January is over, so it doesn’t seem like the beginning of the year any longer. Why would I even be talking about a fresh start? It’s never too late; you can start fresh, make new resolutions any time.
For many of us our resolutions have come, and gone. Each year on January 1, many of us decide to start fresh; we’re going to do things differently. We may have put on our list such things as less stress, more happy time, not get angry as much. That’s not to mention the more traditional lose weight, read more, or go to the gym.
Each year many of us hope and pray that our loved one will have a better year. Some of us may even resolve to do more to help—be more supportive or facilitate recovery. Maybe we even resolve to “help” our loved get treatment and medication, and “help” our loved one be well.
Jeremiah 29:11 begins with “I know the plans I have for you …” God has a plan for me and my loved one. I’m looking forward to the plan he has for me; but am I looking forward to the plan he has for my son? I don’t know.
Right now, I can see the plans God has for me–at least for the next few weeks. I don’t know what he has planned for my son, and that’s probably good. I can’t make my son change. I can’t make him be in treatment. I can’t make him do what is necessary to get his meds. He has so many wild ideas in his delusional mind. I can’t even make him hear or understand God’s plan for him.
So, what can I do? First, I can remember that God said he has a plan for me. That doesn’t mean there’s no plan for my son. It means my son’s plan isn’t mine. My focus needs to be on what God wants me to do. Sometimes that means just waiting for my son to take the next step.
Second, I can support my son in his positive efforts, while remembering I can’t change him. I can’t make him start fresh. Only my son can choose to make that fresh start.
Third, I can be there when my son has a full-blown relapse, and needs love and support. I can be there when his delusional mind has strange ideas. I can just be there.
My fresh start for the year? Do less, so I can do more. The fewer things I have on my to-do list, the better I’ll do each item. I will also take a fresh look at how I support my son. Ill or well, he will know he is loved—by me and by God.