It seems, often, that a recurring story in my blog is my breakthrough and victory over my addiction to alcohol. For several years I was ashamed to talk about my struggle, but the Lord opened my eyes to how much of a testimony what He’d revealed to me and done in my life was. I finally realized so many other woman needed to hear what I went through and had to say and see that there is victory to be had over alcohol. I’ve been sober for over 7 years now.
I didn’t know how to truly trust God. How to truly lay all my burdens down. I didn’t know how to handle my pain, my struggles, my stress, my fears, my anxieties and instead, I turned to that lovely glass of wine to get me through. After years of this, it went from a glass of wine to two glasses of wine, to three, and so on. Eventually I realized I was killing myself and destroying my relationships because of it and so I quit. I got sober. That was over seven years ago. It was a long difficult road. The first few years were GUT WRENCHING. But now, sitting here, on what feels like the other side of this struggle, I look back and smile. Why? Because I know now that every ounce of struggle, every difficult choice, every time I chose to face my emotions, face my pain, face my stress or anxiety or exhaustion rather than drink it away, was a huge success, and each right choice led me to where I am today. DELIVERED.
I said in a previous post, alcohol is not the enemy, but the way I was using it was. I was using it to self-medicate to deal with many hurts and past issues, to unwind from stress from a long day working in a very taxing and pressure-filled career, to deal with my anxiety in social situations.
God is good and through the help of a good therapist, a good doctor, a supportive loving husband and more than anything, finally giving it all over to God, all my past, my stress, my anxiety, and opening my heart to hearing what HE had to say about it all, I had an incredible breakthrough and found victory.
I think one of the things I wanted to share is that victory doesn’t come easily. It is often found through great sacrifice, hard work and determination. . But not just self-determination but determination that we only get from relying on the Lord.
My first two years sober were very difficult. I had so much to work through, and without the numbing effects of alcohol – wow did it hurt – facing old pains, rejections, struggles and really seeing and feeling what it meant. I had to choose, over and and over, not to take that first drink and remember that what God desired for me, above all things, was a life of truth. He is clear that the truth will set you free. Sometimes the truth is ugly and painful but once we face and walk through it, we can have victory over it.
Giving our addictions and fears and struggles over to the Lord isn’t something that is easy. We may have spent a lifetime building these habits, additions and patterns of behavior in our life, but if we’re really honest, if we dig down under the layers of fake smiles and polite answers to the question “how are you?” we will find just how desperately we need to surrender so many areas of our life to the Lord.
Like Derwin Gray says in Limitless Life – addicts don’t now their worth. Through many difficulties in life, abuses suffered, losses endured – addicts turn to that which will numb the pain or turn their mind off from remembering those events. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can be free – just as I now know the great and mighty freedom in God.
Know Who You Are: FORGIVEN
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
2 Cor 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come!
Know Who You Are: LOVED
The Lord appeared from of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Know What You Are. FREE.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Know Whose You Are. GOD’s.
You Belong to Jesus’ Father and you belong to Jesus. God the Holy Spirit seals you forever to God the Father and God the Son. (Limitless Life pg 41) The life force of Jesus Himself is in you when you give your life over to him. You are without limits because of the unlimited God who lives in you.
Other steps to find freedom from addiction (Limitless Life pg 45-46)
Confess Your Sins. When we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us.
Live In Community – find a support group to help you share your struggles with. Many churches have a group called Celebrate Recovery which is a truly Christ Centered group support meeting. I also would highly recommend AA or the many other forums of Anonymous groups for various addictions for those who need group support when getting sober or breaking addiction.
Get Counseling. – this was KEY in my life.
Have Courage. I assure you if I was able to get free of my addictions, so can you – through Jesus.