Tag: Sobriety

Love’s Healing Hands Will Pull You Through

God is LOVE, and His love heals the deepest wounds. His love healed mine. Every heartbreak and every scar reminds me of this truth – the truth of how the love of Jesus Christ has carried me this far. Over six years ago, I could not have shared about God’s love — I was so lost in the dark. I was hopeless. I was severely depressed, I was drunk, and I was as good as dead. I had a hard time even wanting to know if God was real, so I tried to drink myself to death because my spirit was dead and I wanted my body to die too. I thought, you can’t hurt any longer when you’re dead, right? My plan was a bad plan and I am grateful that God intervened. As you can see, I am still here. I am sober, filled with His Hope, and I am alive – my heart beats again like never before. I am no longer barely surviving this life, I am thriving in it! It is a challenging life, but it is a beyond blessed life. I am only here because the Power of God, the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead, also raised me from the dead and I am forever grateful that I am still here sharing my tender and grateful heart with the world. Even if it is just one hurting heart that sees this and is inspired to cry out to God to rescue them as He has rescued me. Heaven rejoices over one!!!

My sinful and shameful past kept me from reaching out for too many wasted years. I was so lost that I actually believed the lies that God would never forgive me for my horrible choices in life. Well, those lies almost killed me. I cannot say this enough on this blog: THE DEVIL IS A LIAR – stop listening to the lies!! Jesus’ death on the cross was not in vain. Too many people think that they need to clean themselves up before crying out to the Lord for help. I used to think that, but I am glad I got desperate enough to stop waiting. If I had waited, chances are it never would have happened and I would have died in my sin. So if you’re anything like I was, I hope you will just surrender it all to the Lord right now. He’s waiting. You don’t have to do anything but surrender. God will give you desires to do what’s next. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you less and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you more than He already does, so just do it. Give Him your broken spirit as a sacrifice – Scripture tells us that He does not despise a broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17) That is awesome news. That is TRUTH. So don’t delay, there’s no promise of tomorrow.

I pray that you will step into the Lord’s Light of Grace today – Love’s healing hands will pull you through. You will start a new life of love, healing, and freedom that you have never known before. Thank You, Jesus. ♥♥♥

Are you trusting God, or are you testing Him? (Something to ponder before lighting that next cigarette…)

Long before I got sober, I used to make choices that I knew in my heart were not good choices. I would convince myself of this: “God will protect me, He won’t let any harm come to me.” I told myself I was trusting Him. Does this sort of thing sound familiar to anyone? I was pretty lost back then, so it is amazing for me to look back and remember that I “sort of” sought God while I was walking in darkness. I knew nothing about trusting God back then. I was not even sure if He was real (SO grateful that I now know without a doubt that He IS!).

Someone I have known for over 20 years who has become a like a sister – well, she is a sister in Christ who reminded me of how I used to be. She struggles with smoking cigarettes. Her mother died from it as well as alcoholism. Although she knows what a harmful vice it really is, her addiction is too great right now and she just is not ready to quit. I pray for her. I pray that God will remove the craving and desire for it just as He removed the craving and desire of alcohol from me. I pray the same for all my friends who keep lighting up those nasty cigarettes. I am sorry, but they are NASTY. I used to smoke, so I know. I ruined good work clothes and the inside of my vehicle in my younger days with stupid cigarettes – cigarettes that have killed many people. And we will not even get into the smell…there is just nothing good that comes from those things.

I was also thinking and praying about people in recovery meetings who recover from alcohol abuse, but then trade or cannot let go of other harmful vices such as cigarettes. I have wanted to write something about this for a very long time, but it has not been easy to do. I was not sure how to do it without sounding judgmental, but I am going to be bold and write this anyway. I want my friends to be healthy. I want them to be closer to God. I want them to reach for Him before reaching for anything or anyone else. So I am not here to judge. I am just here to get someone to really think things through before lighting the next cigarette or reaching for the next harmful vice whatever it may be.

My “sister” has the attitude that her smoking is OK. In so many words she mentioned that if God did not want her to smoke, that He would not have allowed cigarettes to exist. So since they belong to Him, it is all right. That was hard for me to hear. That was me several years ago!! I am grateful that God has opened my eyes and heart to know better.

So if you are anything like I was, trying to convince yourself that you are trusting God when you really are not, remember the story about how Satan tempted Jesus after He had spent forty days and nights in the wilderness. Satan is a liar, and it is pretty interesting that he decided to quote Scripture when he wanted Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God by throwing Himself down a cliff. However, he only quoted part of it to try to trick Jesus. Isn’t that funny? Like the devil could really trick Jesus. It is really a good lesson for us to remember — Satan knows Scripture, so make sure you know it too or you will be deceived!!

Anyway, after Satan tempted Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God, he had said to Him, “For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:6)

How did Jesus respond to him? Of course, He used Scripture! He said, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)

So I need to ask again: Are you trusting God? Or are you testing Him??!!

If you are struggling like I used to, I hope you will think about this. You can choose to be free from harmful vices. I pray you will. Only God can give you the power to quit. Put your vice down and let God do something amazing in your life. You will not regret it.

Don’t let Satan have his way any longer with you. Only God’s way is LIFE!

Blessings.

God promises that joy will come in the morning, but I couldn’t feel it…

 

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”~Psalm 30:5

I am so glad that I have learned that joy is not a feeling based on circumstances. Yesterday, I had to make the difficult choice to end the life of my kitty Sam. It was not expected that he would get that sick so quickly. I have been caring for a blind kitty with cancer over the last few weeks and I was trying to prepare my heart to let her go, but Sam took me by complete surprise. I am grateful I was strong enough to be there loving him until he drifted off completely. Right before the first injection, Sam had kissed my forehead one last time. He stretched out his paw onto my arm. I could swear he knew it was time to go and wanted me to be okay with it. At least that thought helps me a little. It was a sweet and peaceful rest for him, considering the circumstances. Man, I cried like a baby letting go of him. It would have been cruel to keep him alive since there was nothing that could be done for him. But even so, it didn’t make that decision any easier. The pain of having to make that choice is cruel to my heart, but that’s life. I am trying to focus more on the blessing of having such a long time with that wonderful creature. I have good memories and I am grateful for that. I cried way past midnight. I would be okay for a bit, then the tears would come again and they came hard. As the night went on, the pain in my heart got worse. It has been a long time since I had to say goodbye to a beloved pet. It was like it was a first time again — soooo hard to deal with.

Today was the first day of Spring semester for me. Bad timing!! It was very hard to put my broken heart aside this morning and show up to be a student for 6.5 hours. My eyes were red and puffy and I was tired from crying so much last night after losing Sam. This morning, my heart was just not feeling the student thing. This is only my second year after quitting 20 years ago, but I wanted so much to blow it off. I wanted so much to numb myself again, but reality kicked in and I know how much I stand to lose if I go back to my old ways. So, I pushed through the pain again. As hard as it was, I got out of bed and I showed up. And you know what? So did God. He always does and that is why I continue to push through tough times even though quitting sounds really good sometimes.  God gave me what I needed to be a student today. He put the desire back in my heart. I like my professors and the students. Even being the oldest in the classes did not bother me. I may entertain thoughts of quitting at times, but I am so glad that I know better. Even though I walked with a sad heart today, I was encouraged at how I was able to push through and focus on my mission of being in school to earn a degree. That is surely God’s strength in me. I am way too weak on my own.

When the long day ended and I sat in my car for a moment, I completely lost it again. It was weird how it seemed to come so quickly after being strong all day. I cried…a lot. I got an errand done, and when I got home, I cried some more. I really thought after last night’s tears that I had run dry, but nope. Even as I write this, my eyes are welling up. I hate when my heart hurts and I cannot do what I used to do to lessen the pain. Of course I can if I really want to, but deep inside, I really don’t. I don’t want to undo the great things of God in my life. I am alive and sober and I don’t want to go back to the darkness of being dead and drunk. I just can’t go back.

I am grateful for how God’s Word helps me through the night. The Holy Comforter is with me. Listening to “Joy Will Come” from our worship songs at church makes me cry more, but I find comfort since it’s about God’s promise that joy always comes in the morning. His joy always comes even if it’s the kind of joy that we can’t feel. I hold on to that promise along with many others because God’s Word never fails. So I keep giving my all to Him no matter what because I believe His promise that He is with me and will never leave me. Today was amazing proof of how He helps us through and gives us a supernatural strength to move forward even with such a heavy heart that without Him, would have had me going the wrong way.

I’ve got 21 days to the 6 year mark of sobriety. I will not throw that away. Satan cannot have me ever again. I am holding on even if I have to cry through it. It’s the only choice worth making now and I will keep making this choice to keep pressing on and keep feeling my feelings no matter how much it hurts being sober. I will have to do this all over again when Zoe shows signs that it’s time to let go. Before letting Sam go, I didn’t think I could handle it at all, but now I know I can even through a river of tears. Thankfully I can remember clearly that numbing always made things worse for me. The temporary relief was always followed by much worse pain than what I have been experiencing since yesterday, if you can imagine that. I think some of you can.

So tonight, when I’m all alone and it’s quiet and the sweet creature from the last 17 years does not come by again, I will remember and believe that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning — just as it always comes in the mourning. The Joy of the Lord is the only joy worth holding on to. The Lord has promised to always be there for us no matter what we’re going through and I believe Him. I pray more of you will believe too. I would not be here today if that were not true. Thank You, Lord. ♥

I just needed to pour out my heart again, thanks for listening. This is me and my boy Sammy moments before he fell asleep with his head resting on my hand. 😦 It was a bitter sweet moment, but my heart is still grateful for the blessings.

Sammy
So Long, Sweet Sammy

Enduring the pain of life on this side of heaven…

So here we are in January 2016. It is another new year and I find myself struggling a little once again. Although my health challenges are not over like I had hoped, I am grateful that I am not going through anything worse than I did last year. Last year was tests and minor surgery for the prevention of cervical cancer. This year I am going through testing as a precaution to rule out bladder cancer. I would be lying if I said that I was not a little bit discouraged to have to face more tests that I consider torture. I am quite tired of being prodded in such a private and sensitive area of my body. But even so, I am grateful that I have insurance and doctors who care and are doing what they think necessary for my own benefit. I am trusting God that once again, there will be no cancer. But whatever the outcome, I am amazingly ready because God has made me so strong through every single challenge He walks and carries me through. It is all for His glory, not mine.

It is incredible to stop dreading the hard things in life because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is for me and He is SO with me. He has shown me day in and day out. I thank Him for how He continues to watch over me and provide everything that I need to keep on keeping on in this journey to heaven with Him. And of course I have to share that through all the challenges, I have had zero relapses back into alcohol abuse and I continue to hold strong to my 100% sobriety of 5 years and 326 days. Yep, still counting because it is an ongoing miracle that only God can do in my life and I have to keep sharing with the world. My heart is too grateful not keep sharing because I really should be dead today. Jesus truly brought me from death to life and I am GRATEFUL.

My other struggle that I am facing as I write this is that I have a 13 year old kitty who has been an amazing blessing in my life. I think those with pets who never had kids (like me) truly understand. I just found out three days ago that she has cancer and I also got to confirm my suspicion that she has lost her vision. She is an amazing creature. God certainly has created beautiful creatures and allows us so much joy through them. I lost my 16 year old pup quite a while ago and somehow a kitten one day stole my heart. Now I have a few of them. But this one who is dying, Zoe, I have a close bond with compared to the others. They are loving and amazing too, but there is something extra special about Zoe. I held her when she was six weeks old. She came from a feral litter and she took to me right away. If she were to make it to June this year, she would be 14. My sweet Zoe is at the vet at this very moment getting a biopsy that I hope will help me to determine when her time to drift into permanent sleep may come. I cannot have her put down without knowing if it is really time or not. I am surprised that I am not crying as I write this. I guess I got enough tears out for now trying to prepare my heart which is never easy to do for any animal lover. I am really going to miss her when the time comes to let go, but until then, I am going to appreciate and enjoy every moment I have left with her and love on her like crazy.

I think what is helping me through this better than I thought it would is learning not to hold on too tightly to my blessings from God. That includes blessings like my Zoe. I remember when I lost my little dog, how hard it was and how much I drank that sadness away. Just like I used to drink every other painful moment of loss in my life away. I am so beyond grateful that those days are over. Feeling the pain and learning to deal with it has brought me so close to God and now that I have discovered that He is real, I would much rather feel the pain and turn to Him instead of the bottle that almost killed me. This is the better blessing. God really does use ALL the hard things in this life for good.

I keep holding on to God’s promises and the assurance of the wonderful life awaiting me in heaven with Him and that is what helps me to endure the pain of life on this side of heaven. I apologize if this post is all over the place. I am just allowing my heart to pour out and this is what is coming of it. I hope in a small way that perhaps this will help someone else to remember that this world is not our home and that our pain and our tears will end when we finally make it home to other side of heaven for those who believe and belong to Jesus. In my heart, I have been hearing the words of Jesus from John 16:33. He has given me His perfect peace. He is teaching me and is making me stronger to keep my heart from being troubled and from being afraid. Jesus overcame the world, and because I am His, I am an overcomer too. All of us who belong to Him are. So we need to keep holding on to God and His promises and keep on keeping on. We need to keep seeking Him with our whole heart no matter what.

And as I wait to hear about my Zoe, I do not regret one tear of the many I have shed and I no longer dread the hard stuff that comes my way. I will be grateful for every single blessing, even when they are taken away knowing and trusting that something even better is around the bend. It is wonderful to be able to say this after such a short time after giving my life to Jesus. I am always taking a risk of being mocked for what I share from the heart, but I do not care. God is real. God is the God of hope, restoration, miracles and breakthroughs. My life is proof of that. Jesus saved me from the law of sin and death. And as long as I am still in the world, the world is going to know.

Hold on to Him, hold on to HOPE – HIS promises of things to come. Thanks for listening to my heart. God bless.

You Are Loved

“Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven. This cord helps you hold your head up high, even when multiple trials are buffeting you…Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road. You are reminded that the road we’re traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven.”  ~Jesus Calling

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13