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Christian Living

Overcoming Addictions 12/07/12

When the Christmas Season Is a Trigger

Romans 8:37: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (NIV).

“I can’t do the Christmas season, Ms. Yvonne.” Frank formed a fist with his right hand and hit the arm of his chair.

Frank had called the agency for a counseling appointment and told the receptionist he had to see me today.

“What seems to be the problem?” I asked.

“Everywhere I go there’s lots of food and alcohol.” Frank removed the red plaid muffler around his neck. “Even the office party after work served an alcoholic punch.”

I nodded. “What happens when you see the food and alcohol?”

His laugh filled the room. “I want to eat until I’m stuffed and drink until the alcohol is gone.”

“Do you have other options?”

“Like stay home?” Frank zipped and unzipped the pockets on his winter jacket.

“You could, rather than gain weight and get a hangover, or you could find out what the host will serve. If necessary, take veggies and fruit juice or bottled water.”

He sighed and shook his head. “I just can’t say, ‘No.’”

I looked at his deep brown eyes and hesitated a moment before I spoke. “It sounds like you think you’re defeated with no hope of turning the battle around.”

Frank raised his brows and asked, “How can I win?”

I reached for the Bible on my desk and opened it to Psalm 34:6. Listen to this verse, “This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles” (NIV). I closed my Bible and asked, “Have you prayed and asked God to help you with your Christmas season troubles?”

He lowered his gaze and whispered, “Not really.”

“How about you start there and ask your sponsor or another safe person to attend the Christmas functions with you?” I held my Bible up and said, “This is God’s love letter to you. He wants to help you.”

Frank blushed and said, “After all I’ve done wrong, God can’t possibly love me.” His eyes moistened with tears. “I don’t think he’ll listen to me, much less answer me.”

“The devil would like you to believe that lie.” I opened my Bible and read Jeremiah 31:3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (NIV).

“That’s what the Old Testament says, but what about the New Testament?”

I smiled and handed him my Bible. “Read Romans 8:38-39.”

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV). He looked at me and grinned. “I guess I can do it.”

Psalm 62:6b: “He is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (NIV).

Copyright © by Yvonne Ortega December 4, 2012

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