction is: isolating. 

It’s lonely. 

It’s hard to relate to other people because your life is chaotic and spinning around an unhealthy, unpredictable person. It’s hard to make commitments, like volunteering for church activities or children’s school trips, because you’re overwhelmed and never know what will happen from day to day. Going to work to deal with a whole other set of problems can be a relief if you get yourself motivated to go but some days, it’s too much to handle. 

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Five Ways to Support a Loved One with an Addiction Without Losing Yourself

Five Ways to Support a Loved One with an Addiction Without Losing Yourself

I grew up in a family with eight kids, all younger than myself, and although I never thought life would be perfect, I never dreamed that one of us would battle addiction. So when my little brother became addicted to opiates after the sudden death of one of our siblings, it was devastating to our family.

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Real Talk: The Face of Addiction

Real Talk: The Face of Addiction

Let’s Get Real for a Moment.

Addiction has many faces. It can appear stable, on-track, and functional. Other times it rips apart relationships, turns loved ones into compulsive liars, thieves, and volatile individuals. Addiction takes hold of people and makes them unrecognizable to their families and friends and turns them against those that love them the most. Nor is it a stand alone issue that only affects the addicted, but rather it’s conditional ripple effect that wounds like shrapnel to anyone within range.

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The Biggest Lie About Addiction (and why it's so dangerous!)

The Biggest Lie About Addiction (and why it's so dangerous!)

The truth shall set you free.

My husband says I’m pretty, down-to-earth, sweet and sometimes, a little bit offensive. Being true to myself, I’m going to go ahead and publish this article. 

I know this is a highly-criticized point of view but I'm going to say it anyway... The biggest (and most dangerous) lie about addiction is that it's a disease.

Addiction is not a disease. 

There. Said it.

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Never Good Enough- A Young Woman's Story

Never Good Enough- A Young Woman's Story

The Interview...

WHAT KIND OF FAMILY ENVIRONMENT DID YOU GROW UP IN? 

I grew up in a happy, stable home environment. The town I was raised in was small and quaint. While attending the Mennonite Brethren Church with my family, my brother and I also participated in VBS, Christian Summer Camp, Youth Group, etc.

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You Ain’t Gotta Make Your Mind Up (Right Now)

You Ain’t Gotta Make Your Mind Up (Right Now)

Don’t rush, no pressure.

Everyone who knows me well, knows I love Justin Bieber. I’m sorry if you just lost all respect for me but I'm Canadian so I’m going to claim ignorance. The Biebs has gotten wiser in his trials and there’s some real nuggets of wisdom in his songs (albeit grammatical errors but wisdom nonetheless). One of my favourites is, “You ain’t gotta make your mind up right now, don’t rush, no pressure”. 

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Experts Weigh in With Practical Advice on Forgiveness

Experts Weigh in With Practical Advice on Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of those things I think we all have to struggle with at one point in our lives. No one is immune to being hurt so forgiveness becomes an important part of our human relationships. 

To get a better understanding on this often very difficult subject, I asked some of my favourite fellow bloggers, writers, speakers and Christian influencers: “What practical advice would you give to a women who’s really struggling with forgiveness?”

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How to be a Peacemaker Without Being a Pushover

How to be a Peacemaker Without Being a Pushover

Do You Really Know the Difference Between Peaceful and Pushover?

If you’ve lived with an addict you may have found yourself in a situation where you’ve become the "unofficial peacemaker". Maybe you’re in that situation now. You learn quickly how to adapt to tense situations, avoid ruffling feathers and what not to say to prevent tempers from flaring. You react, not how you want to but with the sole purpose of keeping the peace. You may push away your feelings or convince yourself that certain things are okay that aren't because your world revolves around keeping other people happy.

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