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.
At a time in my life when I couldn’t see clearly, Christians in Recovery helped me to take the steps I needed to take. I am in counseling right now because of someone from CIR leading me to the place where I received help to find a counselor. I have come really far through the help of CIR and especially through Christ Jesus.
Right now I am taking the steps that I need to take. For the first time in years I went to a church. If I can do that with His help I am positive that I will be able to go back to work in time. It is written I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.
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.
“…‘Judas, betrayest… with a kiss?’” Luke 22:48
Judas evokes betrayal. And, it wasn’t too long before I saw addiction itself within this Judas figure. Scripture tells us a great deal about the infamous man and his downfall. Who knows exactly what motivated him? Greed? Fear? Misguided intentions? Regardless of what it was, he seemed to be driven to follow this addictive mindset.
The month of October, leading up to Halloween, has emphasis on ghosts and haunted houses. Indeed, the telling of ghost stories is common as we approach October 31st.I have a few of my own ghost stories, of sorts. They involve the mystery that is my family. I’ve shared much about my dad’s abusive nature; that is familiar to me. What, however, is NOT as familiar, is knowing about him.
Like many immigrant families, the past was not discussed. I know very little about the exact country my family came from. Likewise, I don’t know much about my dad, apart from his rages and his obsession with farm work. The unknown reality, therefore, has left me haunted, especially within the last few years. I now have the responsibility of clearing my childhood home, a house in which my dad, his siblings and parents all resided.
The house, itself, is one hundred years old, filled with decades of memorabilia. And, in organizing, clearing and cleaning the house, I have stumbled across some relics, like his Army dog tags, which create more questions- and yes, ghosts.
What a mysterious thing is this enemy of ours – as mysterious as life itself.
Addiction is sometimes without explanation. However, we are aware of its presence and how miserable it makes us feel. How little we like to speak of it, discuss it, or consider its importance! When cornered, we discuss the thought as quickly as possible. That being said, doesn’t it seem strange that we spend so much time feeding our addictions? Furthermore, when we have finally had enough, why do we not spend an equal amount of time and energy trying to recover from those same addictions.
Let’s imagine that recovery grew on a vine, and like grapes in a valley, it would need proper soil cultivation, sunlight, water, fertilization, and pruning to bear fruit.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your recovery would bear enough fruit to eliminate fruit-bearing guides, books, classes and counselors? That being asked and answered, what would your mandatory concerns be to make that a reality in your struggles to grow recovery-bearing fruit?
Your concerns should be the following:
- Make sure your potential fruit-bearing recovery plan is connected to the vines clearly with unobstructed prayer.
- That you cultivate and prune your life by working a Twelve-Step Program.
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.
“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.”
Coming from a theater background, I’m no stranger to an audience.
“All the world’s a stage… And one man in his time plays many parts…”
In William Shakespeare’s play, “As You Like It,” Act II Scene VII, purpose-filled life is compared to that of a theatre stage.
How much more does that apply for those of us recovering from addiction, disorder or abuse?
Besides my theater background, I also have an eating disorder history as well. In college, I battled both anorexia and bulimia.
Indeed, during my sophomore year, desperate in my bulimic behavior, I began to dumpster dive…
“… I’d try to play it off, pretending everything was normal as people passed by me scrounging in the dumpster… in broad daylight… I couldn’t hide any longer from others what I was doing… people were noticing…”*
*Excerpt from Sheryle Cruse’s book, “Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey Through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder”
This was an unwelcomed audience for me.
Nevertheless, people saw. And, no matter how I tried, I could not escape the Presence of the Most High.
For a long time, I fought God.