Living Well After Addiction

My eyes were on the road ahead with my hands planted firmly on the steering wheel.  I was completely sober and finding myself in the very act of living a simple, peaceful, normal, life...

I was driving home from church—just like almost every Sunday evening for months.  Dusk had settled in outside as gospel music played softly inside my car.  I felt peace all around and inside of me.

Gratefulness to God swept over my senses as I felt the beauty of His grace sink into my heart. 

Jesus can indeed

call us out

of darkness into

His marvelous light!

Some might ask, “What’s so special about a peaceful drive home from church?”  But to someone once addicted to alcohol and drugs—in contrast to the old life—it felt like a miracle!

The life of addiction

is filled with the

vicarious consequences

of faulty thinking

and unwise choices.

“Normal” for me then had been a life of continuous regret, anxiety, and foreboding—from past, present or future calamities.  Drama and crisis had become my life’s hallmarks.

If you or someone you know is in bondage to the stronghold of addiction, I have good news—there is a reason for hope!  The Lord Jesus Christ can and will deliver a person out of that life of darkness and make a new life possible.

9 ½ years ago, the Lord brought me to the point of total surrender and I made the decision to enter a faith-based, six-month residential recovery program: The Reformers Unanimous Discipleship School in Rockford, Illinois.

It was a

spiritual greenhouse

where I became

rooted in a daily

personal relationship

with my Lord and

Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Unlike other recovery programs I’d been in, I learned that addiction was a sinful stronghold—not an incurable disease. 

Being in bondage to that sinful stronghold didn’t mean that would be my identity for the rest of my life. 

I was simply a sinner in need of deliverance.  They pointed me to the Lord—the One who could finally make me free!

At rehabs in the past, I had been prescribed medications such as anti-depressants or other mind-altering chemicals—but the ‘daily meds’ I received in Rockford actually fixed my thinking.

Those ‘daily meds’ included:

  • Bible-reading and devotion time every morning before the 8-hour work day at the ministry office began;
  • Chapel service each evening after supper;
  • Bible study before bedtime;
  • Church services every Wednesday evening and twice on Sundays;
  • Bible College class on Saturday mornings.

It really was a spiritual greenhouse!  And what is a greenhouse but a protective environment optimized for growth and wellness? 

Proactively guarding

our heart can

help us live well

after addiction.

After I came home, I instinctively knew I needed to continue protecting my heart.  I needed God-given boundaries in my life.  The Lord had changed my desires and my choices became a reflection of that change.

True freedom is measured and found in boundaries.
— Bro. Steve Curington, Founder of Reformers Unanimous

I began to receive calls from some of the people I used to drink and do drugs with once they found out I was home again.  I remember the first call and how I gave my testimony of all the Lord had done for me.  But that person never called back again. 

A few days later someone else called, but I felt the Holy Spirit warning me not to have anything to do with that person. So I just hung up the phone.  After a few more calls and hanging up, that person finally quit calling.  

You can pray

and ask God for

wisdom to know

which relationships to

keep in your own life. 

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
— Psalm 1:1

I also learned that my taste in music had changed.  I had always been a music lover but found that I had become sensitive to it. 

It was like I immediately recognized the spirit of different kinds of music.  I decided that if the music didn’t turn my spirit toward the Lord, then I didn’t want to be influenced by it.

Watching television was another area I learned to guard my heart.  If there was immorality and ungodliness, profanity or immodesty, then I didn’t watch it. 

Having boundaries

isn’t legalistic—

it’s relational. 

We are loved by God the same regardless of anything we do or don’t do.  These boundaries in my life are placed there out of my love for God and wanting to give Him first place in my life.

God-given boundaries

provide us with

the freedom to

seek out true

spiritual nourishment. 

Along with devotion time in the Bible every morning and becoming a member of a local Bible-believing church—I began volunteering in the nursery and later at a Christian school for a while.

Being around children really ministers to my soul!  I love spending time in their presence, seeing life fresh through their eyes of innocence.  God has continued blessing me with five more grandchildren in the last six years! : )

While it’s important

to have boundaries,

it’s also good

to explore new

opportunities

in life. 

Soon after coming home, I discovered a love for photography. I went back to college and earned a Bachelor degree; and more recently God has given me a renewed love for writing.  He led me to begin this blog where I can share there is real hope for complete deliverance from addiction.

Addiction has a way of keeping us from finding our true calling in life. Thankfully that stronghold is no match for God’s power!

We are all clay in the Potter’s Hand—we just have to yield to what God is doing in our heart.  

Dear friend, you can pray and ask God how to begin protecting your own heart.  I don't know where you are in your walk with the Lord, but we can find our God-given boundaries in His Word.  While addiction is a life built on the shifting sands of our own best thinking--our life after addiction can be built on God's Word.

Our

heavenly Father

has provided all

that we need

for living well

after addiction.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
— Psalm 1:2-3