From Honesty to Sobriety

There is something about being honest. It’s something that took me most of my life to learn. I used to hide who I really was. I used to try to be someone I thought people wanted me to be. I used to try to be someone that I thought people would like or accept. I lived that way a long time. Deep down, I felt down to my toes, who I was wasn’t enough. Deep down, I knew I could never reach the standard I thought was set for me. Mostly this standard was set by incorrect theology.

I lived my life held in. I lived my life ashamed of human emotions and struggles that I experienced. I thought this meant I was a failure, and deep down that’s how I felt.

I never knew I felt that way. It wasn’t until my life decided to implode in what I view as the best and worst year of my life, A smidge of self awareness hit me like a tidal wave. I experienced one of the best things of my life. I married  my husband Brad (We are now going on 9 years married). A home invasion and the sudden loss of my Dad were two of the worst. The combination was the catalyst to me (and really God) changing who I was completely.

Those events were too much for me to handle. The way I managed my problems, emotions, and life caused me to spiral down a self-destructive path. As I spiraled I rationalized my behavior. It wasn’t until almost three years later, I admitted that I was an alcoholic. Once my eyes were opened to the truth I couldn’t ignore it. My denial was strong, but the truth of that realization hit me deeply. I knew I needed to get help.

Looking back now I can say I am thankful for the ways God used the things of that year to unearth everything I never wanted exposed to myself, or anyone else. Going through the process of getting sober and staying sober, required full dedication and rigorous effort. I had to stop pretending I had it all together, or that I had some kind of perfect faith. I am so thankful for the resources and people that God has brought into my life since I have set out on this path.

I have been in what is called a “spiritual program” for almost 6 years. June 25 will be 6 years sober. This program has done one thing above any other, and that is point me in the direction of a higher power. My higher power has been the same since I was a little girl: Jesus Christ. I have always had a great love for Him, but there were so many things I did not understand and lies that I believed about myself and God. I was hesitant willing to ask very many questions growing up in church, because I thought I wouldn’t fit in if I asked them. Now I know, asking questions and working to stay humble, brings the insurmountable gift of Truth. Once I allowed myself to be real about what I believed, sought out God’s Word, and the counsel of  many, I started on a road of actual true growth. I started reaping the benefits of being honest and truthful about who I was and my struggles. I started actually changing. I have discovered the only real and lasting change in me is done by my God. I stay honest, willing, and open to Him and He truly does the rest. 

The ultimate truth is we are all sinners. We have ALL fallen short, and by the sacrifice of Jesus taking the weight of every sin and dying on the cross, the penalty was paid in full. Because that penalty was paid, I can have a relationship with God. I can take a deep breath when I look in the mirror knowing that I may have been a failure, but God does not see me that way because of what his son has done. 

Being honest isn’t easy. In my experience, it’s almost always beneficial. That’s a part of the reason I wanted to start doing this blog. I hope that by being honest about my sobriety, different experiences I have had, motherhood and especially my walk with God, I can hopefully connect with others on the same journey and maybe, just maybe, be an encouragement to someone.  There were so many times in my life that I felt like I was the only one who struggled in certain way, or had certain thoughts. I have come to see that I am not unique in this and neither are my challenges. 

 It has taken me a while to be willing to put this out into the world. I am looking forward to honestly sharing what God has done, and continues to do in me.