From Addicted to Free

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Reflecting on last night, I am amazed at what God can bring people through. As I type that, a little voice inside my head says, “how do you know it’s God?” (I also wonder if that little voice gets steaming mad when I capitalize that “G”) Last night I stood on a stage in front of quite a few people with a sign stating “I WAS ADDICTED TO ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES.” For those of you who have never taken one of your greatest shames and broadcast them in such a way, I would have to encourage you to do so.
A downward spiral of events led me to believe that I needed alcohol and nicotine as well to deal with stress and drown out the pain that PTSD had brought into my so-called life. Guzzling down a 12-pack (minimum) each night and smoking (a pack-2 packs) until my lungs hurt every day/night is no life at all. Not only was I addicted, but I didn’t care that I was addicted. A feeling of apathy consumed everything. My addiction took me to a place where I didn’t care if I lived or died. I remember having dreams where I would drive off a cliff and being ok with that. I remember a time when I told my husband about such a dream and he said very solemnly, “You’re scaring me.” It’s a sad thing to scare the people you love most. And it’s even sadder when you think about the enemy of your soul rejoicing as you do.
I never thought I’d be in this place. I never thought I would look back on my life at some of the things I’ve been through, wondering how I made it; how God kept me safe all those years I neglected to revere His Holy Name. It’s about so much more than “religion.” It’s about the best relationship you could ever hope to have. Words, spoken or typed on this computer, could never express what God can and will do in your life. If you let Him. He never pushes anyone into anything they don’t want. When I prayed with that beautiful counselor on March 12, 2009, fully intending to hit the drive-through liquor store on the way home (who put that on the same street for cryin’ out loud?) God knew the desires of my heart and rescued me from my enemy and my self. He is so good and so cool and He knows you better than you know your stubborn self. He doesn’t force you to give up things you love. He loves you until you choose to give up the things that don’t love you back.
The other side of side of my sign said: “NOW GOD’S BANNER OVER ME IS FREEDOM.”

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