I was seven years old when my parents got divorced. I was 31 when I began these last 7 years of life in recovery.
I got to choose. Either I was going to keep walking as the victim on the inside of the loss I'd had as a child - escaping with my drugs of choice - food, alcohol, overexercise - or I was going to find the courage to change. In one instant I got to choose to be victory or defeat. In one moment, I heard God's voice calling me to a new life and I chose to believe. I may have been a victim as a child to a change I couldn't control. But as a grown woman, I could take control of my own life and choices. I could stop reacting by running away (literally and figuratively).
I could stop the cycle and get the help.
I'm glad today - BEYOND glad, I got the help.
I am a victor in Christ. I'm an overcomer. Where I am weak, HE is strong. Where WE are weak and can't find our way - HE can be the light...
My heart aches for those who are broken on the inside - especially those of our next generation who are deep in the trenches of peer and life pressure with access to substances at every corner. I'm glad to take this opportunity to mark Mental Health Awareness month to share my testimony of getting help and to point out the importance of THEIR mental health. They are our future.
No matter how much we may have materially or resourcefully, or how much our parents love us - we can still hurt at the depths of our soul. There are a lot of kids out there, and grown adults who still struggle with past trauma, with feelings of brokenness, low self-esteem, insecurity and fear that occurred from things like divorce, loss, toxic homes and more. Without another way the quick-fix escape from reality becomes alcohol, drugs, food, cutting, and the like, but they don't HAVE to go there. And if they GO there, they don't have to stay there. They have a choice. But it's up to those of us who've walked through the pain to share the hope.
I am blessed to have found a spiritual program at the young age of 31. It is the program that pulled me out of my spiritual emptiness. It's the program that pulled me out of my destructive thinking, behaviors, and broken heart. It's the program that showed me the way to WALK this life, instead of escape from it. Most importantly - it is the program of 12 step that opened the door for a new relationship with God that I never knew was possible. It's the program that gave me the space for self-seeking so that God could remove the hurt and the pain in my heart to bring peace.
I truly believe the solution to all the struggles our next generation face in unhealthy behaviors could be solved by a spiritual solution. Not everyone belongs in a 12-step program, but everyone - especially every child deserves a spiritual solution. I know you and I can be part of that solution.
Another thing the program and my relationship with God did was bring me to the Word of God which brings LIFE. Today I find abundance in it and I just wanted to share one of the stories that was brought to me today as I looked up the significance of the number 7 in the Bible and found one of my favorites. I hope it speaks to you....
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
This story is proof that he heals the BROKEN hearted (like you and me). Not only that - he wants to take care of us. He wants to provide for us. Here are the Disciples going, "We've only got 7 loaves," and he's saying, "That's okay," and just does what only he can do with the little they had. The story is proof, that he can do MUCH with the little we might have. Maybe it's a mustard seed of faith. Maybe it's something in us that we know we can't do enough with - but we TRUST that HE can do, because with 7 loaves he can feed 4000.
A little Musical Inspiration
There are two songs that speak to me right now in this stage of my sobriety. I hope you'll watch the videos below and they will speak to you.
The first one is called "Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)", by Hillsong and it is one of those whose lyrics often play in my mind:
"All these pieces broken and scattered in mercy gathered mended and whole. Empty-handed but not forsaken. I've been set free. I've been set free. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. Oh I can see you now. I can see the love in your eyes. Laying yourself down. Raising up the broken to life....So take this heart Lord, I'll be your vessel - the world to see - your life in me."
It reminds me of the verse that has been speaking so profoundly to me in Romans 12:1-2. "Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, please and perfect will."
The second, "Through All of It" by Colton Dixon - I heard last night on the way to a meeting and the words were just so profound. Most poignant were these, "I have won and I have lost. I got it right sometimes, but sometimes I did not. Life's been a journey. I've seen joy. I've seen regret. Oh and YOU have been my God through all of it."
The last one came on while I was writing and it sums it all up and it's called "Thank you Jesus" by Hillsong. "You've given me life. You've opened my eyes. I love you Lord. I love you Lord. You've entered my heart. You've set me apart. I love you Lord. I love you Lord."
Thank you Jesus.