In the midst of her success as a singer, Amy Winehouse was a tortured soul. Riding the crest of a highly successful album and recent winner of five Grammy awards, her music career stands in stark contrast to her personal challenges that get splashed across the headlines. Personal battles with drug and alcohol addiction, a husband in prison awaiting trail for assault and for attempted trial fixing, paint a picture of a life spiraling out of control.
Before Amy finally headed for rehab, her husband, Blake Fielder-Civic, acknowledged from prison that
"Every day I fear the prison chaplain is going to walk into my cell and break the news that Amy is dead [from a drug overdose]."
Fielder-Civic admitted that he and Winehouse were blowing $1000 a day on heroin and cocaine before he was arrested and put behind bars.
Fortunately Winehouse recently entered rehab, a definite positive first step toward pulling herself out of her downward spiral, even though ironically her biggest hit sont is about refusing to go into rehab. Check out these lyrics in her song the recently won Record of the Year.
They tried to make me go to rehab
I said no, no, no.
Yes I been black, but when I come back
You won't know, know, know.
I ain't got the time
And if my daddy thinks I'm fine
He's tried to make me go to rehab
I won't go, go, go...
I don't ever wanna drink again
I just, ooo, I just need a friend
Im not gonna spend 10 weeks
Have everyone think im on the mend
It's not just my pride
It's just til these tears have dried.
Can you hear the pain, hurt, defiance and desperation shouting through? Substance abuse or any form of self-harm, from cutting to pharming, are symptoms of deeper problems. Self-harming behaviors reflect hurting individuals' desperately efforts to fill the God-shaped hole every human has deep in the soul. When God isn't invited in to fill that hole, many individuals try to fill the emptiness with other things...alcohol, drugs, sex, cutting, material things. The list is as varied as the hurts crying to be stifled.
In the end, the only real answer to filling the God-shaped hole in the human soul is GOD. Without Him in our lives we will bounce from one attempt to another to mask the hurt or pain that life will eventually dish out to us. But the Good News is that Jesus extends his offer of grace and love and rescue to all with His words:
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Do you have friends who are either dabbling in or trapped by addictive behaviors? Friends who need to experience the reality of God pouring Himself into their souls and filling their God-shaped hole? If you do, try prayfully using Amy Winehouse's song Rehab as an opportunity to turn the conversation toward God-talk. Here are a few ideas to help you:
The lyrics to Amy Winehouse's song Rehab communicate both pain and defiance. Which do you think comes through louder?
Have you ever been in a place were you identified with the lyrics to this song? Or do you know someone who's in that place now?
Why do you think people sometimes find themselves struggling with substance abuse? Do you think it's a symptom of a deeper problem? Listen and then share what you believe about God creating us with a God-shaped hole in our souls that only He can fill.
Find out if your friends are familiar with Jesus words in Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Explain what those words mean to you in your personal experience.
If you or a friend are struggling with self-harming behaviors, you need to know that God's love and grace extend to the darkest places. You also need to be aware that many, many people have found that they need outside help and accountability in order to overcome addictive behaviors. It helps to know you're not alone, so prayfully bring God's light, love and truth to the darkness.
Jane Dratz works for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.