My women’s Bible study group just finished the book of Proverbs. Since I’ve been on my sobriety journey with God for 4 years, 6 months, 19 days, and…sorry, I’ll stop there. I can’t help it. It’s just that I am beyond grateful for my life. Every day of sobriety means so much to me. Every day I am sober is a miracle from God since I had been drinking my life away for over 20 years and did not have the power to stop on my own.
Anyway, I am so amazed at how I’m noticing more and more the Scripture that speaks about the importance of being sober. It has never stood out so much to me until recently. I didn’t count the verses, but there were plenty that stood out in Proverbs alone. When we were touching on Chapter 20, the leader for that evening assumed it would be awkward or difficult for me to discuss the first verse so she was about to just pass over it. I have to say I was a little disappointed because earlier in the day I had done some studying on it and actually wanted to talk about it from my own experience. Thankfully, my pastor who knows me and my story very well didn’t let the moment pass me by. She wanted to hear what I had to say about that verse, so I am really grateful that I was given a chance to share. You know, it’s such a wonderful thing — the work that God is doing in me. I’ve gone from not wanting to talk about it, to maybe I should talk about it, to hey I think I REALLY NEED AND WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT! Wow, only God…
So here’s Proverbs 20:1 from God’s Word Translation — “Wine makes people mock, liquor makes them noisy, and everyone under the influence is unwise.” It seems that many think that one of the worse problems in our society today is the abuse of alcohol. I believe the abuse of alcohol is a symptom of a much greater problem. I’m speaking from my own experience. My greater problem was severe depression and tormenting thoughts of suicide. When I didn’t know God at all and didn’t know He was real, alcohol was my only way to get some relief. It was my medicine to relieve the pain. It was the poison that I was using to kill myself. But thank You Lord that today I don’t need it! I have absolutely no desire to drink, and the severe depression and suicidal thoughts are gone. I no longer need alcohol or anything else to numb myself out or to run away from reality. Years of doing that got me deeper and deeper into the pit of hell. That’s what alcohol and drugs do to us, I can see it clearly now. It’s pure evil. It separates us from God. It’s temporary peace that we receive from the devil. It’s the only way he can bring us peace. But I thank Jesus Christ, my Prince of Peace that I no longer reach for anything that only brings a quick and temporary fix. Instead, I reach for my Lord for His everlasting Peace. Every single time. It’s difficult to do, but I allow myself to feel my feelings and pain. By doing that, God not only helped me to overcome my addiction and depression, He has healed my hurting soul from the deep wounds that I had covered up all these years. My journey isn’t easy. I still deal with hurts and pain. I go through a lot of challenges that I now know are opportunities to grow closer to God. One of the greatest things I have learned to do is not to keep it to myself and bury it. No more isolating. I don’t want to ever go back to that dark place, so I’m learning to keep showing up no matter what, and to open my mouth more and talk about the hard stuff. I allow myself to cry if I have to. I’m grateful for the love that surrounds me in my church and in Celebrate Recovery that allows me to do this.
So I just want to close and say to those who can’t really relate to people like me, please don’t assume that all alcohol and drug addicts don’t want to talk about it. Yes, you’ll come across many who won’t be willing to open up, but give us a chance anyway. You never know. You may be surprised at what you hear from those of us who ARE willing. You may even be blessed by it.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this post. Thanks for listening to my heart. God is amazing. He’s the God of miracles and breakthroughs and I can’t wait to keep writing and speaking more about His awesomeness in my life.