I struggled with drugs and alcohol for six solid years, beginning at age sixteen. I fell in love with the feeling of losing control, believing the lie that I was obtaining true freedom which I longed so desperately to find. I hated myself deep down and thought it was easier to be feel loved and accepted when under the influence of a substance. I was always the kid who went overboard—overdosing or ending up in hospitals—only to have to pick up the broken pieces and play connect the dots from the night before. I damaged countless relationships and put myself and others in danger. Looking back and being a parent myself now, I’m not sure how my parents put up with me. All I know is that they had unwavering faith and constantly prayed for me. They would ask God to send his guardian angels to surround and protect me, knowing that they themselves did not have ultimate control over my life.
My sophomore year of college is when I began to change. Literally crying out to God, I expressed to him the realization that I could no longer live in such destruction. The initial change was great, and it was a season of incredibly hard work, walking uphill, and leaning on God to stay sober and live a fruitful life.
To this day I look back and almost don’t even recognize myself. For who I was holds absolutely no power over who I am today. I have been clean for almost fifteen years, and I would never go back to where I came from. The Lord has taught me so much and has so richly blessed and protected my life. Since God has given me a new chance, my passion is to pursue him with my entire being. Hands-down, life spent following the Lord is
To say all this on paper sounds great, but believe me, I know the battle is real. The enemy is real and he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). There are unforeseen forces at work 24/7 trying to thwart your efforts to tap into the goodness of God and the awesome plans he has for your life. You have to know how to fight. The only victory is through the power of Jesus Christ working in you to fight against spiritual realms and forces. I met Jesus as a kid at summer camp and then drifted away, only to return to him forever once I understood he was and is the real deal. He is the great sustainer and giver of ALL good things. He made you and designed you. You cannot ever be replicated. He loves you and desires a relationship with you.
I have never been to rehab. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit alive in me that I was able to make choices and decisions, outside of how I was feeling, to be able to move forward in a positive manner.
I would say I hit layers of rock-bottom before reaching the point of total surrender. Typically, it would go like this: I would have an out-of-control incident paired with a commitment to never turn to destruction again. I would keep my empty commitment for a few days, weeks, even months only to return to the same destructive behaviors. It wasn’t until I met Jesus, that, at rock-bottom he became my rock and showed me there is more joy and life in never turning back.
I write this small vignette to show you that if you are struggling, there is hope. There is hope beyond the burnt ashes of your life that only a supernatural Savior can heal. I currently live my life for an audience of ONE, who guides and empowers my thoughts and actions. God would love to do that for you too! Ultimate surrender is the first step to entering into true freedom!!!