FIRST STEP: “WE ADMITTED WE WERE POWERLESS OVER OUR ADDICTION, THAT OUR LIVES HAD BECOME UNMANAGEABLE.”
This admission is what a “Twelve Step Program” taught me I should do; (1) admit my powerlessness; (without strength or resources) and (2) unmanageability; (difficult or impossible to control). Note: The parenthesis are representative of the definitions provided by Webster’s Dictionary.
He is a God who sees . . . (Genesis 16:13)
We have to look at the “Twelve Steps” through the eyes of “God” most importantly because the “Twelve Step Program” was intended as a “Spiritual Program” built on “Spiritual Principles” founded on God’s Word. That concept is one which you learn at each Meeting as a “New-Comer” to any an Alcoholics Anonymous, (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous, (NA), (et. Al. Anonymous Program). According to the “Eleventh Step” of a “Twelve Step Program,” (for those of you who are not there yet) the “Eleventh Step” encourages us to have a “conscious” contact with God, (a contact that requires perception, apprehension, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation). Keep in mind, the “Twelve Steps” are written that you might follow and apply them in the order in which they were written, I’m just providing insight because of my years of recovery). The “Eleventh Step” reads as follows;
STEP 11– “We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Meanwhile, what you don’t learn as a “New Comer” to a “Twelve-Step Program” (and even as a dinosaur who has been coming to the Program for years) is the most important message, and yet, it is NOT spelled out; the message is “PERSPECTIVE!”
“Perspective” is based on the context of the “Writer.” For example, the Writers/Founder; Bill Wilson and Robert Smith of the Alcoholics Anonymous Program intended to point the audience (you and me) to God through the writing of the “Twelve Steps” and how God’s Spiritual Principles saved their (Bill’s and/or Robert’s) life. So much so, the two of them wrote about an entire “Twelve Step Program” accompanied by “Twelve Traditions” simply based on Spirituality, their “relationship” with God.
However, as a “New-Comer” and someone who was reading and learning these “Twelve Steps” and “Twelve Traditions” for the first time, it was way too overwhelming for me! Specifically, I went to the “Twelve Step Meeting” with a whole lot of “mental baggage,” (childhood verbal and physical abuse, heroin addiction, domestic violence, molestation, rape, abandonment, kidnapped, etc.). My only goal initially was to learn how to use drugs, “anonymously!”
Seriously, I went to the the “Twelve Step Program” believing that it was a group of people there who were going to teach me how to get high “successfully!” I was really convinced these people would teach me, (anonymously) because I saw some of these very same people at the NA Meetings. These very same people traveled in the very same places I used to go to with my ex-husband to get high. I was convinced there was absolutely no way possible these particular people were drug free! I knew their track records! In fact, one of the women “chairing” the meeting was getting high with my ex-husband before I even knew he was a heroin addict. The two of them were conning me and spending my paycheck to get high on heroin when I thought I was contributing to medicine for my Father-in-Law’s Kidney Disease.
As you see, getting high “successfully” was not only a hidden agenda, it was also my “perspective.” Again, “perspective” is (and always should be) based on the context of the author. In this case, the “Authors” were Bill and Robert; the one’s who penned the ”Twelve Step Program.” I, on the other hand, was the partaker of their truth and revelation.
By now, you’re thinking—“Seriously? I thought she was going to enlighten me and help me stop getting high!”
My response to you is the same as Narcotics Anonymous . . . “Don’t leave five minutes before the miracle happens!” (See, I’m still practicing these principles in all my affairs—lol:)
But seriously, there is another perspective—one that will save your life today! One particular perspective that Narcotics Anonymous does NOT teach on enough is “RELATIONSHIP” and how important that “RELATIONSHIP” with GOD is and it’s affect in changing your life through “perspective,” (a point of view). The Twelve Steps does not elaborate enough and how “perspective” will empower you to NEVER desire a drug again! Imagine that??? Believe me . . . I’m not tripping!!! But you might be when I tell you how it works and how simple the application of “perspective” is and can be in your daily living!!!
Let’s start back at the beginning. The first part of the “First Step” is about an admission of “powerlessness” (without strength or resources) which in my perspective caused me to fail at staying abstinent from heroin. Every time I thought of being “powerless” I thought about “Pooky” in the movie, “New Jack City” where Pooky was proclaiming to the character played by “Ice-T,” his (Pooky’s) inability to stop getting high.
Pooky said, “It be calling me man! It just be calling me!!!” That was my admission, “It be calling me man!” I swear to you, that heroin would be somewhere in that room, (wherever my ex-husband had hidden it before he went to bed at night). Mind you, he would take my money , (his Brother’s money, his Mother’s money, everybody’s money) and hide the dope (heroin) from me. Keep in mind, he was the person who introduced me to heroin; I was the person who chose to keep using. But anyway, the thought of finding the dope so I could get high was no different than the chase of the daily “getting and using,” again a “perspective” you learn about in NA.
Mentally I knew the heroin, (my drug of choice) was in that room. Therefore, my mind (spiritually) communicated to my body (physically) that the chemical (heroin) I craved was hiding from me in that room. Thus, this chemical, (heroin) was verbally (orally) calling me, (put your name here) to come and pick “it” (put your drug of choice here) up and put it in me. Now think about it . . . Did the heroin actually call me??? Literally, because that was the only physical way it could get in my system, (I.e. “If you don’t pick up, it won’t get in you!) Here is a newsflash!!! Literally, that cliche . . . “If you don’t pick it up, it CAN’T get in you!” It literally means what it says!!!
Seriously, the heroin is NOT going to just jump up, put itself in the cooker, draw itself up in the syringe and jump into my veins? No! I have to PICK IT UP, PUT IT IN the cooker and PUT IT IN my veins—Right??? So if you recall this simple cliche, this simple little “perspective,” (another little handy tool you will learn in AA or NA) you might pause the next time you’re tempted to get high. Instead of PICKING IT UP, try to “Not pick up! Instead pray, call your Sponsor, go to a Meeting, read the Twelve Step Literature,” (Twelve Step Program, “Five Tools of Recovery.”)
On the other hand, if you continue with all of the same behavior of “getting and using and finding more ways to do the same thing, and yet, expect different results, you too will consider it, “PRACTICING INSANITY!!!” For this reason, a “Twelve Step Program” alone will NOT keep you clean or free from addiction!!!
So here is a different perspective. This is God’s “perspective” on this “First Step” of so called “powerlessness.” God teaches us through His “Holy Spirit.” Just so you can understand the meaning of “God,” when I refer to “my God,” of ”my understanding” I am referring to Jesus the Christ. To comprehend “my God,” you must understand that my God teaches me that He is “triune,” three in one; one man who has a “conscious,” who He refers to as “The Holy Spirit.” This same man refers to his Father as “God.” This same man is the One who walked on earth for 33 years; fully human, fully God, “Jesus the Christ!” All three are ONE spiritually connected; all ONE God; one Spirit, separate, yet SIMULTANEOUSLY equal in power.
I AM DONE WITH THAT SUBJECT! I am purposefully NOT elaborating more on this subject because it is NOT a “religious debate.” I am more concerned that you have a RELATIONSHIP with God; “The God” that is higher than you and I and is without sin. “The God” that can extend you grace when you fall. The only God that can pick you up and love you continuously in all your ways.
The RELATIONSHIP is what is going to save your life! Building a RELATIONSHIP is going to take away your pain and suffering and right now that is the only thing that matters! The more you get to know Him, (God) the more you will desire to know Him. In that desire you will build trust, and through trust you will gain peace, and through peace, hope to trust even more!
So God’s “perspective” will teach you that you DO indeed HAVE power!!! God’s Word teaches us through this simple verse that you CAN INDEED DO ANYTHING!!! The verse reads as follows;
“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” (Philipians 4:13, King James Version)
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, New American Standard Bible Version)
“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, New International Version)
Note: Don’t get caught up on the “Versions” of the Bible. We have different “Versions” because we don’t all speak the same language. If I gave it to you in Greek, (the original language the author wrote it in) you might not understand it because you may not read Greek.
“πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με Χριστῷ” (Philippians 4:13, Greek Translation)
“I am strong for all things in the One who constantly infuses strength in me.” (Philippians 4:13, Expanded Greek Translation, Kenneth Wuest)
I prefer the last translation, the Expanded Greek, because the author, Kenneth Wuest, had a grasp on Paul’s contextual opinion (the original author).
As I said, the original author of Philippians 4:13; the Apostle Paul, whose name was originally Saul; considered a murderer of Christians. Paul considered himself “the least of the apostles” because he (Paul) “persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). He referred to himself as “the chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Meanwhile, Paul had this conversion experience (adoption of religion; in this case Christianity) in route to this place called Damascus. In Paul’s experience, he proclaims that he saw the resurrected Christ with his (Paul’s) own eyes and he heard Christ’s voice. Paul was with other people on his journey to Damascus which means others witnessed what Paul witnessed as well.
“. . . And those who were journeying with me.” (Acts 26:13)
However, Saul was the ONLY one who actually heard Christ’s voice. In Saul’s testimony (a declaration made by a witness) scribed by Luke (another Apostle) who wrote, “As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?”
And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, . . . ” (Acts 9:3-5)
Persecution for the sake of righteousness . . .
At the time of his written Epistle (a letter) Paul was a converted Christian (follower of Christ) and he himself was being persecuted (Greek: harass, trouble, molest one) simply because he was a follower of Christ. Paul’s persecution was in the form of imprisonment where he chose to write a letter to the Church in Phillipi. Paul’s faith in Christ was founded on his witness of Christ’s crucifixion (death on a cross). Paul witnessed Christ’s resurrection, (Christ brought back to life). Because of this encounter, Paul was firm resolute in his faith! When I internalize the power from where Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, (see stories below) there were NO MORE EXCUSES TO PICK UP (USE DRUGS)!!!
I know personally that whoever you may be, reading this post, you have the POWER to NOT get high anymore if you have a RELATIONSHIP with God; my God is “JESUS.” For the record, your power will ONLY come through a RELATIONSHIP with GOD according to Paul. Remember Paul was a follower of Jesus Christ!
STAY FOCUSED; THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION! I’M JUST PROVIDING A STORY THAT CAME FROM A BOOK; “THE HOLY BIBLE.”
A little more history about Paul , (who used to be Saul). . .
First things first, as I said earlier, Saul was considered a MURDERER!!! In his own words, “Chief of sinners!” The original Greek translation reads as follows;
“Trustworthy is the word and worthy of unqualified acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I in contradistinction to anyone else am foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15, Expanded Greek)
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” (1 Timothy 1:15, New International Version)
Second of all, at one time in his life, Saul, (who is now converted and named Paul by Jesus) absolutely hated Christians and put as many to death as many as he possibly could.
“And Saul was together with the others approving of his death, taking pleasure with them in his death and applauding it. Then on that day there arose a persecution, a great one, against the assembly at Jerusalem. And all were scattered throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria except the apostles. And men of piety and reverence toward God carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him, this lamentation accompanied by the beating of the breast. But Saul kept on ravaging and devastating the Church, entering house after house, dragging both men and women by their feet along the street, consigning them to prison.”(Acts 8:1-3)
While they were mourning the death of Stephen, Saul was banging on doors, dragging people through cobblestone villages, down dirt roads, bumping over rocks (and everything else) by their feet, to a prison; women and men! Saul was a beast!!! He was complicit in all of their murders!
Saul even bragged about his insane behavior . . .
“As for myself, verily, I was of the opinion that it was a necessity in the nature of the case for me to do many things against the Name of Jesus, the one from Nazareth, which also I did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints, as for myself, I shut up in prisons, having received the authority from the chief priests. And when they were being put to death I registered my vote against them. And often in every synagogue while punishing them I kept on attempting to compel them by contemptuous speech intentionally to come short of the reverence due to God, and possessing an insane fury against them beyond measure, I went to persecuting them even to foreign cities.” (Acts 26:9-11)
So, the bottom line is Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was as a result of HIS EXPERIENCE of conversion, (i.e. a light he saw, and a voice he heard). All of us have an “experience,” of a “conversion” from sin. We just don’t know what to call it and sometimes how to define the “experience.” Sometimes, we even deny having the “experience” which is why we stay in the behavior longer.
For example, at the end of my addiction, I was homeless living in a drug gallery. I went to substance abuse treatment, pregnant and addicted. I did the inpatient part up to like ninety plus days, (in a thirty day “in-patient” program). I have to acknowledge the grace of God who kept me in there for as long as He did because they were putting people out in 30 days or less.
My abuser (my ex-husband) was outside of that Program and I had to go back home to him. I got a reality check when they (the Counseling Staff) let him into the Program for visitation. On that one day of visitation, he forced me to have sex with him. Thank God my Counselor walked in and made him leave! But that made me realize that even though I was abstinent from drugs, my introduction and affiliation to drugs was only correlated to the men in my life, (my Brother and my Ex-husband).
Twelve Step Program
Meanwhile, I had been going to a “Twelve Step Program” daily inside of the substance abuse treatment facility that was teaching me to stay clean (abstinent) from heroin. I had to change, “people, places and things!” Like most of you reading this post, you realize by now that when you are living in addiction, you don’t always have resources to change “people, places or things,” but the Substance Abuse Treatment Program insists it is the ONLY way to successful path of recovery. However, even if you DON’T have the ability to change “people, places, and things” is NOT an excuse to get high! I’m going to prove it to you in the next part of my story!!!
At the onset of my testimony, I shared with you that at the end of my addiction, I was homeless; living in a drug gallery with my ex-husband. What I did not tell you was that the substance abuse facility transferred me to an outpatient facility first. It was a Homeless Shelter for Women. I slept there for one night and I was more terrified of the mice running through the rooms in the dark than I was of relapsing! Having reported the shelter environment to my Counselor and insisting on not going back to the shelter, I got transferred back to the dormitory of the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility for a few days until I convinced my Counselor that I had an alternative place to live; the “drug gallery.”
You see, my (ex-husband) had his Aunt call my Counselor to verify that I could come back and live in her home. What he (my ex-husband) and his Aunt did not tell my Counselor was that it was a “drug gallery.” I did not disclose it either because I was being forced to leave and go to outpatient treatment simply because the substance abuse treatment facility needed the bed, (and I’m sure the insurance benefit ran out).
I had absolutely no other place to go, (other than back to my Mom’s house). The truth is, I had rather been dead than to live with her because she was also at the root of my addiction. As an example, when I relapsed, I was living with my Mother and she let my Husband come back and bring me back into addiction. Not her or anyone else in my family stood on my defense to protect me against my ex-husband’s abuse. In fact, my Mother told me, “If you make your bead hard, you should lay in it! That’s what you get! A ‘hard head’ makes a soft a**!!!”
It was easy for me to omit the truth and tell the Counselor that I wanted to stay with my ex-husband’s Aunt. But, I had a rude a wakening . . . When I moved back into the house, what I did not expect was that my ex-husband was going to live there too! You see, he had moved back home with his Mother who was living with another Sister; his Aunt on the other side of town while I was an inpatient. But, when I came back to the “drug gallery” my ex-husband moved back in as well. Because my ex-husband was NOT in recovery, he continued to get high on heroin with everyone else in that house. He continued to abuse me, (even in my pregnancy; showing at five months). But, what he (my ex-husband) did not anticipate was that when I was in that Substance Abuse Treatment Program, (for the first time since I was ten years old) I cried out to God, (snot flying, tears, and all).
I remembered from Sunday School, God wants us to come to him like children so I asked God for His forgiveness and to please save me from this mess I was in! What my ex-husband did not anticipate was that the POWER of the Holy Spirit (the One Paul talked about) showed up STRONG and MIGHTY!!!
“I am strong for all things in the One who constantly infuses strength in me.” (Philippians 4:13, Expanded Greek Translation)
When the Holy Spirit showed up, He infused STRENGTH into me! Infused,[to cause to be permeated with something (such as a principle or quality) that alters usually for the better]. The Holy Spirit infused His strength into me, the same strength He gave to Jesus, “RESURRECTING STRENGTH!” The Holy Spirit gave me the strength to rise from the dead; in my case “Spiritually dead.” It was all over for my ex-husband!
As a reminder from God, that HIS Holy Spirit had infused strength into me, He sent his Disciple, Debrah (a lady I met in the Substance Abuse Treatment Program) who always had some kind of story about God! She used to get on my nerves . . . Always talking about God! She and I bonded in Group Therapy. I was ok with her bonding with me as long as she did NOT talk about God! But, no matter how I felt, she just kept throwing God into my face, (in every conversation, every time she testified, every therapy group session, etc.). You see, her conviction about God was like Saul’s; she had experienced Him, (God) for herself and it was nothing anyone or anything anyone could do to shut her up! She would say, “You gonna have to kill me!”
So Debrah used to come to the “drug gallery” every day (around about the same time) and knock on the door. She would never come “into” the actual “drug gallery;” she knew better. However, she would walk me to a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting every single day; seven days a week! She told me, “You used drugs every day . . . you need to get a meeting every day!” On the way to that meeting, Debrah would talk about what God had done in her life each day; the struggles of being a single parent with two children, the struggles of raising a child with a disability, the struggles of living at home with her Mom, the struggle of not having a job and dependence on Welfare, etc. etc. etc. She also reminded me that through all of it, she managed not to pick up (no longer use heroin) only with the POWER of God!
I was asking myself, “How could God do that? Did He come down and take the drugs out of her hands? Will He take the needle out of my arm if I get high?” (Remember, I was still very, very sick, mentally because at that time, I could only think like an addict). The fog had not lifted because I was still living in a “drug gallery”daily. Psychologically, your thoughts are shaped by your environment, your experiences, your family, etc.
Consequently, walking to those meetings everyday and sitting and listening to the testimonies of other people was God infusing His STRENGTH into me through His Holy Spirit as well. I heard the most profound, horrible stories in the NA Meetings, and yet NOT ONE could compare to my testimony . . . I was abstinent from drugs, STILL living in a “DRUG GALLERY!” Every night when I left this Twelve Step Meeting, I was going back home to that “drug gallery” where I literally lived and I would see people coming in and out still, (all day and night) getting high all around the clock until early morning.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?—GET HELP! GET OUT NOW!!!
In addition, each day, my ex-husband had a new reason to beat me when I got back from the Twelve Step Meeting, even while I was pregnant. So even though I was no longer craving heroin, the behavior (the abuse) could have triggered a relapse (return to heroin) because I “used to live and lived to use.” In other words, I got high on heroin to cope with the daily physical and verbal abuse, and I survived each day, to look forward to yet another day of the same old pattern of abuse. To me, that was practicing INSANITY!!!
While I did not have a way out at that moment, my perspective was it was better to get beaten by my ex-husband ABSTINENT than getting beaten while on heroin. If you are a drug addict, you know when the heroin wore off, the pain of the beating on top of the heroin withdrawal was pure hell! Consequently, my resolve was to stay clean and sober! When I got “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and going to NA Meetings abused with sunglasses and black eyes and bruises all over my body (while remaining sober and pregnant) the Holy Spirit infused enough strength into me to raise my hand and tell somebody, “Please, I need help!”
Asking for help was unheard of for me because of the experiences I had in the past with my family, (i.e. my Mother, Brother, and Sister, etc). My siblings were all complicit in my childhood abuse from my Mother (as far as I’m concerned) because not one of them stepped in and to say, “Stop hurting her!” My siblings witnessed the abuse. In fact, my Brother participated in the abuse one day, (tying me in a chair with a leather belt) when I threatened to run away from home. He and my Mother while Mother stood there and laughed at me struggling, crying and screaming; trying to get out of the chair.
“Stockholm Syndrome” comes in many forms!!!
I remember another time, my Sister took me to the hospital along with my Mother because I had painted a bruise on my forehead. I was so good at covering up my bruises as a child I could have become a professional makeup artist. But in that situation, as I said, I created a bruise so someone would notice. My Sister noticed it, at that time she was a graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. She took me to the Emergency Room with my Mom and the doctors realized that the bruise was the result of makeup. So they wiped it off. They called down a Counselor, (who questioned me in front of my Mother). I could not disclose to the Counselor with my Mother present because (as I already shared) I was experiencing Stockholm Syndrome; I was being loyal to my abuser; my Mother! Once again, my Mother took me home and humiliated me on the ride home, in front of my Sister and all night at home in the presence of my Brother. “How dare I embarrass her like that!” She was so full of false pride! Subsequently, I did’t tell anyone, I just kept the abuse to myself. But, that was my last year, (so I thought). I had a plan . . . I was suicidal and I was determined to end the abuse with from her one way or another!
Adversely, I had no idea what it was like to say, “I need help! Please help me.” I was even less familiar with someone saying, “How can I help?” But, I took a risk, (timidly, I put up my hand) and I cried and shared openly about living in a “drug gallery” where my ex-husband was still beating the hell out of me and terrifying me verbally, (pregnant and all ) while he was still getting high every day. At that time, I had just started getting Food-Stamps and my ex-husband and all his drug addict Cousins were stealing the food I had put in the freezer. They were selling my food to get high! I was pregnant and hungry and they were stealing food out of my baby’s mouth! My Son’s premature birth was no doubt related to the forms of abuse!
It was a daily struggle going back to the “drug gallery” daily, walking downstairs to the basement to get my laundry and people were always down there shooting up with cocaine, heroin, pills, etc. I just wanted to get my clothes and go to sleep even though I was going to bed hungry. My resolve daily was I could eat at the substance abuse treatment facility the following day. But on one particular day, (after sharing in Group Therapy) Debrah walked me to her house and she and her Mother made sure I had a sandwich or a hot meal, (each and every day until I went into labor).
Meanwhile, my ex-husbands Aunt had moved me to the pull-out couch in the living room. However, it was no consolation because people were coming in all night long. They were walking past my bed to get to the “doctor” of the house; the person who would cook (prepare the drugs) and “hit” them, (find a vein and intravenously put the needle in their body). These drug addicts needed this “doctor” because their veins were hard to find and had collapsed due to all of the drug abuse.
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM . . .
THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL INFUSE COURAGE!!!
Back at the NA Meeting, God had used the Holy Spirit to infuse strength (in the form of courage) to speak openly and honestly about my situation in a room full of people. I was really terrified because I learned that my ex-husband was hiding around the corner at one of those meetings and I dare NOT share HIS SECRET of domestic violence. But on this particular day, the Holy Spirit divinely orchestrated it so the Director of the “House of Ruth” was at the very first NA Meeting I had the COURAGE to share. (That was no coincidence!)
Consequently, she gave me her number and said, “Call me!” When she gave me the number, she did NOT say, “I am the Director of the House of Ruth, a shelter for battered women.” She just said, “Call me!”
The next day, God gave me the power to call the Director of the House of Ruth when I got back to the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility. I told my Counselor I went to a Twelve Step Meeting and shared and I needed to call the lady who gave me her number. My Counselor encouraged me; took me into her office and let me use the phone.
She heard me reach out to that lady who said, “I heard your story. What do you want to do about your problem?”
I said, “I want to stop getting beaten up! I’m tired! I need a place to live!”
The lady told me an address where to come and asked “Do you have a way to get here?”
I did not. But again, God worked it out through that same POWER of the Holy Spirit. I said, “I need help getting there. I don’t have a car. I don’t have a job. I don’t have any money.” My Counselor over heard the conversation and provided a cab voucher. I was well on my way! I showed up with one sweat-suit in a grocery bag.
When I got there, I had to talk to a Counselor about my situation. I had to expose my abuser, (crying; snot and all). However, I didn’t have the courage to talk about all of the abuse. I couldn’t talk about my Mother. She was NOT an immediate threat at the time, just my ex-husband. The fear of talking about my Mother was equally greater than the fear of going back to my ex-husband, but she (my Mother) was my ace in a whole if this scenario at the House of Ruth Shelter did not work out. After all, my Mother had my children, so I had to go back there anyway to get my children back. I just did not want anymore trouble from my Mother because I REALLY wanted this thing called RECOVERY and I knew I ABSOLUTELY could NOT get well around her; she was the SOURCE of my pain!
Meanwhile, the Counselor, showed me to my room, escorted me to a Donation Clothes Closet, the laundry room, laundry supplies and a hot, clean shower with a bathtub and bubbles to take a HOT bath. I was clean, because I was showering daily at the “drug gallery,” (when I could get into the bathroom). But, a bubble bath, no ex-husband to beat on me or harass me for sex, in a room with a closed door that would lock; PURE PEACE!!! I didn’t know what PEACE was anymore! I cried and locked myself in the bathroom and took a hot bubble bath until dinner-time. That bath was for almost three long hours. The staff thought I had drowned—lol!
I was sitting in the tub, reflecting back over my life. What a mess I had made with the decisions I had made, (i.e. marrying an abusive man, leaving my children with an abusive Mother, separated from the only thing in my life I have ever loved; my children). Even though I could NOT forgive myself at THAT time, I knew deep down inside, because a small VOICE reminded me, “This is just the beginning.” It was the HOLY SPIRIT talking to me! I had NOT heard his voice since my Father died!!! I realized at that very moment the teaching of POWERLESSNESS in my addiction caused me to loose everything and everyone!!!
But, this new found POWER I had tapped into from God and His Holy Spirit was far GREATER than seeing myself as a victim! I was STRENGTHEN to ask for help! I was STRENGTHENwith this new found peace! I was STRENGTHEN by creating a plan for recovery with the Counselor! I was STRENGTHEN to arrange transportation to and from my Substance Abuse Treatment Program; arranging the van to pick me up and drop me off daily! I was STRENGTHEN to continue to go to the NA Meetings with Debrah, (i.e. walking, bussing; any means necessary)! I was STRENGTHEN to read the NA Literature! I was STRENGTHEN to pray! I was STRENGTHEN in my confidence to talk openly about God! I was STRENGTHEN to read God’s Word in the Holy Bible! That is the outcome of complete and utterly surrendering to God—STRENGTH and POWER!!!
I was even STRENGTHEN to admit that I did NOT fully understand the Holy Bible, but I was willing to learn more about this God I was praying to daily. After all, I met Him when I was four years old. I had a colorful Children’s Bible that I was reading daily. A the age of four, I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior in Sunday School. Believe it or not, I knew “what” it meant to accept Christ as my Savior, I just didn’t know “how” to apply that acceptance to my life. They told me to read my Bible, but they did not teach me GOD’s PERSPECTIVE and how to interpret HIS meaning.
Meanwhile, I realized I had just turned my back on God at the age of ten because He, (God) took my Father away to heaven (and left me with an abusive Mother). I did NOT loose my salvation because I was using drugs! What I learned after years and years of studying, (not days, not weeks, nor a few short months) I learned that there is NOT one particle of “DARKNESS” in this God that I know and serve. Darkness (sin, evil) does NOT exist in God and the reason my Dad died was because of Satin, (the prince of this world) who introduced my Father to alcohol as a child orphaned by both of his parents. His addiction caused him to get hit by a car, (inebriated I imagine) from which He died resulting internal bleeding in his sleep. I also realized after years and years and years of studying, that God is my Father!
No one; not one person on this earth has loved me the way JESUS does; not even my children! Because the love God has showed me is incomprehensible . . . My testimony is like that of Paul’s; I am the “foremost sinner!”
Remember Paul’s testimony???
“Trustworthy is the word and worthy of unqualified acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I in contradistinction to anyone else am foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15, Expanded Greek)
The key is, not only do I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me, . . I now ACKNOWLEDGE His presence. You too can have the Holy Spirit living inside of you . . .
You can keep trying this on your own until you get “sick and tired of being sick and tired or death!” But if you are ready to surrender today, repeat after me . . .
Jesus, I am sorry for absolutely EVERYTHING and ANYTHING I have done unpleasing to YOU in my life! I want and NEED you to live inside of me and SAVE me! I need you to be my SAVIOR! I do BELIEVE you lived and died on a cross for ALL of MY sins. I do BELIEVE you were buried! I also BELIEVE you rose from DEATH after the third day! I pray this prayer in your holy and matchless name; Jesus the Christ! Amen!
If you said that prayer, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!!! At the moment you uttered those words, the Holy Spirit took residence in you too! And now you have the One who infuses STRENGTH living inside of you as well!
Be aware that life is NOT necessarily going to get easier at this moment, today or tomorrow! But, now your “PERSPECTIVE”on how to live life on life terms will change . . .
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4, New International Version)
“Consider it a matter for unadulterated joy [without any admixture of sorrow] whenever you fall into the midst of variegated trials which surround you, knowing experientially that the approving of your faith, that faith having been put to the test for the purpose of being approved, and having met the test, has been approved, [that this approving process] produces a patience which bears up and does not lose heart or courage under trials. But be allowing the aforementioned patience to be having its complete work in order that you may be spiritually mature and complete in every detail, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4, Expanded Greek Translation, Kenneth Wuest)
If you continue to Pray to God, go to Twelve Step Meetings, don’t pick up, get a Sponsor, (preferably someone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ; a Christian like you) and read your literature (a “Twelve Step Guide” and your Bible) you will be well on your way to recovery.
If you’re not ready for Church yet, that’s cool! It’s not about religion; it’s about RELATIONSHIP with GOD! I know how difficult it is to fit into a Church with “Church People” who have a predisposition about your addictive behavior and your past. But you just tell them for me . . . You are a NEW creature . . .
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, New American Standard Bible)
As for me, you can always find me here at Kingdom Fire Ecumenical Church, an open door for misfits like me, kingdomfireecumenicalchurch.wordpress.com. I’ll always have a Word of encouragement . . . I know what it’s like to allow someone to love you (Spiritually) until you finally learn to love yourself!
But, keep in mind this one thing . . . Only SINNERS (like us) choose to come to a place called “Church” to get help!!! It’s like going to a “Twelve Step Program” with a bunch of strangers; everyone coming to one place because we all need healing. The difference is this time, the Doctor is Jesus; the ”Church” is His people. We HIS PEOPLE are all over the world!!!
He is the one who has loved you from the beginning and He will continue to love you to the end!
You are “The Chosen!” I have provided the link on the menu page for your free viewing . . . Enjoy!!!
“For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again . . .” (Proverbs 24:16)