Friday, September 20, 2013

No Spiritual Bypass

I grew up in an alcoholic home, and as the oldest child, I predictably took on the role of caregiver for my soul sick, abusive father.  Somewhere in between the hurled dinners and verbal assaults at the end of every day, I would usher him into the living room, take off his work boots, settle him down on the couch, and pray that he would fall asleep before any more damage was done. As a result of my early training (and subsequent identification as an adult child of an alcoholic), it's no surprise that the boys I chose to fall in love with in high school and college were the ones who drank and drugged a lot, ran away from home, and/or came from the wrong side of the tracks. (Like my side of the tracks was so pristine.) My skill set provided me countless opportunities for hapless, misaligned rescue missions. I married the first boy that showed signs of willingness to improve. He cut his ponytail, registered for college classes, gave up the weed, and one spring day, he got drunk enough to buy me a diamond engagement ring. Sometime before our first wedding anniversary (and mercifully, before any children were born), a different boy caught my eye. A man, actually. An older man with a house, a sports car, a big job (or so the illusion went).  Without hesitation, I traded in my first husband for the next one, fully expecting to live happily ever after. And when that loveless marriage grew dim, I went back to my prescribed method of saving lost causes, and did it a third time. I paid a high price spiritually for all my rescue/be rescued excursions. Depending on anyone else for emotional, physical, or economic security, generates its own spiritual sickness. If I'm rescuing you, I'm playing God.  If I expect you to rescue me, I'm not trusting God. And in God's world---there's no such thing as a spiritual bypass. 

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