- Chaotic thinking and activity
- No straight answers to any questions, no matter how routine
- Lies and manipulation that go beyond just "getting out of trouble."
- Opaque eyes. Even gazing into their eyes, it is as if no one is home.
- Flippancy. No serious discussions that involve truth.
- Extreme dissatisfaction with every aspect of life, restless, jumpy.
- Extreme disgust toward Godly people, gravitating to the worst of society.
- Skillful lying. Can look you right in the eye and lie to your detriment without a shred of remorse.
- You feel spiritual anxiety when you are in their presence.
- Impatience with any spiritual discussions, ready to move on.
- Obsessive behavior with relationships, substances, people.
- Pretend remorse when caught, but nothing that touches the heart.
- Extreme ungratefulness and disrespect toward parents and other authorities.
Of course many of the above can also be caused by drug abuse or mental illness. Both, I believe, were present in our daughter's case. However, many mental illnesses are the result of consistent wrong choices that bring further depression and a deadening of conscience. As one Christian psychologist told me, "She has most likely created her own mental illness and it is unlikely she can escape it on her own."
If you believe you are in over your head, I urge you to seek counsel from a Godly authority on the subject. You are no match for Satan's wiles, especially when you don't know who you're fighting. Don't be too proud to ask for help and do not stop until you find it.
I compiled a list of counseling centers, rehab facilities and other assistance so I would be ready when the time came. And God began to work, bringing her around so that we could get her help through these places we had already located. Thankfully,we weren't caught unprepared.
Don't be a reactor in this season of life. Become proactive so that you are ready for whatever is about to hit you next. Continued denial and naivete will only bring you more harm. You didn't ask for this world you've been plunged into, but to survive it and protect your family, you have to stay one step ahead of your prodigal.
Tomorrow I'll talk about the most important step to me thus far. And maybe one of the most difficult personal challenges I've faced, but I hope it gives you encouragement that if I could do it, so can you.
Tell me what you're facing right now. Are you through to the other side as I am, or are you in the thick of the battle? Remember, the battle is the Lord's. We war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of the darkness. God is more powerful, but you have to remain a faithful soldier. I hope this is helping.