What’s not to love? It’s pink, it’s shiny and it responds to my every command.
I can’t recall when I first became aware that my iPhone had a function that showed how much screen time I average per day or week. But I do remember the shock when I saw the numbers, and no, I’m not going to tell you what they were. Talk about a wake-up call. There I was, complaining and making excuses about how I didn’t have enough time to write, that there just weren’t enough hours in the day, and the cold hard facts were staring me in the face.
I had the time. I was just squandering it.
In my defense, a portion of my screen time was under the category of reading and reference and creativity. Several of my devotionals are online and I use Blueletterbible.org every day as I read my Bible and write. Plus, I have the Kindle app which I occasionally use. But that’s not where the majority of the hours (oops, did I say hours? I meant minutes, ahem.) went. It was Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest that were eating up my time—mindless scrolling and I don’t even like puppy dog videos.
Who hasn’t known the heartache of having a friend or loved one who struggles with addiction? The never-ending cycle of hope vs. hopelessness, of wanting to help but feeling helpless… it will (and should) drive you to your knees, which is why I’ve invited my good friend, Paula Jauch to share at my table today. I first met Paula at a writers conference; we were both rookies, searching for a way to get our words out into the world. Well, friends, her voice comes through loud and clear because she. speaks. truth. Hard-won truth, because she’s been there. The words she shares are written from a place of brokenness and healing.
This past fall I woke up to a message on my phone with a picture of a beautiful baby boy who had just been born into our family. The text was from one of my family members whose daughter had just given birth to this precious child. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the text that followed:
“Please keep her and her son in your prayers; she is being arrested because they found heroin in the baby’s system and her baby boy is being placed in protected custody. In the meantime he will be kept in the hospital to wean him off of the drug.”
I know this is a pretty heavy story to share but this is the kind of stuff I grew up with all my life and I still hear small glimpses of these types of stories from my family and many other families.
Please take notice that I said “small glimpses;” I have to be very careful of what I allow into my life or what I am willing to listen to. I can’t control everything I hear but I know from experience the repercussions of being absorbed into the family’s dysfunction from addiction: reliving the trauma and wounds to the degree that would prevent me from moving forward. And I desperately want to move forward.