In the late sixties, long before I committed to follow the Lord, God delivered me from an intense IV Meth addiction. There were no withdrawal symptoms of any kind, I simply stopped.
In the mid-seventies, I lived in a hippie-type community in Pennsylvania. I smoked as many packs of cigarettes a day as I could get my hands on. Filtered or non-filtered, it didn’t matter. When I ran out of cigarettes, I rolled my own with Blue Bugler, the cheapest package tobacco you could by at that time. I looked physically fit, but every morning, I woke up congested with phlegm and I could not walk up a flight of stairs without stopping several times to catch my breath.
One day, while I cleaned a bushel of cherries, a friend stopped by and left an unopened, fresh pack of Pall Malls on the table. Normally, I would consider this like found money, a rare and glorious event. But for no obvious reason, I had no desire to smoke and never opened the pack. After that day even the smell of tobacco was revolting to me. I remained baffled by this dramatic release that was not achieved through any effort on my part. However, I continued to smoke pot.
A few years later, we settled down in New Jersey. My husband worked hard at two jobs and I worked for an airline. We had a new house, bought a new car and both daughters attended a good school. We traveled often and stayed at the best hotels, all practically for free, because of my job benefits. But in fact, I drank too much, smoked dope and struggled with my inability to stop.
Thinking clearly was getting harder for me, even when I wasn’t high. Then at one point, whether I was at home or at work, I could not seem to control sudden bursts of tears. I was deeply depressed, believing that there was no real meaning to life, just a succession of disappointments and painful events. The evening I secretly considered suicide, my husband said, “Jesus Christ is the answer.” Incredibly, for a moment, the pain stopped. I wanted to know more about this Jesus, but he just said, “You know” and left the room. I wondered what this meant, and asked God if He was real to make Himself real to me.
The next morning, I got up with a new feeling of expectancy. At work, I spotted a hand-written sign: “Jesus” on someone’s desk. After I introduced myself to the lady sitting at the desk she patiently answered all my questions about Jesus. She also told me about a promiscuous, young woman, who had been in a mental hospital eight times with nervous breakdowns. When I asked her what happened to this unhappy, angry woman, she told me that she was the woman before she asked Christ to take over her life and make her a new person. As I looked into her kind face and observed her crisp, professional appearance, I became excited. If God could do that for her, He could help me too! At lunchtime, in the cafeteria, she asked me if I wanted to accept God’s gift of eternal life. We prayed together, and I eagerly accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior!
That night, I sat at my vanity table looking in a drawer filled with “tops,” the most potent part of the marijuana plant. With newborn faith, I told God that I couldn’t free myself from this addiction and simply asked Him to help me. Softly I “heard” in my spirit, “Go ahead, roll a joint and smoke it,” I was surprised, but without hesitation, I rolled one, took a deep drag, waited and then I laughed. The pot, as potent as it was, significantly decreased my sense of well being! This thrilled and amazed me. I thought, ” I felt more elated and at peace before I smoked. So why would I do anything that would ” bring me down?”
Thanking God for His gift of deliverance, I knew it that as long as I trusted the Lord to keep me clean, He would. If I chose to relapse, He wouldn’t interfere but somehow I sensed that the following addiction would be even more destructive than previously.
A couple of days later, my husband bought a bottle of our favorite white wine. Suspiciously watching me since my spiritual conversion, he was not sure if he like this “new” person. For one thing, I had always been his “party buddy”. After I stopped “getting high” my memory improved immediately as well as my peace of mind and I didn’t want to drink. I dreaded a confrontation, but God whispered in my spirit again,” Just go along with him.” A scripture came to mind about winning the unbelieving husband without a word (1Peter 3:1).
My husband poured us each a glass of wine, but in the morning both glasses were still full on the kitchen counter with the half-full bottle of wine. We talked and laughed the night before and forgot all about drinking. This had never happened before. We always drank a whole bottle at the time. I thank God that I haven’t had or craved an alcoholic drink since then, 23 years ago.
Within a month of my salvation, my husband and our two daughters accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Following Christ is an incredible adventure. In good times or bad He has proven Himself to be faithful, and merciful.
In His awesome love,