A Niece’s Open Letter

The following is included in the book “Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Breaking Free & Staying Free,” by June Hunt. The book is part of the Hope For The Heart Series published by Aspire Press. Please check your local Christian book store for this and other helpful publications.

Dear Friend,

I wish you had known my Uncle Billy. He was quite bright. His teachers said that he was the kind of student who could make straight As without even coming to classes! He was handsome with dark brown hair and a deep set dimples in both cheeks. Everyone wanted to be around Uncle Billy, but he wouldn’t allow much closeness. He kept his distance.

Although my uncle was smart and capable, I always felt sorry for him because he was somewhat the “black sheep” of the family. By the time I was a teenager, Uncle Billy had gone through many tough times. One day he awakened to find out  he had lost his small refrigerator-freezer business-his business partner ran off with his wife and all of the company’s money. He was devastated.

His life loomed as a dark picture of losses. He lost his wife, his business, his health, and his self-respect. He completely lost control of his life because something else had control of him. You see, my Uncle Billy was an alcoholic, and he died as a result of suicide. We all loved Uncle Billy, but in the end we lost him.

I have often wondered, What could have helped my Uncle Billy? What could have saved him from his own self-destruction? Like my uncle’s, countless other lives have been destroyed by a chemical addiction, leaving family and friends struggling with similar questions: What set up this struggle with substance abuse? What could I have done to help?

With addictions affecting so many, you may be wondering, Can those in the throes of a chemical dependency be set free-permanently? The answer is yes! There is hope. In order to break free from an addiction, there must first be the recognition that there is a problem so that healing can take place. But the most important step is turning to God, allowing His strength to help carry the burden. Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

If you are struggling with a chemical addiction, the heavenly Father is waiting for you with open arms, beckoning you to come to Him. He will walk with you each step of the way in your journey to freedom. Like His prodigal son who “was lost and has been found” (Luke 15:32 NASB) -you need not be lost anymore.

Yours in the Lord’s hope,

June Hunt

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