The giant oak is just an acorn that held its ground.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Onward

Today I am 84 days sober.

I can't even believe I am writing those words in regards to myself.  Me.  An alcoholic?  So weird to see those words in print, even weirder to say them out loud at a meeting.

Why did I feel I was above the clutches of this sin? How completely arrogant I was...I am.  I opened a crack in the doorway to my soul. Despite the nudges from the Holy Spirit, against the advice of close friends,  ignoring a family history of addiction I gave the devil, evil, self, ego, pride a FOOTHOLD. Once that little piece of ground was conceded it immediately began to sprout weeds and I put away my gardening tools.

So here I am, having never drank ANY alcohol until I was 40+ ... here I am an alcoholic.

I drank, I told myself , for medicinal purposes for Meniere's symptoms.  Well, it worked after all. When that first 2 oz of liquor burned down my throat hit my stomach it only took 10 minutes for the vertigo I had for two days to finally stop.  I thought I finally discovered a "medicine" that worked.  Then the medicine became the disease.  2 oz led to 4 led to.....drinking 100 proof liquor most nights of the week until blacking out.  For a long time I selfishly reveled in the escape it gave me.

The reason for my extreme weight gain, I told myself and others, was from the illness, the sedentary life style and hypothyroidism. All of it true.  A plausible explanation.  I just left out the part that each bottle of liquor I downed in one setting was about 3,000 calories.

Goodness!

Oh the darkness this led to. 
It's a tale of two suicide attempts and one accidental overdose I almost didn't survive.
One day I might blog about that pain...about the abyss that brought me to very edge of death.
My sin dumped me into depths I didn't know existed.
Oh, the wreckage! The carnage! The consequence! Broken hearts. Broken relationships. Broken trust.
BUT Praise be to God for the abyss because it was only there that I finally reached out for grace and rescue.

Today, I am 84 days sober. I am broken, humbled, desperate, vulnerable, and lacking any power of my own. Now God has the raw materials to rebuild me and grow me. He couldn't (wouldn't) build my life while I was filled with arrogance, pride and self-importance.

The rebuilding has begun. I've got my gardening tools out and Jesus and I have been pulling weeds. I'm working really hard but only with God's strength. I'm out of the abyss and inching forward.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

James:
I am one of the three that Jesus invited to go further into the garden with him.  Deeper into the garden we went and I noticed that Jesus was getting more and more troubled with every step.  I've never seen Jesus like this before.  Sure He grieved over Lazarus dying and wept over Jerusalem, but this sorrow is different, almost like He is anxious over...Himself.  He even said that He was overwhelmed to the point of death.

Jesus wants John, Peter and I to keep watch with him.  I don't know what I'm supposed to watch for? I have spent the last few years of my life watching.  Watching Jesus, watching sick healed, watching oppressed receive hope, watching ordinary men gain purpose, watching women being regarded as equals. So, yes, I will watch.  I am good at that!

I watch Jesus as he takes a few steps off by himself and then he falls to the ground praying to the Father something about a cup.  I watch, but I am confused. I don't really know what to do for him.  It seems he needs us.  It seems he needs me. He looks me in the eye and for the first time I can see that he is needs to receive from me instead of give to me.  I'm not used to that look.  I don't really know what to do for him.  He talked about leaving us.  What does that mean? Surely, whatever this situation is, Jesus will get us through it.  I saw him calm a storm once with just a word.  I saw him raise Lazarus from the dead.  What does he need me for?  Jesus will work it out.  I can trust him. He doesn't need me. I sigh in relief....I know Jesus, he will fix it.

I'm getting so sleepy.

This has been such a weird night.  Something is going on with Judas.  Jesus said some strange things to him at Passover.  Now it seems Jesus is looking out for him; how strange... but I don't need to worry.  Jesus doesn't need me.  [yawn] I sigh in relief...I know Jesus, he will fix it.  What does he need me for?

"Could you men not keep watch!", Jesus' rebuke rips through my sleepy state and I startle awake.  He's telling me to "watch & pray",  Um, yeah, Jesus I always "watch" you and pray. He says something about temptation. Tempted by what? Watch for what?  I know what to do. Give it to Jesus.  He doesn't need me. I sigh in relief...I know Jesus, he will fix it.

I feel myself drifting off again.  I really want to pray, but every time my mind wanders and drifts, then I rest. I feel myself drifting off again.  How can I sleep in such a time?  How could I possibly go to sleep when my Rabbi is grieving so.  I'll tell you how.  Jesus always fixes the problem.  He doesn't need me.  Jesus can handle everything for me.  I don't need to do anything except give it to Him.

Again Jesus comes back and is upset that we haven't stayed awake.  I feel bad, I don't want to let my Rabbi down.  It's just that he doesn't know how much I trust him.  I know it will be fine.  Jesus will fix it all.  What does he need me for anyway.
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Anita:
Like James, I too can find peace in placing my faith in Jesus.  I know my God can do anything.  However, what I see in this story is God needed his friends.  It makes me wonder how many times have I felt God saying to me to do something as simple as pray. I give this urging a nod by a quick journal entry and feel assured. How many times have I felt a nudge to write a note, encourage someone, give something...  What if?What if, God really does NEED me?

The idea of God needing mankind to complete his work is exactly how God needs his Kingdom to flourish.  I wonder how many times God is urging me to "watch and pray" as he grieves over his creation.  I wonder how many times I have taken my God for granted by not seeing that my life really matters, not just because I am loved by him but also because my little life is actually ESSENTIAL in executing God's plan.

Lord, may I not sleep when you want me to watch; may my prayers not be a few words said in recitation but heart felt warrior words that summon the power of your will; may I love as you love me. I know it will be fine. Jesus and my humble obedience can fix it.  I know you need me.  I will strive to be worthy of the call.