As a pastor’s kid who grew up in the church, I’ve had my fair share of Sunday services. However, none of them prepared me for the disappointments in life. We all have them, right? The relationship that didn’t work out. The dream job that never materialized, loss of your health or the death of a loved one. For most, it’s simply the dreams that never came into fruition.
"For most, it’s simply
the dreams that
Church and its collection of “do’s & don’ts” for how to live your life didn’t soothe my broken soul. My faith faltered during my personal struggles, as the chronic pain from 5 spine fusion surgeries overwhelmed me and my bipolar depression left me empty and dead within. Instead, I found alcohol and prescription opioids & fentanyl to be a much better comfort.
"...and if you’re lucky to cheat death you will most likely end up alone."
What I couldn’t foresee at the time was that this rabbit hole I had gone down would hold me captive and in bondage for decades. Addictions will rob you of everything. Relationships will fail, your livelihood will be taken, finances will collapse and if you’re lucky to cheat death you will most likely end up alone.
I stopped asking the “why’s” years ago. Gone were the conversations with the God of my youth and as I struggled alone in my inner darkness, I believed the lie that this life was no longer worth living. This is the enormous cost of addictions. Lives are ruined, hearts are broken, and your sanity turns against you. How does one find their way back? Grace? Luck? Self-Discipline? Perhaps a mixture of all three.
"Gratitude for a life that’s been redeemed and restored permeates my entire being."
Sobriety has a wonderful way of bringing all things into the light if you’re willing. Light! Such a simple and yet profound state of being. Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” The light of life! I love this.
Detox finally opened the door for sustained Sobriety and on 1/10/17 I began my sober journey. Gone are the mornings of regret and the feelings of shame no longer haunt me. Instead, gratitude for a life that’s been redeemed and restored permeates my entire being. The truth as I’m experiencing it reminds me that I cannot keep what I don’t give away. This life of service is a beautiful reflection of the grace that I’ve received. My sobriety requires me to live in the moment, my faith asks me to love as I’ve been loved and my spirit says, “here am I send me”.
The confines of religion have been replaced by an intimate relationship with the creator of the universe and this renewed life in the spirit promises me that all things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. I love what scripture says in 1 Peter 5:10, “The God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Wherever you’re at in your personal journey may you find the Hope that is only found in relationship with Jesus. Call out to the God of your understanding and hear this, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.