Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Codependency: Yes Somebody Cares

On my old blog I often wrote about codependency and how having an alcoholic parent was what defined my
Foster sisters by Phillip Richard Morris
life well into adulthood. While trapped by my mom's addiction I found that the best way to cope was to suppress my very negative and destructive feelings out of fear of what might have happened if they were to reach the surface of my being. Yet, as much as I thought I could hide, I still became angry and sad over something inside that I was unable to describe. Fortunately a recent post by a fellow codependent has opened my eyes. The writer, a fellow codependent, has confronted me with that which I did not want to admit to myself.

Talking or writing about the past is difficult for most codependents. So it must have taken quite a bit of courage to write “The Effects of Alcoholism Through the Eyes of a Child,” (posted on allprodad.com). I am not sure who wrote the post but can definitely relate to the experiences. The writer speaks of finding his mother dead in her room, reminding me of the phone call from my brother telling me of my mother’s death. As with the writer of the blog post, I was shocked but not surprised. But I never came to terms with perhaps the most destructive part of being a codependent, a truth spelled out in the post’s final paragraph.

In my own words: Being a codependent means living with the fact that your parent, or some other family member, loves alcohol more than they love you.

Playing second fiddle to an aluminum can destroyed my self esteem. And while I wanted to take responsibility for my own life, I found no real reason to care about myself if the one who should have cared most did not. Instead I have lived with a lot of hidden anger refusing to believe in anything but a negative view of myself. This is where I was until I discovered the truth.

If you are a codependent or if you have bought into the lie that nobody cares, I would like to share one truth with you: Somebody cares! A lot of people care, starting with our Creator who demonstrated His love on the cross where He died for you. Stop listening to that lie that tells you otherwise. There are many who care about you and who want to overlook your codependency. In short: you are loved.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Did We Elect A Moses or A Pharaoh?

Is President Trump ordained by God? Among his supporters are a number of Christians who believe, or at least claim to believe, that Trump is the man God wanted behind the Oval Office desk. And while we may debate the theological significance, the simple fact is Donald J. Trump did win the election. Personally I think the question of who God wants in office is not nearly as important as the question of, “Why?” Why is Trump sitting in the Oval Office?

I ask this thinking of two very different leaders introduced near the beginning of the Book of Exodus. First we have Moses. From his birth to his adoption by Pharaoh's daughter to his burning bush experience, we are left with no doubts as to the fact that Moses was destined to be a hero. Exodus tells us how he answered God’s call and lead the nation of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. Moses stood as a chosen leader, and intercessor between God and the people. No one doubts Moses’ role in Exodus but did Pharaoh serve an equal role in revealing God’s glory?

In his role as leader of Egypt Pharaoh was seen as being closer to the gods than any other man. He believed himself in a position where he did not have to listen to anyone (man or god). He refused Moses’ requests, questioning the authority of Moses’ God (Exodus 5:2). Pharaoh is the bad guy in Exodus, seemingly standing in the way of the will of God. And yet the Bible tells us that Pharaoh’s role was part of a bigger plan, appointed by God to serve a purpose as we learn in the ninth chapter.

In Exodus 9 God sends Moses to confront Pharaoh before the seventh plague. God declares that He raised up Pharaoh, putting him in a position of authority that he might serve to help demonstrate God’s power (Exodus 9:16). Each plague represented God’s power over areas thought to be under the control of one of Pharaoh’s idols. With each defeat God’s power was revealed. As a result the confrontation between Pharaoh and God resulted in the Lord’s name being declared in all the earth. This was the will of God and Pharaoh successfully in played his role as evidenced when Israel reaches the wall of Jericho (Joshua 2:10).

Based on Romans 13:1 every world leader and every U.S. President was granted authority based on the will of God. This applies to President Trump as it did to President Obama before him. It was true of George W. Bush, William Blythe Clinton, and every president back to George Washington. All served God's purpose but not all were his children. The question in each case is, “What does God want to achieve?” Why is Donald Trump the current President of the United States? Is our current president serving a purpose similar to that of Moses or have we elected into office someone who will serve God in a similar fashion as did Pharaoh? Only time will tell. Either way the next four (or eight) years should be interesting.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Obama Presidency: Only Now Can I Enjoy History

Picture By Pete Souza, The Obama-Biden Transition Project [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

I just couldn’t do it. In 2008, faced with the opportunity to join in making history, I could not bring myself to
vote on the basis of race. Instead I did what I would in any other presidential election. I took the time to read and study, voting for the candidate I thought would do the best job. Not that I was oblivious to the opportunity to change the face of the nation but I saw a lot more than history at stake. And so I could not vote based on the candidate’s race nor could I enjoy eight years of history while the White House was occupied by its first black first family.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see a minority in the White House. At the same time I feared what might happen if the first black was the wrong black. The president lives under a very intense microscope with his every move examined and documented. I figured a black president would find the optics focused to a much higher intensity, facing scrutiny like none other before. A misstep here or an embarrassing gesture there and the entire race would have been labeled by those who believe  minorities lack what is needed to run the free world. And so in 2008 I looked for the right person for the job knowing that the first black, if he were not fit, would close the door on the possibility of another holding the office in the future.

With his two terms in office now behind us I can say that President Obama and his family exhibited a very high regard for the office, conducting themselves in a manner that serves as an example to anyone of any race. Did I agree with all of his actions? No, but I have yet to agree 100% with anyone. Even while disagreeing with the president I was able to respect the man. So now, in 2017, I can finally enjoy the historical aspects of having had our first black president. Only now can I celebrate knowing the Obamas have left us with a historical record for which the entire race...the entire country...can be proud.