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Ann Farabee: Love U 4-Ever

“I read your column every week,” she said with a slight smile, but the look on her face told me this was not a casual conversation.

“The one about your daughter,” she whispered, “I really needed it. I keep a copy of it in my purse.” I opened my mouth, but no words came out. I knew exactly what she was saying to me. The look on her face reminded me of myself at times. There was no doubt in my mind. She loved an addict – and she was hurting.

The column she referenced was almost two years old. And… as part of my personal story, I knew it all too well.

The tragedy flashed through my mind as we stood there:
The call had come that morning. My then 19 year old daughter woke up in an apartment and found her boyfriend dead from an overdose. She was arrested, facing numerous drug charges. The life I had envisioned for her would not be happening. What had been a mostly private addiction dealt with by our family, on that day became very public – on TV and on the front page of the newspaper. I was heartbroken, angry, and grieving. I had lost the battle I had been trying to fight for her.

Later, as I watched her cry while standing over his casket, my bitterness remained. Until… I saw the words she had carefully chosen for the card attached to the single rose she had sent to the funeral home: Love U 4-Ever. But, the word love had been replaced with a heart. As the power of those words infiltrated my heart, so did the power of God. God somehow broke through my stony heart and sent healing to our relationship.

Love – of all things – the emotion I felt the least of at that moment – is the emotion that brought the healing.

I had written that column 15 years later, when I finally felt peace about sharing it. I love for someone to approach me and tell me how something I wrote impacted them. But…on this day, I somehow knew that this lady I did not know would ask this question I did not want to answer: How is your daughter doing now?

I shook my head, looked down at the ground, and felt the tears begin to fall. She hugged me, and prayed the sweetest prayer over my family. Then, she told me about her daughter, and I prayed for her.

That one day. That one person. While looking to me for reassurance, she ended up being the one to offer reassurance. And in turn… may the words I write – or say – in this column reassure you and lead the ‘addict you love’ to freedom.

John 6:33 tells me that in Him, I can have peace. In this world I will have trouble, but I can take heart! He has overcome the world!

I refuse to lose heart. The battle is the Lord’s. I will live in victory.

Love an addict? As the child of an alcoholic, sister of an alcoholic, and mother of an addict, I understand. We are not alone. Many suffer as we do. We do our best to make the right decisions, based on our knowledge of our loved ones. We do not have time to worry about what others think. God CAN do a great work in the lives of those we love. Our love and prayers may be all we have to give, and sometimes it may be ‘tough love,’ but it still counts as love. Proverbs 3:5 says to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. We trust You, Jesus!

Are you an addict? No matter where you are, God is right there. God knew you before you were conceived. He knows your heart. He knows your pain. No one wants to be an addict. When life is at its worst, God is at His best. Ask for help- and mean it! This may be your day to be set free. Love U 4-Ever.

Ann is a speaker and teacher. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com

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