“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.”
2 Cor 5:17
May God bless your brand new life when you come to Jesus!
Yes…those who end their addiction become ‘new’ too!
Our God is a God of many second chances.
All addiction is, is sin…a bad choice…a substitute for HIM gone wrong; there are NO substitutes for God.
He understands your search. He hopes your own personal road leads back to Him.
Most who have experienced addiction do not know how to process emotion. Either the addiction stunted their emotional growth or they haven’t been in touch with their emotions for too long a time. How do you help your loved one deal with this? Time, understanding, sound Biblical counseling. lots of love, compassion and unconditional support. It’s normal for them to go through. Just be there and know that it’s not easy. They need you despite what you hear come out of their mouth. Remember that while they were using, they didn’t have to deal with much of anything. It’s all new.
In 2 Corinthians 9:8, we’re told, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
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.
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.
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.