Just had to share that this is my third summer of being sober…wow…Praise God! I am definitely stronger now, but I still want to be careful not to mess up. I guess the summer brings back a lot of memories of my struggle. This used to be the time of year when I would drink the most (at least until the depression became severe, then it was whenever). In addition to stress triggers, I’d have other triggers such as warm weather which would make me crave ice cold beer. Of course it would be pointless to just have one or two. When I drank, it was to get high (and eventually to ease the pain). One or two wasn’t nearly enough for that. Watching sports on TV with the old boyfriend would be another trigger. Sunday’s weren’t spent in church, they were spent on the couch watching football and drinking through the last evening game. No wonder why I used to hate Monday’s so much. It’s truly amazing that I would make it to work the next day. I thank God for taking it all away…the cravings, the depression, and yes, the old boyfriend (unhealthy/ungodly relationship). If I was going to have a new beginning with God, it just needed to be me and God. No distractions. I knew in my heart that it was going to be the only way that I would be able to truly change. I was right. The Lord has done incredible things since I gave my life to Him. I am so in awe of all He has done.
When the Lord first sobered me up, I remember so clearly those first few months of sobriety. I was wondering if I would be able to continue on the right path. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. I wasn’t in any kind of recovery program, and even worse, I wasn’t yet connected to the Lord like I am today. He was just starting to break through in my life and I didn’t yet have an understanding of His amazing power. What God has done in my life are true miracles. He has helped me with breakthrough after breakthrough. To think it all started with a rock bottom cry out to Him for help.
I must say that I am so proud of my progress thus far. I have worked so hard at putting into practice, wonderful godly principles that I have learned from great Christian ministers and authors over the last couple of years. I have learned from the best through books and through audios with amazing messages. I’ve taken classes in ministry school and classes through church. Basically, I was taking advantage of every opportunity to learn and I would just soak it all up. It’s something I continue to do today. I love that I have become a life-long learner. I think this only worked as well as it did because I reached a point where I was finally ready to change. I was so tired of just barely surviving life. I was done with coming up with excuses for why I couldn’t change. I really felt I was dying a slow and painful death and I needed to do something very soon before it was too late.
I’m so thankful for the teachable spirit that the Lord has given me. Putting godly principles into practice is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week effort. Just like seeking God is. It’s all more than worth the effort. I gave up going out with friends that like to drink and I cut way back on watching television. I don’t even watch many sports anymore. I lost the desire to. I think God took that away because there are some triggers that will always be there. I pay attention to the scores now and then, but that’s about it. I know I am safe as long as I am with people who don’t drink. The majority of people I spend my time with now are those who also love and seek the Lord as much as I do. That’s where I feel the most comfortable. I am so grateful for them. They keep me grounded and they keep me out of trouble. That’s what I crave now—the company of godly friends. God has given me a wonderful church family.
It certainly is paying off after almost two and a half years because I can say that I am no longer in survival mode. I’m living the best life possible and the Lord is leading each step I take. My life is all about God and it is such a wonderful way to finally be living. It is true living. I’ve said in earlier posts that this journey is not an easy life. This takes a lot of commitment and hard work, but it is a truly blessed life. The indescribable joy and peace that only God can fill my heart with, is beyond amazing. I can’t imagine living without Him ever again…EVER. I am so grateful for learning how to stay connected to God all day, every day. I love my life. Every time I say that, my heart just melts because not too long ago I was just about done with this life. Thank God for second chances! Thank God for His power to change!
I am thrilled that I have traded my beer bottles for Bibles. In the last couple of years, I’ve collected different types of Study Bibles and other materials so I can dig deeper into God’s Word. I am learning so much and I just can’t get enough of Him. The Lord has removed my old unhealthy desires and has replaced them with godly ones—He saved my life, and the least I can do is live it for Him.
It is my hope that this will encourage anyone who is tired of the way they’re living to put down any vices and seek Jesus above all else—no matter what the cost. I have done this and trust me, it is worth it. Don’t try to work God into your life, you’ll keep coming up with excuses as to why you don’t have time for Him. Instead, work your life around Him. Keep Him in the center always. If you do this, just watch what He does in your life—get ready for an incredible journey!
Bless you! Let’s stay thirsty for Jesus!!! ♥
4 thoughts on “Trading Beer Bottles for Bibles: Discovering a New Kind of Thirst ♥”
Your hunger and thirst for Jesus is so inspiring my friend! I’m honored to walk the journey with you!
Thank you, dear friend. I could not walk this journey without friends like you! I thank God for all of you–my pastor, church family, etc. Maybe y’all don’t realize it, but you are the ones who have shown me what living as a follower of Christ looks like. So y’all have helped keep the hunger and thirst for Him going! I am richly blessed by every one of you. ♥
So happy for you, Debbie. Your post reminds me of a passage:
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
May that thirst never change. “Fill my cup, Lord, fill it up, Lord…”
That is one of my very favorite Psalms, it’s as if I wrote it myself. My thirst for Him gets stronger every day. Thank you for your continued encouragement, Rich. Bless you.