Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spiritual Codependency

Today I was sitting with my pastor chatting about another matter and he asked me to share what was on my heart.

Since I am in a situation in my family that is extremely stressful, I shared my concerns with him, enough so that he knew I was suffering intensely because of the actions (or inactions) of someone that I care very deeply about. 

We talked about a lot of things. We prayed together. And then he said something that made it click for me. What he said was so powerful that it burned itself into my innermost being. 
"Jesus died for _____ (person's name). He bought ________'s peace. That peace belongs to ______.  But listen. He also died for you, Judy. He bought your peace. Don't let ________'s issues take away YOUR peace. It belongs to you." He paused for a moment, and looked straight into my eyes, knowing I would understand this. "If you let anyone else take away your peace, that's kind of like ... codependency.  Only it's SPIRITUAL codependency." 

Photo "Father and Daughter" courtesy of
photostock at
That's when it clicked for me.  

He knew that I understood the concept of codependency (to find out what that is, here's a link to my "What is Codependency?" page.  It's on my main blog, "Get Unwrapped!")  What I had been struggling with was ... where to draw the line between taking the appropriate responsibility I needed to take to look after someone I loved, and assuming someone else's responsibility for their own spiritual and personal growth.

It was just what I needed. I felt the tension drain away from my spirit, as the edges un-blurred and all appeared to shift into focus as I admitted once and for all my utter helplessness. 

As we prayed together, the image of a child spending time with its parent just for the sheer joy of it (rather than to be fed or to be comforted) came into my mind, the image spoken about in Psalm 131:2 ... "I have quieted my soul, like a weaned child rests against its mother." No demands, no ulterior motives ... just resting in Him, leaning on His shoulder. Now that I think about that picture, it is just one more way to "Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps 46:10) ... something a Christian buddy of mine was trying to tell me the other day ... and something that someone else sent to me on Facebook - a song sung in the 1970s by Chuck Girard called "Slow Down." (ignore the ad when you click on the link). 

In my obsession to fix that person's issues, I had lost myself and placed myself in turmoil, in torture. My pastor pointed me to the cross and helped me find the peace that had been waiting for me all along. 

And that is beyond anything I could understand or hope to explain.
It just IS. 

No comments:

Post a Comment