I want to share my vision with you, my reading family and fellowship group.
Back several years ago, as my family was coming apart, I would attend church and bible studies weekly, and come home feeling worse than when I left. Jesus had been a part of my life since I was 8 years old. He had walked with me down some rough road, so I knew He was with me, but I had no idea how to live a life worthwhile to be called a Christ-follower. All I felt was failure, shame and embarrassment. I could not share my faith, why, they would see right through my hypocritical veneer and I would be exposed for the fraud I was, or felt that I was.
I dropped completely out of fellowship and rolled around in codependent and love addiction relapse for a good six months, even visited the valley of eating disorders. Finally, I found recovery. Twelve steps to sanctification, sanity and a way to walk out my talk, and how I really felt about God being in my life. To come clean and not feel ashamed. Whoo hoo! Now, 4 years later, I am blogging my little heart out, and feel led to bring it to book form and take the message to people that are still wandering around, going to meetings, churches and the like, wondering why they, like I once did, feel worse after hearing a good message than they did before. Why is everyone else living a great life? How come I can’t seem to figure it out? Well, there is great hope and encouragement in this road map of health and wholeness, the journey to healing found in step work. Once my book is out, I can take it places and share my story, hopefully using what I have to encourage folks to find the peace and joy that we were intended walk in. The 12th step in action!
Just to see how far I have come, in one of my early journal entries, I write about how I am struggling with sin. My dysfunctional behaviors seem to have me completely at their mercy.
Sin seems to be all around me and sin’s pathways are easy to take, but in the end cause relapse, heartache and grief to God. I dishonor God when I take the easy path and sin to get a momentary need met, instead of submitting to His plan. (2013)
This is where we all start. I started my recovery journey at the bottom, feeling pretty hopeless about my chances of getting anywhere, but too desperate for improvement in my circumstances to quit. This is where you are willing to do almost anything to get/stay clean of your addiction or dysfunctional behavior. For me, it meant in the early weeks of my recovery and working with my sponsor the deleting of certain people out of my life. The relationships were inappropriate and played into my sin behaviors.
Sin is often thought of as a violation of the 10 commandments. But to me, it is any behavior, thought or attitude that pushes us away from God. Now, I know some folks think that sin is an old-fashioned idea. Like I said, sin is just another word for the separation we feel from God and each other because of selfish and destructive behaviors, thoughts or attitudes. Call it what you will, it has the same effect.
My gratitude for people’s patience with me during that time knows no bounds. I was insufferably self-pitying. Sure, I was a wronged party in a relationship with an addict, but that did not make me lily-white, or Polly-pure-heart by any stretch. The steps helped me realize my part. And once I realized my part, I could do business with God, and suddenly the stuff that had been blocking my relationship with God and my ability to walk as a Christ-follower suddenly shifted. Like sun from out behind the clouds.
There’s more to say, of course. I will leave you with this for now. Please check out my GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com if you are interested in partnering with me to bring this into book form, and move the vision forward that God gave me for this blog, and really my life.
Much love to you always my good friends.