Do you or someone you know struggle with overcoming the stronghold of addiction? If so, I invite you to join me as I begin a new series of posts...
Zena is a wonderful godly lady that I started cleaning for a few years ago—right after I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies. : ) I love my cleaning business and am waiting for the LORD to open the right door for me to use my degree someday too.
So anyway, as I was saying…
I was cleaning Zena’s house--and what a beautiful home it is! I have never been in a house like hers. I love the atmosphere!
Well, I was in her master bathroom and was cleaning the mirror over the sink, when I stopped and stared at the room for a moment—as my eyes followed the tiles along the top of the tub and then to the floor beneath, a memory suddenly filled my mind.
That memory was of a morning seventeen years ago…
I had gone out the night before and met some people at a bar who offered me drugs. That night was just one of many nights that I started out to have just one drink to feel better—but didn’t stop.
During those years of darkness, I was deceived. I had received the lie that I was a victim and that it was not my fault that I continued in sin. In fact, the world calls addiction an incurable disease. But God calls it being a slave to sin…
Being deceived and in darkness, I left with strangers that night—people I just wanted to get drugs from so I could keep feeling better.
As I stared at the smooth tile in Zena’s bathroom, I remembered how I felt in that strange cold bathroom of the hotel room all those years ago…
It was the next morning and I was alone. The party was over. The alcohol and drugs had worn off. I was cold and sick. The weight of shame and self-loathing had me in a choke-hold. Two words tortured my mind: “Not again!!!!”—I hated myself. I wanted to die.
That is when I looked and saw a glass on the sink of the bathroom. I took it and knelt beside the tub and broke the glass against the tile. Staring at the broken piece of glass, I lowered it to just above my wrist. I wanted to do it! I didn’t want to live that way any longer! I had tried to stop! I felt hopeless and completely worthless.
I was experiencing what the Bible calls the sorrow of the world. “For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
I was only sorry that I couldn’t stop drinking and taking drugs. I didn’t see the sinfulness of my actions the way God did. I had no understanding of the way my sin was affecting others. I had no thought of how much I was hurting my own family.
I did not understand that I was the only one responsible for the choices I was making. The truth was I was not a victim as the world teaches. I wasn’t a victim of an incurable disease—I simply had sin in my life and had become a slave to it. I was a transgressor! Why? Because I was choosing my own ways instead of God’s ways.
Once again, that morning I was reaping what I had sown—the way of a transgressor is hard…
But God had mercy on me and He brought Robyn and Mike to my mind. Yes, I still had two beautiful children, I thought to myself. But I was deceived about that too! I had let them go while lost in my sin. I was so wrapped up in my own sinful lifestyle that I lost the ones I loved most in this world. They were living with their father.
But God helped me that morning when I was ready to literally give up on life…
The thought of my children was enough to thwart the devil’s plan for me to kill myself. As much as I wanted to die, I couldn’t do that to them. I put the glass down and began to cry and tell God how sorry I was and prayed once again for His help.
Then I stood up and looked in the mirror at the weak eyes staring back and tried to rub the black mascara smudges from underneath them. I had to stop thinking of how much I hated myself and kick into survival mode. Turning, I walked out of the bathroom. I headed for the elevator and went down to the lobby. I had to try to find my way home.
It would take seven more years before I would truly find my way home—complete deliverance from the sinful stronghold of addiction through Jesus Christ. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36).
Wow—back again to the present, I looked around Zena’s bathroom with relief and joy!! Right then and there, I thanked God for not letting me kill myself that morning seventeen years ago!
I would have never known my beautiful grandchildren or that life could be so good! I stood there in Zena’s bathroom and stared in the mirror, cleaning cloth in hand, and thought of how wonderful life was now—being completely and utterly delivered from the stronghold of addiction by God’s merciful love, grace and power!
Next week I’ll continue this series with: