By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘relapse

How did Jesus do it?  Jesus was criticized and insulted but never returned insult for insult.  The witness of Jesus tells us to return evil with good.  Be slow to anger.  Turn the other cheek.

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16)

Where do we draw the line of being insulted by another person and turning the other cheek?  When do we stand up for ourselves?  How many times can we really just turn the other cheek before saying something in our defense?

There is a person in my life that always seems to “get a jab at me” every time we have a conversation.  This is a person that I have hurt from my past actions.  This person has also hurt me.  I have truly forgiven them.  I really have.  I have asked forgiveness for my sharpness and overreaction.  I’m ready to let it go.  I AM capable of forgiveness.  I believe God has blessed me with incredible patience and the ability to forgive.  In my past, I had an ex-boyfriend who grabbed me by my hair, put a gun to my head & shoved me down into an execution type stature.  I even forgave him (and got a permanent restraining order). 

So even though I have hurt this person in my life and it may be justifiable reactions to my past behavior, they still throw an insult at me in a passive aggressive way even though I have changed my life and don’t behave in that manner anymore.  It doesn’t matter how well I am doing.  It doesn’t matter how far I’ve come, I still get that “dig” at least once every time we are around each other.  I get so upset!  I get very defensive.  I get tired of having to stick up for myself.  Yes, I insulted this person last night.  My past was being thrown in my face and in a vulgar manner.  I kept my cool at first, and then I started yelling and verbally did not behave as a Christian nor as a lady.  I asked God to forgive me.  Even though what I said back to them was all true, I did say it in a manner unbecoming.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)

I’m not going to blame my behavior as “just being human”.  I REALLY want to be able to control my tongue, no matter how terrible I’m being treated.  Will I ever perfect this area in my life?  I sure hope so.  I will just have to keep trying or maybe I just need to choose better friends & end this particular one.

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“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

My thoughts are all over the place today.  I’m very frustrated by it and it gets me concerned when I’m like this.  Concerned for what?  I don’t know.  To make a bad choice, or maybe I know anxiety or a panic attack could be right around the corner.  Is it the devil messing with me?  How do I know?  I pray for discernment. 

Discernment means understanding or an insight.  Before I can decipher my thoughts, I have to be aware of what I’m thinking about.   I try to do what Joyce Meyer tells us in her book, “Battlefield of the Mind” to,

“think about what we are thinking about.”

I’m exhausted just thinking about what I’m thinking about.  Has someone ever said to you, “you think too much.”  Don’t you just want to smack’em?  I’m kidding of course…kinda.Smile 

I believe God blessed me with a thinking brain.  I also just need to turn my mind off sometimes.  I will watch something on tv that’s silly and doesn’t serve a purpose except to make you laugh.  I like the sitcoms from Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens.   Those usually do the trick and give my mind a much needed rest.  Watching TV is all well and fine but I still need to keep my thoughts straightened out and not go to bed with a mind of confusion. 

Even if I read some Scripture before falling asleep, I swear the devil attacks me in my dreams!   I have very vivid dreams and I can remember them.  I wake up feeling heavy, like something terrible just happened.  I feel like have sinned!  I talk to God right away and get the connection between Him and I started before my feet his the ground.  I even ask for forgiveness for what I was doing in the dream, just in case.  It’s important for me to have no seperation from God and if my mind believes a stupid dream can do that well then……I’m asking God for forgiveness in Jesus’ name……don’t know it’s something I should do but……what can it hurt?  I’m doing what we say C.Y.A., in other words I’m covering all the bases.

I read an article by Father Dan Burke about discernment.  He says,

The unmanaged musings of an injured soul can easily lead us away from the peace that Christ has for us and into further sin or destructive behavior.

Father Burke is telling us we have to maintain our heart and keep it in right standing with Christ.  If left unmanaged or neglected, it is much easier to sin.  Although the devil can’t read our thoughts, he has been watching us for our whole lives so he can learn what makes us “tick”.  The enemy knows our strengths and weaknesses just as our Lord and Savior does.  That is why it is so important we study God’s Word and know it for ourselves.   We’ve all heard the saying, “knowledge is power”,but knowledge is strength too.

I think there is a certain level of faith involved in discerning our thoughts.  I believe sometimes we just don’t know!  And that’s okay.  It’s not always easy for me to discern my thoughts.  My way of thinking can be very messed up because of my past, but God is a healing God.  He has healed my mind as well as my soul.   Just reading the Bible has brought me so much healing in my mind and thoughts.  I shouldn’t say “just”.  It is very apparent in my life that reading the Bible has had a major impact on me and my thought life.  In fact, my thinking is more clearer now than it ever has been my entire life!  That may sound good, but I get confused and think too many things at once.  I want to know the “why” of things.  In being like this it makes me open up God’s Word and search it out.   Search it out and find out what’s going on in my mind and how I can get rid of this inner turmoil.  I want peace, not racing thoughts that give me unrest and anxiety. 

God is a peaceful God so any thoughts that are giving me anxiety or unrest are most likely not from Him.  So I pray and believe my loving Lord and Savior will help me discern my thoughts and keep me strong and intact.  Satan will use my thoughts of reasoning and wanting to know the “why” of everything against me and keep me away from the will of God.  For me, all I can say is I will have to stay very close to my Lord when my thoughts are like this and keep my nose in the Scriptures.  The thoughts will then start to slow down and I’ll find rest in my thinking.

In closing, this article has been difficult for me to write because my thoughts were all over the place and it has taken me a week to finish it.  I am asking my friends and fellow readers, to enlighten me if the post sounded rambling and I would love some wisdom about discernment of thoughts from  you!  I cherish all of you as I know God works through people!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:9 AMP)

The Bible promises Christians a sound mind.  Mental illness, personality disorders and any form of psychological damage may result from childhood trauma, domestic abuse, demonic activity or disobedience to God (Deut. 28:15,28).  Thoughts are jumbled, chaotic and there is an inner turmoil that feels like torture.  A chemical imbalance in the brain can cause mood swings, aggression and depression.  Sometimes medication is needed.  Sometimes therapy, one-on-one counseling or a support group is needed.  But one thing for sure, CHRIST IS NEEDED!

I believe for some people that going to professional secular help is necessary.  It was for me.  Equally important is help from our pastor and keeping a biblical perspective about our emotions and thoughts.  God desires us to be whole.  This would involve every aspect of our life—spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

So how do you get to that point of healing?  Healing is certainly a process.  It can be an ongoing thing, but I also experienced an “instant” healing that changed my life!  I have a earlier post titled The Freedom Of Forgiving Myself .  I will tell you…..I am a hard case.   I don’t know why that is and I wish I wasn’t like this because I could have saved myself from years and years of hardship and suffering if I would have just listened and obeyed!! 

I’m one of those who has to experience everything for myself all the way down to rock bottom before I say “okay, maybe you’re right”.  And in the meantime, I become a self-hater, self-loathing, never understanding why I do the things I do or why I WANT to do the things I do.  Blaming others doesn’t work.  Feeling sorry for myself doesn’t work.  But God’s grace does work!!!

And you know, bottom line is this…..it doesn’t matter what others think you should do or how you do it, or what you do to get well, or how you do it to get well.  What matters is the connection between myself and God.  God is the only One who knows my heart.   He is the only One who knows what I need and how I need it.  So in a sense, for me, being healed and restored involved me being selfish and not letting anything or anyone influence me in the process.  It’s between me and God.  And if my heart is aligned with His heart and my thoughts are aligned with His thoughts, then I am living on purpose and according to His will.

So the healing begins by allowing myself to forgive myself.  To allow myself to put my foot down and say, “this is what I have to do to help me.”  It may seem very self-centered and selfish to those looking from the outside.  But let me reassure you, that once I was able to forgive myself and allow Christ to heal my inner being, I came out a better person and a more likable person.  This opened the doorway for me to get well and stay well for longer periods of time.

I certainly haven’t perfected this whole sobriety thing, but I’m much healthier mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I understand now what God means when He says He wants us to be made “whole”.  And in this wholeness I found inner joy and peace.  I know that God has healed me from the guilt and shame I carried because I am able to open my eyes to things I couldn’t see before.   He has opened my heart to things I haven’t felt before.  He has opened my ears to things I haven’t heard before.  Because of what Christ did for me on the cross, I can be healed and restored.

Kutless – That’s What Faith Can Do

Isn’t it comforting to know there is a solution to being rid of anxiety and worry?  These two feelings have played a big part of my life.  If I didn’t have something to worry about then something must be wrong.  That was my attitude.  I can wake up in the morning and ask myself, “okay, what do I need to worry about today?”  Can anyone relate to this?  I chalk it up a little bit to how I was raised.  My mother and my grandmother, in their own loving way, would tell me of all the kidnappings, car accidents and murders around town.  This was their way of keeping me aware of my surroundings but as time went on, I developed an anxious spirit and worry was a part of my daily life.  By allowing worry and anxiety to rule my life, I could never feel peace.  I had a constant inner turmoil going on.  Not a pleasant way to live!

I am totally ineffective for God’s kingdom if I don’t deal with these feelings.  Jesus knew that worry was a big temptation in our world.  He asks us,

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27)

Worry reveals my lack of trust in God.  It’s absolutely necessary for me to repent of my distrust.  I often think, “I do trust God, so why do I still worry?”.  Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that question and I struggle with that to this day.  There are times when God will withhold something from me for my own good.  But I don’t see it that way.  I believe God’s Word 100%.  Everything in it, all of it.  Yet my sin nature takes over a lot and tells me I have to do things on my own and God will work it out for His good.  That’s NOT what the Bible says though.  Perhaps it’s the enemy putting those thoughts in my head and it’s my responsibility to cast down those thoughts immediately and do what God’s Word says to do.

The solution to peace is having faith and trust in Christ.  He knows what I need and when I need it.  God gives us the tools and gifts we need to fight and live a life free of worry.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the  peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)

I have to practice this gift.  I have to work on it.  I do find peace in knowing what Christ said in John 14:27.  So long as I keep doing the next right thing, I can be assured of God’s promise that He will provide all my needs.

replacefear

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

I hate being afraid.  It makes me feel vulnerable and unstable. What am I afraid of?  After all, it’s not like I’m going to die by stepping out the door into the real world and interacting with people, am I?  The Bible tells us that if our God if for us, than what can be against us?  It’s all in my head.  The body’s reaction to what we think and how we feel go hand in hand.  I still don’t understand why my heart jumps a beat whenever I open my eyes in the morning.  I don’t even have a thought in my head yet and fear has set in.

I remember when I was like this in years past, before I rededicated my life to the Lord.  I went to secular recovery programs and did my best to face the unknown.  Many people in these rooms were full of fear and scared to death to venture into a life without a chemical courage to keep them strong.  I was one of them.  I was never able to stop shaking though.  People made fun of me, even though I guess they were trying to be kind in their own way (at least I took it as poking fun).  They’d say, “look at her! you’re shaking like a leaf Michele.  Are you scared of me?”  And then they’d laugh.  Actually, I was afraid.  I was clean and sober and very raw.  I mimicked a Chihuahua whose whole little body would shake for no reason, even my head and face would tremble.  It was VERY difficult to go through that without using something to calm me down.  Eventually, I was prescribed a benzo and it was a miracle drug!  At first I didn’t abuse it.  I was living in a halfway house and the house “mom” would only give me my daily dose one day at a time.  It was prescribed from a licensed psychiatrist from a well known rehab facility who helps recovering addicts.  Yah, figure that one out, right?  I managed well on them and I didn’t shake.  Then I started saving them, and taking two at a time, then three at a time—–you get the picture.  Turns out, other girls in the house found out about them and stole a whole bunch of my pills.  I was in a panic!  Now what do I do? 

Those pills sent me back out on the streets over and over again going back to the heavy stuff that was killing me.  I didn’t know how to cope with it.  I didn’t KNOW I could cope without it if I just called out to Jesus for help.  I was a Christian but I rebelled and backslid right out of high school.  I was stubborn as a bull and just didn’t want to go back to the whole church thing.  I was soooo wrong.

I know now that Jesus and God’s grace and healing is the ONLY way to overcome my fear and shaking.  I am able to do this without narcotic drugs prescribed legally or not.  It’s taken me many years to learn this.  But it DOES happen and it DID happen for me.  My recent relapse put me right back where I was 10 years ago, shaking like a leaf and afraid to leave the house.  But I had a good taste of what the Lord can do in my life.  I stayed clean for 2 years and I experienced what TRUE JOY really was!!  I found a sense of peace I never felt before.  I remember waking up with a smile on my face, not a skipped heartbeat and a sense of fear.  I use to look forward to what the Lord had for me that day and was ready to overcome and plow through whatever was put in front of me because I had the Almighty God on my side. 

So today, I am facing my fears and moving forward no matter what the world wants to throw at me.  I have a lot on my plate right now, but I will not falter today.  Today I remain strong in spite of myself.  I still have the shakes but it will subside, it will pass!  I just have to hang on and not put ANY chemicals in my system.  If I have even one drink to calm my nerves, I know it will erase all my hard work these past two weeks.  Just gotta hold on to the Truth that is written in His Word and trust in God to keep me safe and to help me along.  I will keep it simple, not overwhelm myself and TRUST, TRUST, TRUST!!

No more dark wordpress themes.  I looked at it and just shook my head.  What the heck, Michele, I said to myself.  Time to snap out of it.   But getting out of a depression is not as simple as just “snapping out of it”.  And those who suffer from it will understand, those that don’t experience it, just won’t get it but God bless’em for trying.

In this post, I’m going to be a little more blunt than usual because as a recovering addict, well there really is no fluffy talk or nicey-nice in that whole scene.  I have to get real with myself.  Or so they say “Be True To Yourself”.  I really, really hate being fake.  It’s something that eats away at me.  If I say one thing but do another.  How in the world can I be a help to anyone if I’m not being true to myself?  It doesn’t work that way and the Holy Spirit convicts my heart and I have an INCREDIBLE conscience!  I’m certainly no help to myself either and the inner addiction that lies in wait for me loves it when I put my “holier than thou hat” on but then in secret I commit the very sins I hate and tell others not to do.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me mentally.  In the back of my mind I was thinking of how in the past, when I’ve had an anxiety attack, and a really BIG one at that, that maybe I’m coming to the end of that dark tunnel and I’m just one step away from daylight.  So today, I see the daylight.  After all, me just working on my blog is a major accomplishment for this whacked-out chick!  As I was going through the panic, I cried out to God to take it away from me.  I cried for an hour for Him to take it away and I surrender it ALL to Him.  Not just the “real” drugs, but the over-the-counter crap I take to catch a buzz too.  That’s a little secret I’m revealing.  But is it really a secret?  Of course, not.  I cried to Him that I surrender it all to Him and to do with me what He wills.  Just take it away!

You know, yesterday, I had a phone call from one of satan’s workers (that’s what I call the dealers), and a couple weeks ago I told him to stop calling because I quit.  Well, he calls and tells me of something else he has that I really like.  My car is broke and I can’t use it and the only way to get it was for them to come to my house.  Well at first I said yes.  Then I thought, these people could come back and rob me because I live in a nice neighborhood in another town over and then I won’t feel safe in my home, the paranoia will kick in.  Ugh!!!!  I am straight-shooting here so I hope I am not upsetting anyone who reads this but that’s the life of an addict.  It sucks, believe me.  So I call them back and tell them no, not until I get my car fixed.  But see what I’m doing?????   I’m leaving that door open “just in case”!! This is part of the panic yesterday.  But screw it, I’m not doing it.

I was talking to myself out loud yesterday telling myself this, “Michele, what good will come from getting this other thing you like?  You tell yourself you only do little bits at a time, because you live alone and overdosing is a real possibility.  But then what?  You know you’ll get more and then a full blown addiction on this crap and you will have to go to a detox to get off of it.  After all you’ve done this before!!”  So what’s the point.  YOU DON’T NEED IT!!!!”

Welcome to my head for a second there.  And I don’t want to lose sight of why I started this blog in the first place.  When I first started writing it was an outlet for me.  A way to be close to Christ and a way to get away from the abuse that was happening in my house.  So I got rid of the abuse with a restraining order and after that things just started going downhill.  But I didn’t see it.  I looked at it as freedom and independence and being able to breathe without being yelled at every day.  Even though I made a commitment (so I thought) to not use, eventually, I did anyway once I lost my job.  I don’t even remember the whole week after I got fired.  All I know is I spent about a thousand dollars and my house was a wreck.

But even before that I was struggling with my blog.  I lost sight of why I started it.  Was I using my blog to help me or to help others?  Well, I started to feel the pressure of helping others and saying the right thing, to not make another Christian stumble if I make a mistake in my bible knowledge or personal views.  I put a lot of pressure on myself and slacked off on writing.  I felt like a hypocrite because I knew my thoughts were not where they should be and I wasn’t fighting that hard to change it.  After all, I wanted to feel that freedom of not being in an abusive relationship for 3 years.  This is how I became so close with my Creator.  My refuge, my peace was with the Lord and my time with Him.  It’s amazing I didn’t go off the deep end sooner than this, but He kept me strong and I was doing the right things no matter the storm surrounding me.

So I may use my blog a little selfishly and focus on myself for a little while.  If it helps anyone than I am blessed and happy about that.  I want to thank all of you who have stuck by me this past month (has it been longer?) I really don’t know.  I have a void in time.  But I don’t want to focus on figuring that out.  I’m moving forward starting today.  I’m going to get my butt in gear, get things fixed like my car, pay my rent today and then start looking for work.  I plan on going back to my church on Sunday and also trying a Celebrate Recovery meeting Friday night at another church.  So I’m calling myself out on this and trying to hold myself accountable to do what I say.  No more fakeness.  It’s real from here on out and letting the Lord lead me and I will follow whatever He wills.

Not quite sure what happened.  But then I’ve said that before.  I was doing so good, all gung-ho for God and all……then………….splat.  My face hits the ground so fast that I must have missed the taste of dirt.

Can you hear me, Heavenly Father?  Even though I’m sinning, do you still listen?   I know You are there because you sent an angel to my house tonight.  Once I was alone, a flood of tears came.  Tears of thank you and tears of guilt & shame.  All that emotion just for a kind neighbor putting air in my tire.  Your Holy Spirit has been convicting my heart all night.

You showed me your presence today at my work.  I called for you Lord and you came.  Thank you and my heart hurts.  I feel so bad because I’m still sinning.  But I feel worse because I want to keep on sinning. 

I know You are there because you really saved me from myself last week.  Did you rally up the same angels that use to keep me safe?  I know they’re strong and tough.  I kept them real busy some years ago.  Not quite sure why I’m pulling away from you Lord.  I still love you.  A lot!  Will you still listen to my prayers even though..…?


A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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