Several months have past since and while I no longer feel shame for the decision made, I do still regret. While I have forgiven, I struggle with completely moving forward. There were doors opened, lines crossed, and deception involved that concerned more than just this person.
As I look back, I see how I allowed myself to fall into uncomfortable, yet familiar patterns, of taking responsibility for someone else's choices. I was also ignoring red flags. I wanted desperately to believe in this person and the situation, while I questioned (and was repeatedly lied to) I wanted to believe the lies and simply hope I was wrong. Unfortunately, I wasn't wrong. Co-dependent patterns reared their ugly head too, I wanted to undo all the negatives and be the positive and speak life and hope into this person. While that in itself isn't wrong, it was the underlining behavior that was hindering me.
I struggled with guilt because I KNOW and minster to others about not taking responsibility for other peoples choice. I am an advocate of not ignoring red flags! I allowed boundaries to be crossed and red flags to be ignored because I wanted HOPE to win. I wanted this person, whom I love, to feel confident, loved, and have a second chance at life.
Sometimes we want something for someone more than they want it. Maybe they think they want it because they had a brush with fear (or even death), but when it comes down to making the hard choices for themselves, they may ultimately decide they aren't willing to do the hard work it takes to make the necessary changes. They find themselves gravitating towards old patterns and behaviors. It's what they know. It's familiar. They are willing to risk everything once they start the decent back to the familiar.
As I wrestle with moving forward I need to remember the following:
1. God is STILL God even in the midst of difficult seasons. (Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.")
2. God STILL has a plan and a purpose and will use this for His glory. (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)
3. Even though I was unprepared, God was not. (Jeremiah 23:24 "Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?" declares the Lord. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth ?" declares the Lord. 1John 3:19-20 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.)
4. I am not responsible for other peoples choices. (2 Corinthians 5:10 For all of us must appear before Christ, to be judged by him. We will each receive what we deserve, according to everything we have done, good or bad, in our bodily life. Matthew 5:37 "But let your statement be, Yes, yes ' or No, no”.)
5. The first sign of lies or deception IS a red flag that should not be ignored. (Romans 16:18 “For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting” Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”)
6. Addiction is real and usually runs deeper than the addict realizes (and deeper than those who love them can see). (Proverbs 6:27 Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned? 1Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived;"Bad company corrupts good morals.")
7. One brush with a fearful situation, no matter how intense it was, is not always enough to make someone change their behavior. (Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.)
8. Addicts (no matter what the addiction is) decision making skills are clouded by their intense desire to do whatever it takes to get what they want (lying, stealing, deceiving, tempting others to help cover their muddy tracks). ( 2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. Galatians 6:8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9. Addictive behaviors affect more than the addict. Although until they are clean and sober, they will never recognize this fact. ( Proverbs 19:3 By his foolish behavior a man's ways are turned upside down, and his heart is bitter against the Lord. Proverbs 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
10. Doing things for all the right reasons doesn't guarantee the outcome you desire. (2 Peter 3: 8-9 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.)
As we endure different seasons and situations that may or may not be expected or what we want, we must not lose sight that....THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!