Hope

I was Scared Half to Death Not Knowing What to Expect

For my birthday I bought and drank a bottle of wine. I ended up in a christian chat room where there was a young lady that had drug problems someone in there had told her about CIR and I took down the site wondering if it wasn't also a message for me to reach out for help.

I ended up coming to CIR I was scared half to death not knowing what to expect. I attended a few online meetings before I had the courage to share. I started to share and found out I wasn't as different as I had suspected. I posted soon after for a sponsor and luckily got one. She's been a blessing to my recovery and has supported me threw my first year.

My first six months of sobriety I was sick and spent a lot of time in the doctor's office. It was one thing after another. In February I started to get into some bad things my thoughts were far from walking with God I was walking and praying Lord show me your will for me. I looked up and saw a man walking ahead of me with a picture of Jesus and his head in thorns and a cross on his t shirt. I said OK Lord. I knew He was saying that He wanted me to follow Him and not be going in the direction I was.

I am a Homosexual Choosing to Walk Under God's Authority

During my quiet time with God this morning, I was reminded of the words from a song written centuries ago: "0 Love, that wilt not let me go." These words have stayed with me all day as I have sought to better understand what they could mean. Throughout the day, I have spoken them over and over many times. They have put a smile on my face and given me a deep inner peace. They have also made me weep from the bottom of my heart.

Two pictures come to mind as I think about these eight words: "O Love, that wilt not let me go."

Trying to Find Your Way Back?

Every so often the familiar and even somewhat predictable "amnesia scenario" is resurrected for another made-for-TV-movie or sitcom. The actor stares blankly into once-loved faces and professes no recognition whatsoever. Places, sounds, smells, even names--nothing seems familiar. Memory has been lost; hence, a sense of identity has been lost as well.

And that is exactly what has happened to us--all of us. We have lost our memory. Like the prodigal son's older brother who toiled endlessly and joyously in the fields, we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. But the forgetting goes beyond the pigsty from which the Father has rescued the prodigals. It extends back to the beginning--to a time when our identity was secure in our fellowship with the Father.
Before the rebellion...
Before the fall...
Before the exile.

As a result, our world is in the midst of an ongoing identity crisis. We walk around, day after day, year after year, generation after generation, trying to find our way back to....somewhere.... hoping that when we get there, someone will recognize us and tell us who we are.

The problem is, even if we figure out where that "somewhere" is, we cannot get ourselves back there, contrary to a song that was popular in the late '60s and early '70s that proclaimed the need to get ourselves back to the Garden.

God Chooses the Improbable

"You did not choose me, but I chose you..."John 15:16a

I know what you're thinking: "God chooses others, but not me."

You think it's because of your secret, don't you? The awful thing in your past — that abortion or that affair; your divorce; the rape; the sexual abuse; the shameful business failure; your drug usage; alcoholism; criminal past. etc. Like the clumsy, nearsighted child no one picks for playground sports, you want God's favor, His grace, but it seems beyond your wildest dreams. It's not.The poem "The Chosen Vessel" tells how God picks a vessel to use: "Take me," cried the gold one. "I'm shiny and bright,"I'm of great value and I do things just right." But God passes by the gold, silver, brass, crystal, and wooden urns, and chooses the vessel of clay. The poem explains why:

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.

No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
to cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
"Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all mine."

Why is it Important to Have a Sponsor?

Why is it important to have a sponsor? Why do I need someone to guide me along in my journey through recovery? Can't I do this thing alone? I'm a private person. I don't want someone else knowing my problems. It's nobody's business what is going on in my life.

I asked those questions and said those things when I first began on my recovery journey. It wasn't until I read the Scripture that goes along with Step Four that I finally realized God doesn't desire for this journey to be solo. His desire is for me to find someone I trust to help, guide, and teach me along the way.

Playing Hide and Seek with God?

I searched hurriedly to find just the right hiding place. Breathless I hid silently behind the shower curtain in my parents shower. A giggle slipped from my mouth and I quickly cupped my hand to keep it quiet. I could barely hear my friend counting... 6... 7...8 ...9... 10! Ready or not, here I come! My heart raced for fear I would be found.

I'm sure you remember the exhilaration and suspense of playing hide and seek with your friends. Now that I am older, I no longer play this childhood game with my friends or anyone else—or do I?

Easter: The Big Event, and then—what?

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

SunriseNow what?

Remember the feeling of December 26th? The big buildup, the anticipation, and the excitement of The Big Event, and then—what?

Disappointment? Disillusionment? What do you do when the day after the big day is just like any other day?

Easter always feels like that for me. The full parking lot and the overflow crowd at church, the incredible music, a special sunrise experience, a wonderful meal.

Christos Anesti (Christ is risen!)

Alithos Anesti (He is risen indeed!)

And then suddenly it’s Monday, and the traffic’s congested and my friend’s grandpa dies and my talk for next week isn’t coming together. Nothing’s changed.

Now what?

It’s so easy to get excited by the “mountaintop experiences” that transport me to another world.

Learning to Trust

Trusting others has been difficult for me. People have hurt me over the years and trust did not come naturally for me as a result. My husband, Patrick, never gave me a reason not to trust him, but still I questioned him in my mind. After he stopped drinking over a year ago, I wasn’t sure I could trust he would continue to abstain.

This lack of trust carried over into my relationship with Jesus. Could I trust Him? Could I take His Word for truth? Could I believe He loved me despite the past I carried with me? I worked against God’s way for so many years, how could He possibly love me?

Praying the Promises of His Word

The Lord calls us to be "transformed by the renewing of [our] minds" (Rom. 12:2). One of the most powerful ways we can do this is by praying the promises of His Word back to Him, since He has promised that His Word would not return void, but would accomplish its intended purpose (Is. 55:11). By God's Word we can defeat the accusations and the temptations of Satan, as Christ did while tempted in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11).

The following prayer is one that I wrote over some time as I meditated on a number of promises from the Scripture that the Spirit called to my mind. What I mean by "meditation" is not that I repeated any verses as a mantra, as if they had power in themselves, but that I considered deeply what they meant, that I weighed the meaning of the words, that I waited to see if the Lord brought to mind other verses that touched on the same topics, and that I related all of this to what I was experiencing in life.

As a result, I was able to see something in these words that was greater,

Uncomfortable Silence is a Teacher Too

Recovery-from much of anything - is often not done in the steady hum of encouragement. It's frequently done in intimidating quiet. Even with support groups, sponsors, treatment centers, churches and any number of "support structures," we are still left with our true selves. And, no matter what affirmations we have heard and learned, we alone are left to apply them. There is no uplifting outside cheerleader. There is just our decision.

I know this comes across as negative, especially concerning "the Higher Power" factor.

As a person of faith, I'm not dismissing the role The Most High plays. Rather, I see how the Divine shows up in disguised forms, one of those being the unanswered quiet.

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