One year, an eternity looking ahead; a vivid memory looking back…
It was a Saturday morning, I woke up with a headache, like any other day, but made it to church for play practice. Went to my aunts drank a couple beers and then at 2:00 p.m. I left my house to drink and hang out. Before I knew it I was at the bar. I left my kids at home. Honestly I have no idea what they ate that day or even if they ate. I worried about drinking; worried about how I was going to get drunk, how I would escape life for the day.
They were better off without me I thought. They didn’t need me anymore. I couldn’t provide for them, I couldn’t even make it from paycheck to paycheck. I could only do something fun with them once a year. What kind of a mom is that? They don’t have a dad that is involved in their life, that’s my fault. If things were different they would be better off. I am not lovable. I am not worth the breath that I am able to breathe. I will always be alone. No one will love me, no one will marry me.
These are a few of the thoughts that had been running through my mind since September. Every day, drunk, or sober, the thoughts were there. I couldn’t stop the thoughts and I couldn’t stop drinking. I felt in control yet everything was out of control.
If I didn’t drink, I didn’t sleep. I drank until I passed out. Usually I threw up and then passed out. My life was out of control. I couldn’t take it any longer and finally I let someone in. Of course I was drunk on that Saturday night October 25, 2014 when I let it all out. That was the beginning of change…..I saw God working full time in my life from that day on. I didn’t necessarily like everything that was happening or was I comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone. Due to my obedience in Christ I am looking back on 365 days of sobriety.
7Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2nd Corinthians 5:17
I first heard this verse at YATECH; February 2010 or 2011 it would be several years before this verse came to light for me. It seemed like I would do good in the eyes of others yet the pain I held within cut deep like a knife. A knife that never left my side yet always turning and pushing a little deeper, letting me know it was still there. I thought I didn’t believe the lies of the enemy, the ones that I had believed for so long. I was so new in my walk that I couldn’t tell whose voice I was listening to. I may have looked good on the outside; the inside was a mess.
I gave my life to Christ and began to walk what I thought would change my life. The easy way. God would take care of everything. God would free me and make my life good. I just have to laugh now because nothing in life is free not even our salvation. I looked at God and giving my life to Christ as an easy ticket to ride through life. I continued to knowingly live in sin. I would then repent and not do certain things for a while, like drinking to get drunk. I had an image to maintain. The strong single mom of four girls, I was allowed to have fun any way I wanted. God would protect me right?
As I look back I realize that there was no joy in my life at this time. None! No matter what I did, who I hung around, there was simply no joy. No sense of happiness could be found in my life.
I maintained my imagine, as difficult as it was. I was in church when I was supposed to be in church, rarely missing. I was living a double life. I was one person when I was at church and I was another person when I was at home. I didn’t like either person that I portrayed to be. Then one Wednesday night we started a bible study in 1st Corinthians. Talk about being convicted over and over and over. I became uncomfortable and didn’t like what I was hearing, a seed was planted. The conviction was more and more present. Sermons had me in tears. Which lead me to leave church and mask my feelings with alcohol.
I clearly remember in September of 2014 hearing the words on the radio make me broken so I can be healed. I would sit on the deck drunk and look into the sky asking God to break me. I had no idea what was in store for me.
God answered that request and began a work in me that seemed unmanageable just 365 days ago. Step by Step God picked me up out of the pits of hell and delivered me into his light. God showed me the love he has for me little by little because honestly I couldn’t take it all at once. God placed people in my life that prayed for me, took care of my kids, and didn’t let me give up just to note a few. God had his hand on me from the very beginning of this journey.
It was a cold windy day October 30, 2014 as I numbly sat in the waiting room at Atlas. They called my name and I wanted to hide under the chair. I had to be honest, I needed to come clean, no excuses. One appointment lead to another appointment which lead me to another appointment and me agreeing to go to inpatient treatment. Seriously, I wondered why I couldn’t do outpatient treatment. Stay home and take care of my girls and…. I couldn’t tell you then why I couldn’t do outpatient treatment however now I know why. I needed to work on me. The deep hurts that I held onto. I needed a controlled environment where I didn’t have a choice whether I would choose to drink or not. I needed no responsibility other than myself at this point in time. I needed separation from all things and time to work me.
Twelve days later I was on my way to Woodstock, MN for inpatient treatment. New Life Treatment Center would be my home for 31 days. I stayed in the car upon arrival, contemplating running into the nearby field or whatever was there. That’s our first reaction fight or flight and I was wanting to run. I had to get out and go in. It was time to face my fears, my hurt and my heart. I had no idea who I was. My whole body was completely numb. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t stop the tears or feeling all alone. It took a while but slowly I began to appreciate the routine of treatment and felt extremely comfortable. There were a few woman in treatment with me that I hold very special in my heart. God did a work in me in a short 31 days. He changed my heart. I cannot tell you the level of compassion I have for others now. When I walked into New Life I cried because I was “left” there; when I walked out on December 12, 2014 I cried because I didn’t know how I would make it out the controlled environment.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
I am not the same person today that I was a year ago. I am not perfect and I will never be perfect. I no longer look behind me while trying to move forward. I understand my worth. I understand that God loves me and calls me his child and honestly that right there is enough for me. I learned to love myself one step at a time. I learned to let love go; let friends go; love people from a distance. My heart became soft, it’s an absolute amazing feeling. I learned that I was loveable and I don’t have to do everything on my own or by myself. I learned that a relationship with my girls and granddaughter is the most important relationship next to God. I learned that the shoe may be cute and I may really want it but if it is too small, it will hurt and you don’t buy it; there’s another pair that is meant for me.
I learned that God is real and alive. He has blessed me abundantly these last 365 days. My worst day with God is better than my best day drunk. One is too many and a thousand not enough. Live one day at time, just for this 24 hours.
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