When the ones we love won’t love themselves, oh, the games our minds can play.  Were we too strict, not strict enough?  Were we a bad example in some way?

We must try and remind ourselves that their choices were just that, their choices. We didn’t force them to walk that dangerous path.  Just the opposite.

When the spiral starts, then what?  We see them on the merry-go-round.  They have one hand on the bar and the other reaching out to us.  We reach for them and they jerk their hand away and laugh. 

But one day the spinning will stop.  Either they won’t be able to hold on any longer and will fly off, out of control.  Or they will tire of the constant spinning and choose to end the ride.  Again, their choice.

What can we do?  We can remind them that we love them and we are praying for them.  We can listen to their thoughts, but not their excuses.  We can encourage, but we cannot enable. We can remind them that the merry-go-round can stop, if they want it to.  But they have to want it.  Us wanting it for them will never be enough, and at some point, we realize, we can’t help them, but God can. We can’t fix them, but God can heal them.  We can’t make them clean, but God can wash them white as snow.