Although I am a pretty open and honest person about my past, it terrifies me to talk about struggles I still face. More than the fear of being judged, fear that one day my image will be tainted in my kid’s minds.
And as scared as I am of being vulnerable, I am even more terrified of not being obedient to Christ… so here it goes:
Alcohol is something I have struggled with a great deal in my past. It started even before I was the legal age to drink. I used it as my go-to for everything, but mostly to cope with the abuse I went through. I don’t think even the closest friend of mine realized how bad it was.
If I was sad, heartbroken, afraid, hurt, angry… if anything was wrong at all, I would drink. Sometimes even when nothing was wrong at all.
I deal with of an overwhelming schedule of college, teaching, working, and kids… and sometimes it still comes to mind. It is a constant wrestling. “If you really love God, why would you even consider that? If you’re really a Christian, why would you even have those thoughts?” That is when the guilt and shame start to creep in. The enemy makes me question if I am even saved at all. I mean, a saved person would never think like that, right?
Galatians 2:20 is one of my all time favorite verses:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me.”
I read this verse all the time. I repeat it over and over in my mind.
Although I know I have been transformed by Christ, I’m human and my flesh still fails me daily. Even though I have new affections for Christ, the enemy comes in and makes me doubt myself, He is so good at reminding people of their past.
A few months ago I drove out of my garage with all intentions of going to the liquor store. I was so stressed, all I wanted was to not feel anything for a little while. That desire that is way too familiar crept in and I listened to it. As I was driving I started to weep. I drove around like a mad woman. Driving, crying, and screaming out to God.
“God please be enough for me right now. I need you to be enough. You know my heart and you know that I’m struggling.God I don’t want to go back to a life without you. As much as I want to drown myself in alcohol right now, I need you more.”
In that moment I started to think about the feelings I had when I drank all the time. I felt better for a while, but it never, ever lasted. The feeling would eventually go away and the feeling of hopelessness would overcome my life.
…BUT NOW I FOUND A SOURCE OF LIVING WATER THAT NEVER RUNS DRY. IT NEVER RUNS OUT. HE GIVES ME A JOY THAT NEVER EVER GOES AWAY. HE GIVES ME A PEACE THAT IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION AND IS EVERLASTING. HE IS BETTER THAN ANY HIGH, ANY DRUNKENNESS THAT I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED.
HIS NAME IS JESUS CHRIST!
John 4:14 says: “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him, will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
That night I drove back to my house the same way I left.
If you have struggled or know anyone who has ever struggled with alcohol, you know how big of an accomplishment that is.
Jesus himself was tempted while in the flesh. Even though He was always without sin, I find comfort in knowing that He knows exactly how I feel sometimes because He experienced being tempted. It makes me feel that much closer to Him. He knows my heart, and He knows my struggles, and I run to Him and not away from Him, for He provides a way out.
And even though my human flesh still fails me and there are times when I still mess up and make a mess of myself; I know He makes something beautiful out of my mess.
I hold on tightly to Jesus. HE IS ENOUGH.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 ❤
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”- Psalm 73:26 ❤