Monday, March 1, 2010

My Story

We were sitting in a restaurant on a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon. My husband and I were there celebrating my 28th birthday and our little boy, who would soon turn 2, was at my parents for the afternoon. My husband asked me if I had imagined I would be married with children 5 years prior, on my 23rd birthday at the age of 28. My answer was, undoubtedly, no.

I woke the morning following my 23rd birthday on my couch in my one bedroom apartment. There were two large bottles of fuzzy navel flavored wine coolers at my feet and beer cans littered the living room floor. The apartment reeked, an ashtray full of cigarette butts on the coffee table to blame. I took a deep breath and felt a sharp pain as the air whisked through my lungs. I headed to the medicine cabinet and popped two Tylenol for a pounding headache. It didn't matter that I couldn't remember what transpired the night before, I had spent the night alone.

I saw the bright red, oozing cuts across my stomach as I peeled off the clothes from the day before. I found the neosporin and began treating the cuts. I didn't care much or myself or my body, but I knew the pain of sitting at my desk all day would be unbearable if the cuts went untreated. It was a Wednesday and I had to go to work. I was already on probation for absenteeism and tardiness and needed the money to pay my court fees for my recent DWI conviction.

After I finished dressing the cuts, I threw on a shirt and pants from the laundry hamper. I knew I looked disheveled, but I did not have the time or energy to shower. I opened the door to face the world. The birds were singing, the sun was shining-- it was yet another beautiful day that I would not enjoy.

Another year passed and I spent my 24th birthday in much the same fashion. I woke in my bed the following morning with a pounding headache, amnesia from the night before and someone I hardly knew passed out on my living room floor. I knew something had to change. I feared I would not survive to see my 25th birthday.

I went online and found a large church nearby. I decided to go the following weekend and join a small group. They had an appealing singles ministry and I thought I might find a suitable mate. I had long thought depression and loneliness from a lack of human companionship led to my alcohol abuse.

After joining the small group, my life began to change. I learned that despite the sinful and disgraceful life I was leading, that God loved me. That He would forgive it all if I would simply ask. I began to understand why Christ came and why He died upon the cross. When it finally became clear to me that He died on my behalf, that He knowingly and willfully allowed His body to be nailed to a tree for my freedom and salvation, my entire life changed. I became blissfully aware that there was something incredible that I had yet to claim. 24 years on this Earth and I had not once claimed my freedom. And how easy it was-- only a prayer away. After years of fighting addictions and pain, my freedom was only a prayer away.

Soon after I was baptized, I began serving within the singles ministry. About six months prior to my 25th birthday, I woke one morning and realized that I had not had a drink in a week. I had been seven nights free of alcohol and I felt incredible. For the first time in a long, long time, I could walk outside and smell the fresh air, feel the sunshine on my face and enjoy this beautiful world God created.

There are times I wish I could say "Yeah, I beat my addiction. I took alcoholism DOWN". But the truth is that I never had the courage or strength to overcome my addictions, until Christ did it for me. Just as He did the day He died for me.

It is by the grace of Jesus Christ that I have been saved, delivered, and healed.


Beth E. said...

What a powerful testimony, Lou. Praising GOD for delivering you and healing you!


Debbie said...

Lou, I am so glad I came here to visit you from Beth's blog. I love people who are transparent and share from the heart. It's obvious to me that you are one of those.

There is nothing too hard for our God! No addiction at all. Although I don't have the same problem, I have my own. We all do and thank God for His grace and mercy and I might add ...His patience with us.

I've messed up and gone back on my knees and He forgives me. He has forgiven my past, present and even future sins. How awesome is that?

I couldn't go another day without His help and His strength.

I pray that you will continue to blog and be encouraged. This blogging community you are joining is awesome. I've been blessed with so many new BFF and have even met a few too. Tomorrow I'm going on a day trip with a blogging friend to meet another blogging friend. How cool is that?

So nice to 'meet you' Lou.

I'll be back!


-stephanie- said...

What an amazing testimony. Reminds me of 1Cor 1:26-30. Praise Him! said...

I came by from Beth's blog to say hello.

Thank God for his grace, mercy, and for giving us his son to take away our sin and to give us the life He desires.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Ginger said...

Hi Lou,

I'm Ginger and I'm visiting via my good friend Beth's blog. What an amazing testimony and story.

Thank you for sharing so openly from you heart. God truly is good. Blessings to you.

Ginger said...

Hi Lou,

I'm just stopping by from my good friend Beth's blog. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful testimony and story.

God is good. Have a great day.