God’s ongoing miracle of keeping me sober through the obstacles that life brings.

It is hard to believe that it has been about 20 months since a routine exam came back with results that had the doctor concerned that I might have cervical cancer. I remember well how my life was thrown into such a state of confusion at the end of 2014. The unfavorable results had me going through a procedure that had caused physical trauma as well as emotional trauma — it was for nothing. Well, that’s what I thought when I was in the midst of the challenge. But like God always does, He worked it all out for my good. Anyway, the procedure was unsuccessful, so it was discouraging that there were still no answers. The unknown can really be a scary thing. I had to be sent to a different specialist who could do a special surgical procedure that gave hope that it would be successful in cancer prevention. After that initial so-called “simple” procedure turned into something super complicated and extremely painful leaving me in tears wondering what was next, I was so relieved to hear that they would not keep me awake for the more invasive procedure.

The whole ordeal brought me down for a bit. I blamed myself for what I was going through. I blamed it on my past choices in life. I was finally dealing with the consequences of my dark past. But I had some amazing people of faith there for me praying me through and reminding me that nothing from the past defines who I am today. I know who I am and even better than that, I know Whose I am. I belong to Jesus! I hope others who might be struggling with past mistakes will see this about themselves too. It is amazing freedom.

I am grateful to share that God opened doors for me to end up with the best specialty doctor I have ever had in my entire life of having to deal with specialty doctors. My sobriety of over six years is truly an ongoing miracle and I just have to keep sharing about it. To get through this whole thing sober is nothing short of a miracle. As I was having to go through different tests with the new doctor, I cannot tell you how many times I had to take a pregnancy test before some of the pre-surgery tests that were being done. I cannot tell you how many times someone from the medical staff asked me “are you planning on having children?” It really brought me down in spirit for a while. It was a constant reminder to me that I am childless and this procedure would make bearing a child difficult. It reminded me of my choices that took away my chances of ever experiencing the joy of motherhood like most women in my life. Never mind the fact that I am single. Never mind the fact that I have chosen to stay right with God and remain celibate, especially after God rescued me from the last dangerous relationship that had me wanting to drink myself into a coma. And never mind the fact that I was 49 years old (I have turned 50 since). I really struggled with my past choices, the painful procedures and those pregnancy tests along with too many questions about children really could have had me reaching for the bottle once again. But God is bigger than all of that and I kept holding on. I am so grateful for how real He is in my life. Trusting Him gave me the strength to not throw all the great things He has done in me away. GRATEFUL!!!

The doctor ended up removing a portion of my cervix to kill off the potential cancer in March 2015. Six months after that, she confirmed that there was no sign of cancer or pre-cancer cells — God is so good. I need one more good report before the doctor will be satisfied that I am completely healed so since it has been another six months already, I went in for test #2 just today. I am believing God for complete healing! The results should be back by next week, but no matter what, I am so grateful and in awe of the peace He has given me. I am grateful for how this whole challenge has grown my faith and trust in God. We cannot be overcomers if there is nothing to overcome, right? I am grateful for this faith-walk filled with challenges that bring me closer to the One who breathes life into me and gives me a reason to want to keep living.

I hope someone will be encouraged by this testimony of God’s power to stay sober through some of the darkest days that life brings on this side of heaven. Don’t give up hope. Many of us cry ourselves to sleep in the midnight hours when we are overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. God promises us healing and joy among so many other promises. I pray that you will keep holding on, just like me.

These words from my devotion this morning said this and I hope it will encourage you like it did me: “Look beyond today’s pain and sorrow toward the promise of joy and healing tomorrow.”

Here is a Psalm from the Holy Scriptures for the road, be blessed by God’s Word to you: “Trust Me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory.” ~Psalm 50:15

Jesus carried our sins in His body to the cross. We are dead to sin and now live for what is right. By His wounds, we are healed. (God’s Word, not mine!) I believe! Show us Your glory dear God, in Jesus’ name.

This Sober Life I Live: My ongoing struggle that is hard to talk about

Jesus is the Light of the world. The Light of MY world! ♥

“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made us understand that it is the brightness of his glory that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 4:6 (TLB)

Would you believe that the struggle of this sober life I live has nothing to do with being tempted to take a drink? Well, it is the truth. I am grateful to God that I am living a sober life today. I am grateful that God rescued me before I was able to find the fatal combination of pills and alcohol. It has been an amazing six years and almost three months of walking this miracle journey with God to heaven, free from alcohol abuse – free from any abuse (God also rescued me from an extremely mentally abusive relationship)! I have been 100% sober – to me this means that I never traded one vice for another like I see so many struggle with. God became my one and only “go to” for every need. I am certain that having God first place in my life and learning to seek Him and serve Him wholeheartedly is how I have managed to press on without any relapses. After seeing so many people have relapse after relapse, I cannot help but be in awe of this ongoing miracle I am living one day at a time. Only God can make that happen in a life. Especially such a broken one. This entire site is mainly about God’s miracle sobriety in my life and the miracles and breakthroughs that have happened as a result. I live and love to share His incredible story of my life, and I will continue to write about it as long as He allows me to. Even when it causes me to be so vulnerable like I am feeling at this very moment.

So what am I struggling with if it is not the urge to drink or reach for another harmful vice? I am glad you asked. At the risk of sounding like I am out of my mind (which sometimes I really think I am), I will share that my struggle is being alive in this cruel world and having to face reality instead of trying to hide from it. It is a struggle with darkness. I do not know how else to explain it. I have to work hard with dealing with my thoughts and feelings instead of bottling them up or finding destructive ways to numb them so I do not have to feel or think about anything. I did that for decades and even though it has been over six years of freedom from that, I still wish that I did not have to feel. Sometimes hope really hurts. Many times being out in the world is exhausting and painful and I have to fight hard against giving up.

A few people close to me know that I struggle, but I do not think they really understand the struggle. I have shared a little bit here and there, but I have not been able to really express what I go through in words so they can understand. Sometimes it is shame that stops me from sharing, but most of the time it is just because I have no idea how to express my struggle in words. It causes me to want to isolate and withdrawal from people I love – people I need to help me to keep moving forward. The very people who have walked with me for the past six years and are a big part of my miracle story. I know how dangerous isolation can be for me. Unfortunately, Satan knows too and he uses that to tempt me. Thus far, I am still winning the battle, but that is only because I am developing unashamed dependence on God. I am extremely grateful for that.

I think more times than not, I just I cannot shake the thoughts that I want to leave this world. I am ready. I am tired of the times when I feel so down that I can hardly get up. The struggle seems unbearable at times. BUT, before anyone wants to have me committed to a 72 hour hold, know that I am not suicidal. I do not want to harm myself. When God sobered me up and took the desire to drink away from me, He also took away the desire for me to end my own life. I just wanted to make that clear.

It is interesting that my wanting to leave this world is not like when I was tormented by suicidal thoughts in the dark days of depression and drunkenness. But even so, I long to be gone…a lot. I learned it is a longing for heaven to be with my Lord, but I think my mind takes it too far sometimes. When I am in this state, I convince myself that it would be so much better if I could go before all the people I love go. I tell myself that I will not be able to handle being left behind. This sounds so crazy to me and some will think I am crazy for sharing it, but it is part of this journey that I think needs to be told for the sake of others who are struggling. It would sure help me to know that I am not the only one who suffers in this way.

I wonder if feeling everything will ever get better for me. I think about those two decades that I numbed myself and guarded myself from this dark world. I remember how I would drink to be comfortable in social gatherings. It made me feel comfortable in my own skin. Now it is just me and my skin – still very uncomfortable. I no longer have my liquid courage to get me through. I have been without it for these six years and have done incredibly well (God’s miracle). Yet, there are times that the struggle against the temptation to isolate gets intense. It has been happening quite a bit this year. I serve on the worship team in church on Sundays and I attend Bible Study on Tuesday nights and I struggle to make it there a lot of times. It is difficult to admit the battle. It makes me confused at times and ashamed. But I thank God for the strength to keep showing up. Singing my heart out in praises to God even when it is hard to do has saved me in so many ways. So I keep doing it even though the battle still comes. Recently, I even mustered up the courage to reach out to a a dear sister who is a trusted leader to let her know I was struggling. That was hard to do but I knew I could start to get myself into real trouble if I didn’t. She spoke encouraging words into my heart so I was able to overcome once again. Thinking we can do this all on our own can be deadly. I know reaching out and being vulnerable is not easy, but I believe it is a must.

Friends, I am not going to lie. I am tired of the battle that keeps coming. But I am not going to throw everything God has done in my life away, so I keep holding on to His promises. I am living and breathing His Word and that is what is keeping me alive and discovering my divine purpose in this world. He gives me a reason to live.

I do not even know if any of this rambling makes any sense to anyone. Maybe I can at least look at it as just a part of my personal therapy to not keep it bottled up inside. Doing that in the past never served me well. There is more to the struggle, but I am not going to write about it right now. Not sure if I will. I just needed to share this part of it. I think I am going to feel a little awkward knowing that people who know me might read this, but it will not be the first time I feel that way. I always get through and I always hear from people all over the world when I write and share my heart on this site. That makes any awkwardness I face more than worth it. Just like persevering through the pain of life. There must be at least one other person in this world going through something similar so I think it is worth taking a risk with my vulnerable state. If this post does anything at all, perhaps it will help someone out there know that they are not alone in their struggle and they will see that God can do anything with a surrendered and willing heart. Maybe there will be hope in a heart once again. I know I cannot survive with my hope in the Lord.

When I really think about it, I am glad I can feel today. If I was still numbing my heart, I would have never been able to feel the Lord’s love and presence in my life – directly from Him and through the wonderful men and women of God that He has strategically placed in my path months before I hit my rock bottom in February 2010. Praise the Lord for rock bottom miracles.

Once again, I thank you for listening to my heart. I am praying for all who struggle and I ask that you please pray for me too. One of my favorite Scripture quotes lately has been from the New Century Version Bible: “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” ~James 5:16 – It is so true.

Thank You, Lord. I believe! Please, help us with our unbelief… ♥

Getting through a patch of darkness when it feels like God has left me.

.It is time to be super transparent again and share this very personal part of my journey to heaven because I think someone who is experiencing something similar needs to hear it and take heart. I think that this time my vulnerability might not be just for a fellow servant of God, but perhaps it will also help me to get past any unresolved feelings of failure and shame that I seem to experience whenever I go through spiritual darkness as I have been for several weeks. I had a dark spell last year as well and I thought that it was pretty bad, but I almost think that this year has been a little darker for some reason. I have been going through it more than I care to admit, but I am willing to be open about it if it means helping another get through theirs.

Those of us who are wholehearted servants of the Lord who have become threats to the kingdom of darkness know (should know) that we are going to be harassed and sometimes tormented by the invisible enemy. It is a given. It comes with the territory of saying yes to the call and putting our faith into action for God with no compromise. Therefore, we must remain steadfast in our faith and remember that we are not the only ones going through whatever we are going through for the Lord’s sake. Amen? To back this thought up, I am reminded of Scripture that says:

Blog - 1 Peter 5_9

I think it is always encouraging to know that we are never alone with the difficulties that come with this amazing journey on the pathway to Heaven!

When my battle gets fierce like it has been, I try to convince myself to count it all joy because these dark patches are really “training with Jesus” in this incredible journey of spiritual growth. Many times I am successful at counting it all joy. Then like more recent times, things happen that cause me to feel ashamed because I somehow managed to allow the overwhelming negative voices take over in my head. I want to give up and disappear and I have a hard time sharing these thoughts with people who have been walking closely with me on this journey. Especially the strong leaders that God has blessed my life with. I tell myself that it is doubtful that they would understand my torment and I do not want them to think less of me. My heart knows they would not judge me nor give up on me, but my mind tells me otherwise.

These horrible thoughts have been accusing me and telling me the reason I am going through the darkness is because God has left me. The old familiar “Loser”, “You are not worthy”, “You are a screw-up”, “Just go ahead and give up already”, and “Where is your God?” They torment my mind, knock me down, and then I feel like the depression that God had already given me victory over tries to sneak its way back into my life to take me out for good. Does this kind of battle sound familiar to anyone out there? PLEASE. Tell me it is not just me!

So why am I taking the risk of sharing all of this? I do not really fully know!! But I think I am sharing because first, I hope that someone out there gets me! If not, then I cannot help but wonder if this is going to be my last vulnerable piece of writing. That probably is not going to happen since God always wins. Even so, it is so difficult not knowing if sharing this personal stuff is really of any use to anyone out there. My second reason for sharing is that I want to share what I feel the Lord has been revealing to me as I have persevered and have taken each step seeking my God all the way through the dark patch back into His light of grace. Thankfully the Light is shining bright once again. I was listening to the enemy’s lies that God had left me, but I know now for a fact that He never left because I have been faithful. I know this as truth because God’s Word is truth. And if you have been His faithful servant, He has not left you either. THE DEVIL IS A LIAR. I am going to say that as many times as I need to until my last day on this earth.

I want to share Scripture straight from God’s heart to yours that I hope will help you like it has helped me to keep pressing on. There is so much more than this to share, but these are the ones that God reminded my heart of recently and I am passing them along. You may already know these truths, I have known them for a while, yet the evil lies still got through. So I believe we all need to be reminded of God’s truths on an ongoing basis in this dark world we are passing through. Of course this long writing is not for everyone, but I pray it reaches someone who is struggling the way I have been.

Here are some things to ponder:

Do you think God has left you even though you have remained faithful to Him? Then you must know and believe the truth that He has been there all this time, because His Word tells us that He NEVER forsakes His faithful ones: “For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones.” (Psalm 37:28)

As a faithful servant of God you are one of His anointed. Take heart and be strong in Him for He is your refuge: “The LORD is the strength of His people, He is the saving refuge of His anointed.” (Psalm 28:8)

We all sin and we should all know that sin separates us from God. So if you feel He is not near, it is a good time to check yourself — search your heart and repent of any sin. You know what they are. If they are not obvious, ask God to help you. He will reveal sins that you may not even realize. Remember that God is quick to forgive. You cannot buy or work for His forgiveness so do not try. Just confess to Him, pour out your heart as a sacrifice to Him (I am SO grateful for this truth): “My sacrifice, O God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) If you repeat the same sins over and over, you need to ask for God to help you turn away. Ask Him to remove the ungodly desires and replace them with His desires. He will! He did for me!

Want to ensure your success on this journey? “In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (Proverbs 3:6) All we have to do is put Him first!!

And finally, ALL will go well for us if we obey God and commit ourselves wholeheartedly: “If you obey all His laws and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely…be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you…Hear O people! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourself wholeheartedly…” (Deuteronomy 6:2, 4-6)

I want to encourage you to continue to seek God and His face — seek His Word daily if you are not already. May you become as hungry for Him as I have become.

And two more for the road that I pray will never happen to you. God DOES leave people, but it does not have to be:

“But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 8:19) Remember other gods can be anything (harmful vices, etc.) or anyone (husband, wife, children, etc.) who you put first before God. I am human too, so I know this is a great challenge. But God gives us the power and desire to do right by Him. We must want it and seek His power and desire with our whole heart. I do, I hope you do too.

“The LORD is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”  (2 Chronicles 15:2) To me, this is easy…STAY WITH THE LORD, ALWAYS!!! But even if this did happen, just return to the Lord. His Word also says that He will return to us if we return to Him. You need to search His Word to see for yourself, but here is just a few you can start with in this truth: Malachi 3:7; Zechariah 1:3; Joel 2:12; then of course there’s the wonderful parable that Jesus spoke of that you can read again starting in Luke 15:11 — an amazing picture of our Heavenly Father waiting with arms wide up for His children to return to Him. How awesome is that! I serve a wonderful God of love. The God of second chances…I wouldn’t be alive today if this were not true.

So let’s keep holding on to His promises dear faithful ones. Let’s keep on keeping on our pathway to Heaven where we will see God face to face when that great day comes. Until then, follow His ways, follow His laws, and you cannot help but lived a blessed life. Remember, this is not our home, and we are never alone. Thank You Lord Jesus!

Thanks again for all who choose to listen to my vulnerable heart for God. May God bless you richly. ♥