Keep Still and Let God
Hello, I’m Leah Grey.
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” -Genesis 1:2
Picture yourself standing on the edge of a cliff of a tall mountain.
It's dark outside, and the earth is quiet. You hear only a few crickets and the wind as it gently whistles through the trees. There is no one around, it's only you and God...
What would you do?
You would be still.
It much harder to do this in our everyday life. Can you be still in your current situation? Can you summon that feeling of peace in the presence of God when things get tough?
It's not easy!
I've found (through trial and many errors) the best thing to do when someone you love is struggling with addiction is to stop "doing." Be still. Let God.
Stillness is not a personality trait that comes easily to me, especially not when I'm facing a problem. I don't procrastinate, I attack! Which is an excellent characteristic until you're faced with an issue where the solution is patience.
I think I fast-tracked learning how to be peaceful when things were going badly, but what a relief to know if there's nothing we can do, we can do nothing at all! Instead of trying to fix things, I’ve learned that’s when I need to trust God to do His job (which turns out, is doing something after all!).
“A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9
My natural reaction to a problem:
Make a list, prioritizing the more urgent tasks at the top.
Work my way through the list from top to bottom.
Make phone calls.
Make notes on my list.
Freak out a little bit and then revert back to said list.
Ask for support from family or friends who are in a position to assist in whatever problem I’m attacking and brainstorm solutions. If none available, tell any family members or friends who will listen.
Make more notes on my list. Maybe freak out again.
Proceed through the list above until I have completed it. Feel successful. All the glory goes to Leah.
When we solve our problems on our own, God doesn't get to flex His muscles. Just like we allow our kids to learn things on their own, He gives us space to make mistakes. But He also has to give us things we can't solve so we know He is the only one who can.
God shows us His strength through our weaknesses.
How do I know God shines in our weakness?
A few years ago, I found myself in a situation no amount of list-making would fix. My husband was struggling with an addiction; he couldn't quit. To make a long story short, he spiralled out of control.
I thought I was going to lose him either by overdose or suicide. I couldn't fix it. I couldn't fix him. Nothing I did helped, and everything I tried to do seemed only to make it worse.
I was angry. I was scared. I was sad. I was out of ideas. And I was tired. Really, really tired.
If it does, I want you to know there's hope. Let God take over. He can totally fix this.
🤙Totally can, dude.
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Before I gave up control and trusted God, I first tried fixing my husband with a proper strategy:
Don’t argue with him when I think he’s under the influence of drugs.
Have a place where he can stay that’s void of all women (if I can manage to convince him to leave).
Have a bag packed for me and the children and a place for us to stay, just in case.
Be sure my cellphone is always charged.
Clean the house and do laundry daily, look for signs of drugs and cheating (I licked some weird-tasting things off the floor, let me tell you!).
If I find drugs, call his outpatient program treatment coordinator and have her deal with him, so I avoid any wrath.
Go to couples therapy to “support the recovery” (a.k.a. go to couples therapy and rat him out for every lie he's told that week).
Pray for God to change him. Also, to make him feel really guilty for leaving me home alone all the time with two (sometimes three) little kids. Pray he has a terrible day. No, scratch that, that's not nice. Pray he comes home safe and on time.
Figure out what to do next.
Like most well-devised life plans, none of mine worked out as I thought. Planning on other people doesn't work.
Every time I thought I had life under control, something else would happen, and I'd go back to being angry, sad, hurt, frustrated, etc. The only way to "fix it" was to surrender control and plan on God, not on people.
“Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” -Psalm 146:3-7
And you know what happened? God fixed me before He fixed my husband (ahem, I didn't think there was anything wrong with me!).
Its been a long road for my husband and me, but I'm happy to report “recovery” feels like a word from our past. Praise Jesus, because I wasn’t sure we would make it!
If you're like I was, you've been getting (Googling!) all kinds of advice, but you still have no idea what to do. God put an answer to every problem in His Word. Grey Ministries exists to help you find recovery and healing.
Your loved one doesn't need to get better for God to heal your pain.
There’s a story from Christian speaker Joyce Meyer that comes to mind (I'm NOT quoting verbatim! If you're interested you can read the article here) where she explains the differences between a chicken and an eagle during a storm. The chicken runs for shelter while the eagle faces the eye of the storm and waits for the right time to spread its wings. The eagle rides the momentum of the wind upward to get to the still sky above where it will fly until the storm has passed [Related: How to Get Out of the Storm].
You, my friend, are the eagle. Rise above and hover over the storm in the stillness.
My favourite part of comparing this analogy to a loved one struggling with addiction is that the eagle flies above the storm, meaning, it doesn't run away. If it's possible and safe, let us not abandon our loved ones in their storm [are you safe? If you're not sure, check out: Signs of Emotional Abuse You Need to Watch For].
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31
Picture yourself as an eagle, perched on the edge of a cliff on a tall mountain.
The sun warms a majestic crown of feathers. You're the queen of the air. Silence, a bug flies past. You feel the breeze kiss your wings, you know it's God. You spread your reach wide and fall. The wind catches you with a swoop and ushers you into the sunlight...
Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
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*Previously called, “Be Still and Know”. Updated 05/27/19.