Tolerating the Test of Time

There’s an expression that I’ve heard on this journey that is so simple to agree to but so hard to accept — “Time takes time.” We want to know the answers to our most burning questions about our sons and daughters, and yet in my own recovery, I have learned that only time will reveal those answers.

When my daughter was sharing with me about her use of drugs and alcohol, I took comfort in her self-disclosure. It made me feel reassured that she was talking to me and not shutting me out. But I knew she could be headed towards addiction. I knew that, if I lectured or expressed too much disapproval, she might shut down and stop sharing with me. As a counselor, I knew that keeping the lines of communication open was so important, so I just had to wait to see what would happen.

Then as things in her life became more and more unmanageable, I had to wait some more. I had to wait to see if she would take responsibility or continue to flounder. I was able to avoid the temptation to rescue her, but I still just had to wait for her to experience enough pain to decide that she wanted a different life for herself. I took comfort in knowing that she knew addiction is a disease and she knew where to get help when she was ready. But I still just had to wait.

And then, when she DID ask for help and began the journey of her own recovery, I STILL had to wait. And to be honest, I’m STILL waiting. I’m waiting to see if her abstinence and her recovery continue. Is this for real? Could it be that we don’t have more hell to go through? I’ve been around enough parents whose kids have been to treatment 4, 5, 6 times or more that I KNOW we could be at the very beginning of what could be a very long, expensive and painful journey. But today, she’s doing well. She’s abstaining, going to meetings, working with her sponsor, and continues to talk to me. And yet, I know that we are still tolerating the test of time to see if that will continue.

Today’s Reminder:  I will do my best to focus just on this day and the joys and sorrows it brings me. I know that if I ruminate on the past or future-trip about what could happen later, I miss the gifts of THIS DAY. Today I will actively “look for the good” of the day — both in my daughter’s life and my own. The only way to tolerate the test of time is to find joy in the good times and seek comfort in the bad ones. These are good times, and I want to celebrate them.

You can listen to an audio of this devotional at our podcast A Dose of Hope.


You do not have to walk this path alone. Parenting Through Addiction offers courses to teach you about what YOU can do to help your child as they begin their own path to recovery. We also offer various membership options so you can connect with other parents who are on their own journey to find serenity in the face of their child’s addiction. To learn more click here!