Category: Sober Living

I Cannot Do Anything from the Grave

The god of this world is relentless. I do not need to tell any of you that, the news media does a good job of it. Every day, we hear about tragedy upon tragedy of the lives that have been lost to violence. We hear and see lives without hope. We do not need news media for that, if we are paying attention, we are surrounded every day by it. Maybe it is just me, but sometimes I think we feel some things are so hopeless and we believe we are too helpless, so we go about our days the best we can. The battlefield of my mind gets brutal at times, and if I am not careful, I know that I can end up losing big. There is no doubt that the evil one never gives up on trying to get me to turn away from God. How is it that I have not lost this battle? Well, because I have learned how I can be equipped to fight, not by my own might, but by the Lord God Almighty. My mighty weapon is His Word and not a day goes by that I am not studying and living out God’s Word. It is never done perfectly and that is OK. Getting to this point in my life has taken the last eight years of learning and growing through painful lessons and it will continue through the rest of my time on this earth. However long that might be, only God knows. I am grateful for this surrender that has taken place in my life that keeps me alive–truly alive.

The Bible warns us through Peter in the New Testament – 1 Peter 5:8: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Friends, we do not stand a chance in this present evil world if we are not wholeheartedly seeking out God (“sober” from distractions of the chaos near and far)—the Creator of ALL, through His Living Word. God’s truths cancel out the enemies lies—lies that we are nothing and can do nothing worthwhile in this life, so we might as well just live for ourselves in the now and forget about God. His perfect LOVE cancels out the enemy’s fear that keeps us stuck and many of us in the pit of despair. If you are in God’s Word, not just hearing and reading, but DOING, He will protect you from those lies that want to draw you away from Him and draw you to all the temporal things in this dark world that leave you empty and hopeless. It is like being led to a cliff that you cannot see, and the pending doom does not appear until it is too late.

My heart hurts to share that two people in my area fell off such a cliff this week: Recently, a woman refused help to leave her mentally dangerous boyfriend during his short stay in jail. The boyfriend was off his medication and relatives thought he was about to snap and hurt somebody. The woman rejected the offer insisting that although she knew he was struggling mentally, she believed that he loved her and would never hurt her. This week, only a few weeks later, she is dead—murdered by her boyfriend during a heated argument. The other tragedy was a man with no hope decided to end his life by jumping in front of a moving train. You can imagine the gruesome scene moments later.

Two unfinished lives that mattered, are finished on this earth. I did not know these people, but I know they mattered because their Creator is also mine and nobody cares more than Him.

I struggle with deaths like this. When I become vulnerable, no matter what the cause, the enemy wreaks havoc in my heart and mind to the point where I feel mentally sick and tearfully wonder “Why I am still alive, God?!” When I grow weary, I start to go where I should not go—the old familiar place of darkness and feel like I will never be able to help anyone else in this journey. But then, “lies, lies, lies” is spoken to my heart. God reminds me of everything that He has done in my life, not only in the last eight years of when He made Himself real to me, but He shows me how He was there before I even knew Him. God was there before, during, and when I finally chose to leave the abusive relationship I was in for over five years. I see now, that it was a deathtrap. I chose to give God a chance and surrender my entire life (not just the easy parts of it—ALL of it) to Him. I chose (and continue to choose) to reach for Him, rather than consuming deadly amounts of alcohol in failed attempts to fill the emptiness and numb the pain that only became worse with each drink. I chose to live, not just any life, but one that leads to eternal life and hopefully encourages and draws others to Him so they will do the same. He was there then, and He is here now. My amazing God…

Currently in my daily devotions, I am in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah and I want to share the encouraging Word that God has brought to my heart through it. It came from Jeremiah 10:12—“But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.”   Through this I learned, “Once people admit their need, they should turn away from their emptiness and focus on God’s fullness. True wisdom is to be found in God alone (James 1:17). Ultimately, there is nothing and no one who can successfully substitute for God.” AMEN. This, I know to be true because I am now living it.

I found that after my struggles this week with those tragic losses that did not have to happen, I realized something amazing that came to me through my time in seeking God, and He put these words on my heart: “You made a choice to admit your need for Me and chose to turn away from your emptiness! They chose not to! You are alive, and I plan to use your life to help others to choose life too. Trust Me!” I cannot spend time wondering why they made their choices, but I can spend time thanking God that I am still choosing His gift of life and perhaps others will see and want to live too. No matter how painful this life can be, it is only temporary and does not compare to what He has in store for us. So, every day I can say, “Yes, Lord! I trust You, with my whole heart!”

I cannot encourage people enough to surrender all to God and daily live in His presence and seek out His will for their lives. Every answer to every question, every comfort for every pain, every need for every want, absolutely EVERYTHING, can be found in His Word, The Holy Bible that teaches us how to live in this fallen world. The Spirit of God is here with us now. He is waiting to help more and more to discover a whole new life, an abundant one. I can keep sharing my heart so vulnerably, it is a chance that I am willing to take. I cannot save people, I cannot not heal the pain, I cannot fill the emptiness, but GOD CAN. Say YES! to Him today.

I have learned, and I keep learning and believe, especially in those times when I am thinking the dark thoughts that want me to give in…I cannot praise God, I cannot share His greatness in my life, I cannot share His life-saving HOPE with others, I cannot do anything from the grave. THAT is why I choose life and I pray that it touches at least one heart. It only takes one…amen?

May God bless you all richly as He has blessed me.

Thank You, Jesus, my Lord and Savior. I am grateful to be alive. †♥

Sober Courage

Sober Courage – I don’t know what made me look that up. I guess it’s my way of dealing with challenges on my journey with the Lord, and emotions that I’d rather not deal with. I am tired. Even though I’ve been sober a while, I still fight those temptations to “numb out” – it’s more just a quick thought actually, I never come close to actually doing it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wish I could just not feel anything for a day or two and definitely not share my struggle with anyone like I am doing right now.

I was reading other people’s articles about it taking courage to get and stay sober. I never thought of myself as being courageously sober, but maybe I am. I could have completely given up and drank myself to the end. But instead, no matter how painful and frustrating life can be at times, I choose to no longer numb out and I choose to let my desperation for God to continue to save me. Maybe that’s the courageous part — having faith that no matter what, God is who He says He is and that His mighty hand is on me. He truly is in control of my life and I am forever grateful. If I were still in control, I’d be dead by now.

So I see that I continue to really be one of His walking talking miracles. I am sober, I am alive, and I have an amazing relationship with my Lord. And wow has He blessed my life with strong men and women of God who help me to stay on the path that leads to life. It’s His courage in me that keeps me walking the walk that He has planned for me and the strength to tell the world all about Him. What was I thinking? I can’t numb out, there are too many that still need to hear about Him and His power to change. I can’t do that drunk or dead. Besides, I don’t want to miss out on His best for me.

Thanks God, for showing me that I am not better than anyone who does not know You like I do, but I am certainly better off. I can’t do anything without You and I don’t ever want to try.

(Those who have been walking this miracle journey alongside me, thanks for being such great listeners every time I need to pour out my heart like this. You are the best encouragers and you are my human angels. I couldn’t do this alone. Love you.  )

Does Jesus know you?

That is a question I wish someone would have been bold enough to ask me years ago, so I am going to be bold and ask it now because I hope that someone will ponder it to the point of full surrender and let the transformation begin. It was almost seven years ago, when I discovered for the first time in my life that the Lord Jesus Christ is not religion. He is real and His Spirit now lives in me. Hallelujah, I am redeemed!

As I continue to grow in my faith-walk, Scripture not only brings me my daily comfort and guidance as I seek wholeheartedly, it also makes my heart ache. My heart has been aching for a very long time now and I have been given courage to share this no matter the cost because someone needs to have their heart strings tugged at. I believe the Lord will use it in a powerful way for those whose hearts have not hardened past the point of no return and who need to hear Him and finally surrender ALL like I did. So please listen to Jesus’ words found in Matthew 7:21-23 (as written in my one year New Living Translation Bible): “21 Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22 On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized…’”

Now I am not a pastor with eloquent speech, but I have become a true disciple of Christ and I believe that God uses our willing hearts in different ways to reach different types of people in different types of situations. I am a simple servant who has only been walking this walk for a short time but I will share that I think this passage is warning us that going through the motions and pretending to sound and look godly when people are watching is not going to get us anywhere with God. Religious actions without real faith in Christ does not develop a personal and loving relationship with the One who created us. This, I know!! My heart hurts to think that there will be people at the end of this present evil world who will find themselves on judgment day crying out to the Lord, only to hear Him telling them to go away because He doesn’t know them. That makes my heart tremble and so incredibly grateful that I have chosen to no longer be one of those people! I pray the same is true for you.

I do not think that this passage can be any clearer when Jesus states that the decisive issue is whether we obey the Father in heaven. If you are walking in obedience to God, you are in a relationship with Him. We cannot continue to live in our old ways of life and be obedient at the same time. We cannot pick and choose what we will obey. It is all or nothing. We must turn away from our old way of living and allow Jesus to come in and transform us from the inside out. That is why He died on that beautiful terrible Cross!!! And I also think that being obedient to God means we are known by Him. What a relief for a sinner like me.

All those years I was brought up to memorize and recite what I consider now to be mindless and incredibly empty prayers. The church back then never taught me that I needed to ask Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I just did what I was told to do like a good little girl and memorized words and performed religious rituals (not sure what else to call them) that left me feeling empty and fearful for most of my life. I was taught to fear God by the church, but it was in a way that made me so afraid that when I came to a point in my life where I was nearing rock bottom, I ran even further away from God instead of to Him. In fact, I doubted that He was real and made some terrible choices that almost destroyed my life.

Today, I thank God for my rock bottom because that is where He met me and made me alive in Him. I had a choice – I could die in my sin, or I could surrender and give Him a chance. I do not regret taking that chance on Jesus!

I am also grateful for my new church and my pastors who keep me hungry for the Lord. My heart’s desire is to know Him more and more and please Him! I never had that when I was young. My heart is broken when I watch others today going through what I did back then. It doesn’t matter what their background is, whether they never knew God, or whether they’ve walked away from Him for whatever has happened in their life –all I see is dread and emptiness and I think God allows me to see it and feel it so I can pray and preach and be bold whenever He gives me something to share like this latest writing.

Some people are waiting to surrender to Jesus because they think they have time, but they are wrong. Okay, so maybe Jesus won’t come back today, but that drunk driver might strike out of nowhere or that stray bullet might hit and then what? There is no time like today.

My heart rate seems to be increasing. I never initiate altar calls in person or online, but suddenly I think this is a good time. No one is too dirty to come to be made clean by the blood of Jesus. No matter who you are or what you have done, if you want to start a new life in Christ, here’s a prayer that I found through a pastor’s book written just for you. Pray it with all your heart and then tell someone! Prayerfully seek a Bible based church and reach out. DO NOT try to do this walk alone. Please trust me on that. In time, you will understand why:

“Father, it is written in Your Word that if I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that You have raised Him from the dead, I shall be saved. Therefore, Father, I confess that Jesus is my Lord. I make Him Lord of my life right now. I believe in my heart that You raised Jesus from the dead. I renounce my past life with the evil one and close the door to any of his devices. I thank You for forgiving me of all my sin. Jesus is my Lord, and I am a new creation. Old things have passed away; now all things become new in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

If you prayed this from the heart, God heard you! I wish I could be there to give you a hug and warm welcome to the family of God. I pray the Lord will bring some strong men and women in Christ into your life to walk along side of you. Like I said, we cannot do this alone. No matter what you think or what you have believed in the past, God loves you! He sent His one and only Son to die in our place. He paid our ransom with His blood. I pray you will believe and receive and then tell the world what He has done!

Thank You, Holy Father! ♥♥♥