I walked a walk with Jesus that I thought was good…from 1979 all the way to 2007. I found out, however, exactly what my God meant when He said, “Your righteousness is as filthy rags”. Dr James Kennedy, who is in heaven now, made a very funny but true statement when he said, “I don’t want to hang around with any Christian I wouldn’t want to be handcuffed to when they die”. Our walk is our own and it must be worked out “with fear and trembling“. (God said that, not me.)
It began when I was just 11 years old in New York City, where I was born and raised. I learned from my mom that Valium is the perfect candy for whatever bothers you; just pop one when you’re felling blah. My dad, on the other hand, handed me wine, beer & Scotch for those anxious times I had. I very quickly learned that popping a pill or two and drinking a one drink or more is the perfect solution to ending my emotional torment. I didn’t know Jesus then so, yes, I was tormented by life in all ways. I was the only survivor and seventh child of eight children born to my parents. Yes…that was very challenging (to say the least) for my parents to work through. As for me and my family, death was an everyday ‘thang’…and life sucked for all of us. I didn’t know that Jesus was watching and waiting for me to come to Him; I just had no clue back then.
Without going on and on about my life right now, you can read between the lines, I’m sure. You can most likely tell that my Addiction began at age 11. It wouldn’t be until many, many years later that I would find myself to be brand spanking new to human emotion. I was so numbed by drugs and alcohol that I never ‘felt’…I never processed through any emotion except for that of despair…until my awakening in 2007. It was not until then that I realized I could have compassion…that I could cry…that I could feel joy…that the peace beyond all understanding was mine as my inheritance from Jesus, and I finally ‘felt‘ it and knew it. It is just in the past five years that I have known true human emotion and it’s awesome. When you ‘wake up’ from drug addiction, the world is beautiful; even what isn’t beautiful is beautiful.
My point right now is that I am of the firm belief that had I died when I was supposed to (in a coma), I would not have made it to the heaven I was planning to go to. Although I had been ‘saved’ in 1079, on May 10th, my walk consisted of a deep rooted ‘idolatry’ being that of Addiction! I didn’t know that then but I know that now. You can commit to love the Lord your God but you MUST walk in His ways…not yours. God truly humbled me when I came to that realization. If you disagree, which you are entitled to do, remember to read your Bible first…the parts about ongoing repetitive sin being that of idolatry; not to mention the sin of ‘drunkenness’ as well. No one can keep doing the same sin over and over and over again, and be expecting the blessings of our God. It just isn’t who God is. He is Holy and rightfully to be respected and obeyed. Dueteronomy has become my theme song to those I help with addiction…in that it is all explained as to what happens with ongoing sin. I will God’s Words of Deuteronomy 28 below. Judge for yourself. Rightly divide the Word of God and do what He says. It’s His way, not mine…not yours…not theirs…just His. Remember, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”.
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
“Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
“The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
“Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
“Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
“Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
“Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
“The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
“The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away. The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed.The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
“You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes. Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them. Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no strength in your hand. A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually.So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
“The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone. And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
“You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
“The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
“Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
“They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you. You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
“If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed. You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.
“Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone. And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
“And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
If you’re in an addiction and you’re a Christian, there’s an end to all the insanity. Addicts No More is a branch of our Addiction Ministry we call Teshuvah Road where we take you on a Holy journey to total and complete deliverance. You will be Free Forever. If you’re not a Christian, come anyway. None of this is about money…we turn no one away. You can do this from home with us. It’s simple and it works. It works because God works! My God is way bigger than any addiction. Addiction has an end. It’s not a disease and it’s not going to return. God never makes you climb 12 steps only to keep tripping on them and falling down. He also has no imaginary wagon to fall off and get back on. Addiction is sin. Jesus died to free us from our sin. Do the math!
I had just arrived on the floor of the hospital’s detox unit. I had just been transferred from the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit where I fought hard for my life back. Jesus had mercy to give me yet another chance. It had gotten very serious. The ravages of long term drug addiction had taken hold of me to my near death. To complicate the matter, I also had jumped two stories out a neighbor’s window and was cut up pretty badly; however, no broken bones. I was in the throws of the insanity of withdrawal…not withdrawal from not taking the 12 narcotics my body was used to, but the withdrawal of my body needing more. It was too much. That was 5 years ago and I’m here to tell my story…little by little.
Want to know the drug I took everyday? Here they are: Oxycontin, Vicodin, Norco, Soma, Ativan, Methadone, Morphine, Fentanyl Tabs, Fentanyl Patches, Codeine and Percocet. As if these weren’t enough, I also took antidepressants. ALL these were given to me by a doctor I trusted…a doctor who had put me in a coma and in CCU. I was so seriously into my addiction that I lost my bodily functions during the latter years of that addiction and slept most of the time. It was hell and I didn’t even know I had arrived there. That’s how insidious addiction is! Praise God for my daughter, Shari; she saved my life.
Well, getting to the point of this post today, I am putting here Psalm 139. This is my Psalm that I will agree to share with you :=) There I was in detox with 3 other roomies who were psycho; that’s for another post. My youngest daughter, Cyndi, had come to visit me in cardiac intensive care and asked me if I had my Bible with me. Huh? I had been scooped up off the road by an ambulance…how would I stop by my house for a Bible? For those of you who are messing with drugs, when I was found on the road, unable to move and bleeding from glass in my skin from jumping out a window, the withdrawal caused me not to know my own name. All I knew was my first name and Social Security number. I knew absolutely nothing about where I lived or who my family was. Still think drugs are cool? In any case, I didn’t stop off to get my Bible. So, Cyndi ‘stole’ one from the hospital chapel and brought it to me during her first visit to see me. That Bible was how the Lord Jesus spoke to me every moment I was a patient there. Although what I went through was hell, my Bible opened right up to Psalm 139 where God told me how much He loved me and that my life truly mattered. Although I had been saved for more than twenty years at the time, I first ‘heard’ God say “I love you”. So, here was God’s ‘love letter’ to me and that was the moment I knew my life was to turn completely around…
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Yes, my friends, Jesus loves you no more and no less than He loves me. He knows your pain just as He knew mine. He’s right there with His nail scarred hands asking you to reach out for Him…just as He did to me. Grab His hands just as I did – both of them…it’s a rush like no other and He’s health to your flesh ( mind body & spirit). Oh yes…He completely heals addiction too!!! Give Him your life if you don’t know Him. If you a Christian in addiction, as I was, He wants you back! Just tell Him you’ve been doin’ this walk all wrong and that you need another chance. He is a God of miracles, great mercy and many second chances.
I have a real problem with Christian(???) 12 steppers still tagging themselves and others who are over addiction, an “addict” for the rest of their lives. I can understand the ignorance of the 12 steppers, who have not found Jesus, thinking this stupidity because they know nothing of the things of the Spirit; however, Christians? I have to think about whether they are my brethren or not. After all, they are denying the Power of our God! You know the Scripture from 2 Timothy 3:5 that says…“having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” So, I have nothing to do with them and I do “turn away”. Then, you have the Christian(???) steppers who say they are “powerless” and “diseased”. Well, I guess they have never read their Bible where God says, in 2 Tim 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND”. Hmmmm! Let’s see now. In Christ, I have “POWER” and a “SOUND MIND“! That means you are NOT powerless and NOT diseased. What herasy!!! If you want to keep using and using over and over again, then remain powerless and beat yourself up about having a relapsing disease and go to your hopeless and helpless AA meetings and feel sorry for yourselves. If you’re not a Christian, then I can’t expect you to feel hope; however, if you say you are a Christian, you had better get with the program before you find yourself in hell…both here and in the life to come.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 – GOD said it & meant it!
Bottom Line is that Addiction is Sin, not a disease. Addiction is a choice…a bad one.
Choose to give your sin of Addiction to Jesus
and be healed – Forever!
So, how can we access His blessings? I will tell you. We can approach anything with two sides…choose the flip side. In this life, there is good and there is evil. It’s a choice to receive the good. Choose life or choose death. You have heard about seeing a glass half full or half empty; choose half full. Endurance wins the race…not speed. When darkness comes, flip the light switch to ‘on’ and all courage and joy will be illuminated. If you have suffered pain, say “now I’m free” instead of speaking of your past pain. If it’s daylight, praise God that you can see the beauty rather than say, “when it’s dark, I’m lost”. See the good & rebuke the evil. Invite Jesus in; He is standing there, knocking at the door to your soul.
Prescription drug abuse ended the life of this young man and continues to cause death to many across the country.
As we lead people to the Cross to end their addiction forever, I often am forced to reflect on my own journey back from what was my own darkness in addiction. I never want to forget…not even for a heartbeat. The ‘tease’ of the early highs to keeping up with using more and more so as to not get sick in the (literal) hell of withdrawal. It was the great seduction of the drugs. After only a few times, the drugs own you…and your soul. You cannot get free except for when God sends that one person who sees you for who you are and reaches out for the Rescue! In my case, it was my older daughter, bless her soul. She had been through it two years before and could see the signs that I was sinking fast. The drugs had such control over me that I didn’t even understand what was happening to my mind; that shouldn’t have been because I had been a nurse for over 25 years and I should have known what I didn’t know. Doctor and nurses just don’t learn about addiction in our training. It’s presented in a couple of moments and then it’s never mentioned again. Strange, huh? Don’t think, if you’re using, that you will escape what I went through. Just to brief you quickly right now, I lapsed into a coma, jumped out of a window to what was supposed to be my death, and then fought for my life in the cardiac care unit when my heart gave up and I lay there dehydrated and lifeless.
It’s hard at first. I remember not knowing how to ‘feel’. I didn’t know how to deal with anger because drugging covered all of that up for me. Tears were foreign to me. I couldn’t understand the compassion I suddenly had. What about anxiety? No more drugs to eliminate it. I know now that everyone goes through this. Drugs and alcohol mask everything that is human within us. Remember, it owns your soul. Emotions and feelings need to be processed properly and you need guidance and skills to know how to do that. These are things that are normal for all those ending their addiction. It’s just a matter of learning how to be ‘normal’ again. It doesn’t take long…it just takes courage, a little work and patience. Anything worth anything is worth fighting for. With God, it’s possible.
Why was I one of the tiny 1%-3% who survive? Simple answer. The Lord had mercy on me. In Romans 9 verse 15, God says,…“I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” Not understanding the mind of our God, I consider myself extremely blessed for His mercy and compassion because, without it, well…you know! With that said, if you are someone in the darkness of an addiction, quit believing the ‘worldly morons’ who tell you you’re a diseased addict and will never be anything else. They will send you to some hopeless rehab that gives you the 12 steps to hell to help you. Don’t do it! Trust God. He is bigger than any addiction and since He created you, He can fix you. Jesus doesn’t do half a job…He doesn’t make you climb any steps or fall off wagons…He has no tricks up His sleeve as Satan has. Jesus will make you whole and you will be better than you ever were. Life will have meaning. You will never crave drugs or alcohol again. Trust Him. Love Him. Follow His Footsteps. He will “never leave you or forsake you“. He will make you whole. Our God is a God of many second chances and unconditional love that we are not able to fully understand.
Don’t give up! Family…Rescue your loved one before it’s too late.