Forgiveness of God

I was Drowning

To tell what CIR has meant to me is to tell a story of survival - a life saved - spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

I do not consider it a mere coincidence or stroke of luck as to how I came to find Christians in Recovery. I have no doubts whatsoever that God led me directly to this wonderful place. I was literally losing my life, drowning in a sea of addictions, SSA, depression, and drugs... all the effects of past sexual abuse.

I was Close to Hell, Then Jesus Set Me Free

When Jesus saved me I was close to hell
The devil had me in a deep dark well
Yes I found Jesus or did He find me
It doesn't matter, He set me free

Now the road I'm walkin' ain't all up hill
As I try to follow my saviors will
yes I found Jesus or did He find me
It doesn't matter, He set me free

He guides my footsteps He leads the way
and I will follow come what may
Yes I found Jesus or did He find me
It doesn't matter, He set me free

I Consumed 40 oz. of Liquor per Day, Was Lost and Undone

I was lost and undone until I met His Son, when he reached down His hand for me. I will be a Christian in Recovery for 19 years. I don't tell you this to boast in any way, because I certainly didn't accomplish this miracle, God did. I'd tired every thing anyone could do and I couldn't stop drinking. I drank a 40 oz. bottle every day of my life just to survive.

One day a Pastor friend who had listened to my sad tales of woe many times, confronted me in his office with not only what my problem was, but exactly what I hadn't done about that problem. He forced me to look at myself and admit that I had tried everything else except prayer and that nothing had worked. Then he asked me if I really wanted to get some help? Did I really want to be sober bad enough, to ask God for His help? I was at a point in my life when I was beaten and ready to be finished being sick and tired, of being sick and tired. I answered in the affirmative and we knelt down by a chair in the Pastors office and he prayed for me.

Then I asked God, if there is a God, can I please have some help. I've tried to do this on my own and I can't stay sober. Please come into my life and help me.This was without a doubt, the first time in my life that I had ever prayed in earnestness and honesty. (Oh! I had prayed often when I was in trouble, "God get me out of this mess and I'll never do it again." Of course I was lying through my teeth, I was no more out of that mess when I would be back out there trying to create another mess for myself. I don't suppose any of you could ever relate to that, could you?) There were no great thunder clashes or lightening strikes. There was just a warm fuzzy feeling all around and over me.

Peter and Pot

I began smoking pot eight years ago when I was fourteen years old. Prior to my smoking pot, I was considered a very bright and "gifted" child. Even in elementary school I was placed in advanced classes. I started to smoke pot for several reasons. Although my parents seemed to be very functional people, I found out my mother is schizophrenic. She had been diagnosed schizophrenic many years before I was even born, but she had been stable and very functional all my life, until this point. I also happened to be very involved in the heavy metal music of the day. The fact that I was scared and did not know how to deal with or accept my mother's condition, the exposure I had to the drug from concerts and music "heroes", and probably my own obsessive behavior developing, I decided one day that I wanted to smoke weed. Nobody offered it to me in school or anything like that. I asked for it!

Since then, I began smoking pot quite regularly with friends in junior and senior high school while thinking it was not a dangerous nor addictive drug. Soon, I found pot was shaping many things in my life and was becoming a major part of it. I also began drinking on occasion, but never often (I was never too fond of alcohol). I remember reading about negative effects found in studies of ten or more year marijuana smokers and telling myself, "I would never be a ten year pot smoker". My academic career was put away instead for the option of playing music and smoking pot for the rest of my life. By the time I was seventeen I was smoking pot as often as I could... for breakfast, lunch, dinner, after meals, before meals, in the car, in my home, at work, before band practice, after band practice.

Living a Double Standard

My feelings of guilt and shame towards a same-sex attraction began at an early age. I experienced frequent sexual abuse from an older male friend during most of my teen years, and hustling for money soon followed.

Years later, I was baptized in a Mennonite Brethren church as a public declaration that I would follow Christ. My secret desire was that maybe now my attraction and sexual fantasies towards men would disappear. They didn't, and the fantasies soon turned into years of acting out behaviours.

I attended several MB churches in different provinces over the years, all the while living a double standard. I became addicted to cruising public places that were well-known to the gay community as places where homosexuals could meet for anonymous sex – a behaviour very typical of this community. Frequenting gay bars was a given.

Life in the gay community has been tumultuous and everything but a happy time. I would be in the arms of a lover on Saturday night and then actively participate in a worship service on Sunday morning. My life was such a lie – a secret I was able to maintain for many years.

I Moved Away from "Remaining in Him"

It all happened so quickly. I moved away from the "remaining in Him" part. Yes, I still believed that Jesus is the Son of God. It was the part about "doing as He says" that had become difficult. I chose to become detached from the Vine, and I shut myself off from friends, family, community and church.

After several weeks in this social vacuum, I knew something was not right inside. Feelings of abandonment and rejection began to trigger pain. My life spiraled into a hell of drugs, booze and sex. I started thinking about death. Part of me wanted to just call it quits, but another part knew that I had come too far to give up.

Then the songs started coming back. One of the songs was, "Love Lifted Me". The tears flowed as I repeatedly spoke the words. I was so thankful I had learned this song as a child so that now, years later, I could be blessed by it. When nothing else could help, the unfailing love of God kept lifting me. In faith, I repented of my sins and asked God to help me find the centre once again. I thanked Him for the close friends that I could reach out to.

I Prayed that God Would Get Out of My Life!

My name is Kelly. Here is something that happened to me that I hope blesses you....

In 1984 after struggling for years with pornography and masturbation, I was a youth pastor in the Midwest. Working for my brother the pastor. I fought and fought with my thoughts and finally went out in my car and purchased porn. Felt horrible and tired. I was so frustrated. I tried and tried to live a clean life and just failed over and over again.

"Damn, what is the point?" I asked myself. I then sat there alone in my room and calmly prayed a new prayer to God. This was a prayer that I've never prayed. I prayed that He would get out of my life. I prayed that I would not be a Christian any more. I prayed and boldly asked the Holy Spirit to leave.

Then I sat there alone in my room feeling even more alone. The desire for porn was gone and it felt that God was gone too. I didn't feel guilty but I did feel very alone.

Day after day I walked in an Oak grove talking with God. I didn't feel like a Christian anymore and it was a weird experience talking to him outside of the "family".

John: "Sin is My Sickness"

I am powerless over sin. That's my problem. I used to feel damned because my life seemed to be falling apart. By the grace of God I learned that although I was just as much at fault for the problems in my life as the people in my life, God was not so cruel as to torment me for my sinfulness. In fact only he could restore me to sanity. My higher power volunteered.

Luke 4:18
He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Jody: "I was broken by Crack"

I came to God a broken person. I was terribly addicted to crack cocaine. I had lived ten years with the guilt and pain I was causing my family and myself.

I was raised to believe in God, but I didn't know how He could help me, or that He would want to. I had never learned that Jesus died so I wouldn't have to live in the misery of my past. The more I learned about Jesus the more I realized how much He loves us and wants to help us.

I Was Addicted to Sex and Could Never Get Enough

My name is Jeff and I am a recovering sex addict. It all started when I lived at home with my parents. My father was and still is a sex addict and alcoholic to this day. I can remember when my mother would go to bed, my father would turn on the cable adult channels and allow me to watch them with him. He also had pin up posters and other adult stuff in the household. My father was verbally abusive to us and my mother. After 23 years, my father walked out on all of us. I moved out shortly after, when I turned 18. I lived from place to place and I would hang out with my friends during the week and watch porno movies and drink beer. On the weekends we would go to clubs and try to pick up on girls to have sex with. All I wanted was sex. Little did I know that the craving and the snares of Satan began there.

I slept with a lot of women and could never get enough. I was married at 26, only to last 9 months. I could not be loyal to one woman. A year later I married again but the problems did not stop. I became addicted to pornography on the internet. I was spending at least 18-24 hours a week on the net. I met women, had sex with them and I got deeper and deeper into it. My wife became saved, and I did shortly after but it did not even stop there. I was so bound to my addiction. I had an affair on my wife again and this time I confessed to her. Things were better for a while but I found myself back on the net again.

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