Faith to Fly


Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore

Another recycled image today! I had forgotten about my “feather close-ups” that I wanted to dig into some months ago. When I saw the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Abstract in Black and White I went searching and found one that I had done, and I re-did it. I like it! Feathers are so beautiful.

Last night I had my new student orientation. I was SO glad it was on Zoom because I felt so bad. What are the odds of that!? Anyway, today I ordered my books, and Monday is my first day EVER attending a University. How exciting! I think I’m a little nervous. Even if it is virtual for now. Anyway, I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter, and I have faith that the journey will be fulfilling and rewarding.

That’s about all for now.
Peace & Love!!
—Janet

Where am I going?


Is anyone else asking this question lately?

The featured image here is pretty significant, as it struck me in several ways. First, I took the photograph several years ago and—until yesterday—never even knew that the Santa Monica Pier is literally the end of the famous (or maybe not so famous) Route 66.

The historic route started in Illinois (Chicago), ran 2,400 miles westward (across 8 states), and ended in California, at the Pacific Ocean, right where I shot the image. Over time, the original route has been changed and rerouted, so the old Route 66 is no longer “official.” If you plan it right, you can still make the journey across a good portion of it—and there are many cool markers to be found. This is one of them… a sign delineating the End of the Trail

Which is ironic, because that’s actually another thing that struck me about the image… the end of the trail. Lately, there are a few things that I’ve thought about giving up, and blogging is one of them. “This image would be ideal for my farewell post,” I said to myself. The end of the road, so to speak. I know that sounds overdramatic, but I really did entertain the idea. 

Sometimes these waves come over me—however fleeting they may be—and I consider throwing in the towel. It feels as though I’m writing “much ado about nothing” and tossing empty words into an even emptier universe; the dark tunnel we call the internet. My words echo as they leave me… FADING… fading…… and then they disappear, never to return. 

For one thing, the things that I write about have morphed dramatically over time. The reason for coming aboard in the first place was to share my story of finding God and recovering from alcoholism. That story has been told. It’s preserved in time, WAY back in my archives, and there are many other bloggers out there—just like me—telling the same story. We’ve done it! We’re doing it… every day.

As for the present, I’m not an evangelist, or an apologist, and I have no education in theology, so I try to be VERY careful with my words about my faith. Someone was too quick to hint around about my errors, and I was deeply saddened by that. So… I’ve stuck to the philosophy that “living my life as I now live it” is continuous (and rather convincing) evidence of my walk of faith. And I am still sober and forever grateful for this new life.

And then I considered my New Lifestyle, New Me project. I LOVE the idea, and I’m very enthusiastic about it, but already it’s a struggle. Off to a rough start you might say. Who would have thought that the quarantine would alter our lives so drastically just as I set sail on my new adventure! Not to mention the fact that it’s embarrassing to share my thoughts along this journey, because my thoughts —like everything else in life—are ever changing. I can only imagine that trying to keep up with the wanderings of my mind is an exhausting task. 

So… Where AM I going? What am I to make of all of this? Today, writing about all of this feels good—because I’m actually getting somewhere.

No. 1 Look Outward

The first thing I see from my observations is that my lack of knowledge about the significance of that Route 66 marker is an analogy, of sorts, for my introversion. My tendency to look inward for insights and inspiration is a hindrance at times. I’m always missing out on things—things that are going on all around me—because I’m hyper focused on that odd little world that lives inside of me. Talk about a dark tunnel through an empty universe. Ha-Ha! 

I’m going to work on changing that. Rather than allowing this pandemic to bury me even deeper inside of myself… I’m going to reach out more. Less thinking and talking—more watching, looking, listening, and doing. 

No. 2 The Curse of the All or Nothing

The other thing—the really exciting thing—is the other analogy that I notice, that relates to my blogging experience, and my New Lifestyle, New Me project. If things aren’t working for me, my first inclination is always “walk away!” The changing and re-routing of the old Route 66 speaks volumes to me here. The journey is still possible, it just looks different. The road is not CLOSED, it’s just been altered.  

Having an “all or nothing” attitude toward everything has done nothing but get me into trouble—for the better part of my life. I want to DO IT BIG, or DO NOTHING. It’s so hard for me to find the middle of the road, that space in between—where perfect balance exists. But that’s exactly what is needed right now. Rather than shutting it all down, all I really need to do is some altering and re-routing, just like they did with old Route 66.

This is not the end of the trail. It’s the beginning!


Thank you for reading if you made it all the way down. I’m thrilled that these were not just empty words today—they were from my heart.

God Bless!
—Janet

Nothing But Grace

Before I say anything about the “G” word, I want to share where my thoughts were headed last night. It occurred to me that I need to keep these alphabet posts simple.

The idea was to use the letters as a prompt, to do some quick, fun, and easy gratitude exercises. The next thing you know, I’m writing these wordy posts about contentment and dreams. Not that that’s a bad thing, I just know it’ll be hard to stay on that path once the holiday is over.

Anyway, I jot down words that come to mind when I think about particular letters. Some of the letters are still blank, but “G” has been seeing some serious action.

  • Gratitude was a no-brainer, but it seems redundant to say “I’m grateful for gratitude.”
  • Gummy Bears and Graffiti Art popped into my head; I can enjoy both of these for hours!
  • Growth made its way to the list this afternoon and, of course
  • God has been in my thoughts throughout the entire process.

I wasn’t sure what to do with all of these options, so I did what I normally do when I’m not sure what to do. I stopped thinking about it. And it came to me. With a house full of family, too much talking going on, a whirlwind of chaos (two great nieces with their toys), and a television roaring in the background—there it was; staring me in the face.

Grace.

Can I even begin to talk about grace, and still keep my post short and sweet? Well, I can try. I found a few words by John Stott, and they are perfect words…

Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.

The words took me back to my post about contentment, and my zig zagging highway. Remember that soft cushion my bumper car taps when I get too far off track; the one that sends my vehicle back into the safety zone?

That is grace. Amazing, huh?

I hope you enjoyed the letter G!

God’s grace sustains us… so pass it on.


We live in a world of earning, deserving, and merit, and these result in judgment. That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgment kills. Only grace makes alive.

Justin Holcombe, from What is Grace?

Karma

Whatever goes up, will surely come down;

Like a boomerang, it just all goes around.

You get what you give, or reap what you sow;

If hate’s what you plant, then hate’s what will grow.

If you want to see change; if love’s what you thirst,

Be bold with your kindness…

Dare to go first.

Continue reading

Living the Dream

Chaotic workday— a scuffle with friends,

Five o’clock traffic— the stress never ends,

Pressure to do well— fearing failure, too,

Stuck in a pattern— afraid of what’s new,

Plan for retirement— look forward to rest,

Where children once played— is now empty nest,

Dating disasters— a marriage from hell,

Lack of investments— there’s nothing to sell,

No regrets linger— My head’s not for rent,

All of these moments— are evanescent,

March forward, full steam— toward what is unseen,

Faith is eternal— I’m living the dream.

Continue reading

Unshakable

I used to feel invisible, and I was empty inside.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me though, as I was beautifully bedecked with many embellishments. Coolness was probably the first (and the cheapest) ornament that I picked up, and it stuck to me no matter what I did. Of all of the decorations that I collected through the years, coolness was also probably the most vocal. “Be cool,” it would whisper, “just act like you don’t care.”

Shortly thereafter, I found the spirit (the liquid kind), and I discovered that consuming that spirit brought about all kinds of shiny garlands. My penetrating fears were veiled by courage, and in time I acquired pride as well. Courage came and went freely, but a healthy dose of the spirit usually prompted it to run back home, and sit boldly on its wobbly throne.

Pride, on the other hand, attached itself firmly. If the spirit was low, or courage seemed to be lost, pride would encourage arrogance, or feed on other things to help it grow. It treasured success, money, and even “things.” Eventually… pride started flirting with greed, and it seemed as though we never had enough—of anything. Sometimes I think the two of them were in bed together from the very beginning.

Soon all of these trimmings lost their sheen, and I became convinced that if I found love—the “one”—I would be garnished perfectly. Love was the ultimate frill, the tantalizing tinsel that I really needed. I was sure of it! The search went on… and on… but my efforts proved disastrous.

In a tragic whirlwind, I caught a glimpse of myself one day and realized that I was nowhere to be found. Swallowed up by my decorations—and drowning in the spirit—I was still invisible. That void inside of me was still there, hollower than ever, and not one of those adornments could save me.

That’s when I found you; free for the taking and ready to move in—without question. Unlike that temporal spirit that I used to devour, you filled that void with your spirit, and it was sturdy and concrete… something I’d never known before.

I couldn’t see it, but I felt it.

Since then, my life has never been the same. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not overflowing with gratitude and joy. Sure, I still get caught up in old habits and start festooning myself with things that seem glitzy and glamorous… that’s human nature.

But, as quickly as they come, these trappings fade away. Each time they do, I’m adorned with nothing but my childlike faith. There is no emptiness though… because you are always still there—my unshakable rock—holding me up, and keeping me strong.

And I am no longer invisible… I am clothed in love.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

Augustine

Inspired by the Word of the Day challenge: Bedeck

Merry Christmas Everyone!! I love you all!

Come Together

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. —Henry Ford

This is a bit of a mishmosh of thoughts, but it all ties together.

First of all the image is just something I was toying around with. I combined three different photos I took of kids playing at the beach. Then I did some tinkering in Photoshop and Illustrator to create the look of a drawing. I added outlines to give it a poster kind of look and to (hopefully) tie in with the “come together” theme.

I had my first writing class last night and I have to say that it already has me thinking about how writing may (or may not) fit into my future. I’ll repeat what I shared in the class, as we each had to talk briefly about why we took the class. Since starting this blog, a recurring thought I’ve had is “Can I really WRITE? OR do I just know how to write about myself?”

I WILL say that the reason I started the blog WAS to share my story, and that whole part of it seemed to come with ease- but the idea of actually sitting down to write a novel or a screenplay still kind of freaks me out. Hopefully I will learn the answer to my question over these next five weeks. Anyway, the instructor stressed (and I’ve read this elsewhere, as well) that any good author should know thyself. What are you interested in? What do you like or dislike? Who are your favorite authors, and what are your favorite books, movies, etc.?

I wasn’t able to come up with exacts, but I know that I LOVE to hear about people coming together, and the heartwarming stories of personal victories. And those are stories you hear all over- in recovery and in church. So… that’s the direction I’m looking toward in this new season. Stories and images about people coming together and overcoming obstacles.

I’ll be hunting around awhile for my first story….

so please stay tuned.

A Bright Burst

“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” – Max Lucado

My journey sure is getting interesting! Every day I learn a little something about myself, about my habits, and about the power of thoughtsContinue reading

Finding Rest

I found the words this morning! So, I am going to go with it, with very little editing… so I hope this all makes sense. I guess the coolest thing I’ve found about studying the word trust is that it keeps leading me to new words.

This morning the word was REST.

First of all… here is what I’ve learned about what it means to trust God…

He is a place of refuge, and (in) Him we are surrounded by His protection and embraced by His compassion. Trusting Him means: to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to hold onto Him, to flee to Him for protection, to stay, to hope, to expect, to be patient, and to linger in expectation… and wait.

It also has a lot to do with being on the inside. Examples are:

to be firm (in), to confide (in), to have confidence (in), to be secure (in), to seek refuge (in), to feel safe (in), to have assurance (in), to abide (in) and to find rest (in).

This morning finding rest in Him was what I decided to focus on because it relates to surrender…

My struggles with surrender have very LITTLE to do with “lack of trust” in God, but have everything to do with what I am accustomed to; which is ME being in charge.

That’s my former way of life.

I spent DECADES as an unbeliever, so the fact of the matter is… I spent decades trying to play God. I was seated on the throne, and I remained there until my imaginary kingdom was in ruins, and I was as close as I ever want to be to… death from alcohol.

Anyway, I feel really good right now because I know it just takes time.

When I call myself an alcoholic it feels really weird. I don’t drink anymore, nor do I have any desire to. But… as they say… alcoholism is but a symptom. In truth, alcohol is just ONE of things that I’ve been addicted to, chased, followed or even worshiped. False gods.

My life was FULL of them; Alcohol, drugs, money, success, shopping, and the love of a man… to name a few.

I won’t say that I sat on this imaginary throne feeling all-powerful, because I had very LITTLE power. I just didn’t know any better. I lived a life run by self-will, and I sought anything and everything that I thought would fill that huge void, make me happy, and fix my life.

Page 62 of the A.A. big book states “…the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot” and that is truer and true. I ran rampant!

Not until I had no other options… and was completely and utterly hopeless, did I look to God. But, He did exactly what He promises to do. He was there for me, and He led me out of that dark pit. Even after decades of rebellion.

So… what does this have to do with today? Well… what I discovered recently was that although I have great passion for writing and photography, those are “extras”. They are His blessings, and I cannot REST in those things, nor can I look to them to be the source of my happiness and security.

This is something that I was feeling inside, so it might not be so obvious to anyone else. But the fact of the matter is, what is happening inside of us is THE most important thing.

I began pursuing something and… without really realizing it… I was leaving God behind. I put something else FIRST. I ended up feeling irritable, confused, a little lost… and depressed. I knew something was wrong. Everything was bugging me. My camera was not good enough. I couldn’t find the right things to take pictures of, I was tired of trees and birds, yada yada yada. That’s one reason I was so happy to go to my sister’s house for a week. I needed to regroup.

Anyway… I realized what was wrong, admitted my problem, took a U-turn, and there He was. Waiting for me to return so that He could shower me with His love and surround me with His grace. How sweet is that?!

Everything is just as it should be today. And I came across a great quote that I want to keep close to me from here on out:

Everywhere the King is King, there is the Kingdom.

That’s so easy to remember, and a great reminder for me to stay OFF of that throne.

I need to surrender daily, and simply allow the King to be King. In HIS kingdom is where I am content, loved and full of joy…

…and it is where I find my REST.

Today is a good day, and God is GREAT!!!

Success is not what I’ve done compared with what others have done. Success is what I’ve done compared with what God has called me to do. Lecrae Moore, Unashamed

This doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my art. No way!! I’ve just put it back into it’s proper place in my priorities.

Shades of Spring

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi

I’m not a huge fan of pastels, but I thought this was a good fit for the season. And I’m pretty sure that this is a dove. Pigeons and doves confuse me sometimes.

I don’t know if I shared that quote before, but it’s been my mantra for the past week and will continue to be for awhile. I realized recently that I was getting WAY ahead of myself for a little while. Or way ahead of God I should say. Sometimes I get some grandiose ideas and then I realize that there are still very small things that I’ve yet to tackle!

That’s a bit humbling. And alcoholic thinking.

Anyway, I guess a good thing to remember when walking with God is to walk WITH Him, not a mile or so ahead! What’s funny is I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wanted to do a post called No Shortcuts! Then today, I’m reading In the Grip of Grace, by Max Lucado and I came across this:

“What we consider shortcuts God sees as disasters.”

Amen to that. I’ve taken shortcuts for so many years that it’s still a struggle to pause and be still sometimes, but I am definitely making progress! And I’m going to be working on the little things that need to be done. For now. 🙂

I may still write that post. Later. For now it’s time for lights out.

Have a beautiful day!

Scrolling Up

I’ve had an unusually hard time finding interesting things to photograph, so I’m sticking with my plan to try new and different ways to edit and display them. In case it’s not clear, this is a tree framed on a scroll.  (it’s hard to know how it’ll look on various devices!)

I’m also going to spend more time on ONE image.  I’m always pointing out what I could have done differently… so from now on I’m doing things slower, and hope to make those changes firstthen post. I’m aiming for improvement now, rather than speed. (which is a real feat for this speed demon!)

In other news… and speaking of being slow… I’ve been in no rush to update my other blog because I’m really thinking things through. Being young in both recovery and my walk with God, I’m finding more and more that I still have ample work to do. Nourishing my soul and allowing my roots to grow deeper, for starters.

My relationship with God MUST come first, before anything. So I’m spending more time with Him on a daily basis… and thinking about business (and other things) a little less. What’s funny is that I feel SO much better!! And stronger!

I think those tugs and nudges I felt before were His attempts to rein me in. In fact I’m sure of it. As A.W. Tozer once said: sometimes the Holy Spirit’s work in us can be harsh… similar to breaking a wild horse. Boy, can I relate!!

Anyway… that’s about all for now. Life is good and God is great!

God’s highest dream is not to make us rich, not to make us successful or popular or famous. God’s dream is to make us right with Him. Max Lucado, In the Grip of Grace

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity!

Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!

What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3.

I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.

Can I relate to that?!? He pulled me from the PIT of alcoholism, made my steps secure, and put a new song in my mouth? Yes! Yes indeed. As I said… this word study started off with a beautiful bang. A great reminder of what He’s already done for me. I have a renewed sense of gratitude these days!

I SEE now- how easy it is to get distracted. Thinking TOO much about what’s next, and losing sight of what’s GREAT… TODAY, right NOW!!

Love always, laugh often, and enjoy every moment.

Walking My Walk

So… I guess this would be the portion of my blog where I share about my walk, and where I’m at; the My Journey section. Maybe I over-complicated the whole thing by trying to explain it. I do that sometimes. In time it will all make sense. The main thing I want to do is properly categorize.

I hope to organize this “hodgepodge of a blog” and it ain’t easyEventually I will nail it.

I emailed my sponsor about my decision to dive back into A.A. and to start making myself more available to be of service (which I guess you could call re-committing). I just love her! Her reply was right on point…

“We can preach a better sermon with our lives than our mouths.”

One thing I failed to mention in my last post is that ALL of the meetings I’ve been attending these past six months are not your typical A.A. meetings. That information probably helps to make sense of my thoughts.

Monday night recovery is actually a class at my church, and it’s taught by our pastor (who has about 35+ years of sobriety).

Thursday and Saturday, my meetings are both through Overcomer’s Outreach, which is a Christian 12 step support group. We practice the twelve steps, but we also read Scripture… talk about Jesus… and share with the group about where we are in our lives.

We also go out to eat a lot.

It is for any and all addictions or compulsive behaviors, and Al-anon… so pretty much anyone who wants to recovery from anything. I would highly recommend this program.

My sponsor has tried to tell me (a few times actually) that it would be “most helpful” if I was to get back into regular meetings, because those are the meetings that need more light. I guess I’ve been looking at it through my self-seeking lens… which told me that I only want to attend meetings that fill me up.

Feeling stuck lately made me realize that my involvement in the program isn’t to sit around and soak it all in. You have to give it away. That’s the whole purpose of step 12; to get OUT of myself and share all that stuff I’ve been soaking in. Wring out the sponge, so to speak.

Anyway- I made it to a regular meeting this afternoon and got to see lots of old peeps, took over the phone list commitment, and got some information about being on a panel that visits hospitals and institutions.

So… things are moving along today. I know I’m going in the right direction because a little teeny cloud of guilt that’s been hanging over my head has suddenly dissipated.

Amazing.

Life is good, and God is great!!

The Valiant Blogger Award

HALL OF VALOR

Liz of Daily Warriors  created, and nominated me for the Valiant Blogger Award.

Thank you so much Liz!

The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way.

RULES:
1. Post the award on your blog (Done).
2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor (See above).
3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it (See below).
4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life (Look to God).
5. Thank the person who nominated you, nominate a new blogger for the award, and make sure to let the blogger you chose for the award know that you nominated them (See below).

The greatest challenge in my life, and HOW I got through it.

I’m honored to accept this award, and grateful that I have this opportunity to write about my biggest struggle: Alcoholism Belief, and HOW I got through it.

My blog is filled with my story- in several long versions, and to narrow it down to 200 words (or at least ONE post) is something I’ve been wanting to do. A challenge, mind you, but challenge accepted.

I’ll never forget what someone said to me at the beginning of my journey:

“There is only ONE thing that you need to change about yourself, and that is EVERYTHING.”

Alcoholism is a symptom, and recovery takes work. The bottom line is that I had a spiritual malady. I had no belief.

Having reached the point where I knew that I needed a power greater than myself, and after forty years of living life with no belief, I finally sought God. It feels strange to say that I had to seek Him, because He doesn’t hide. WE hide.

Coming to believe, for ME, was work. Besides prayer, I spent a lot of time learning about God- by reading Scripture, and countless books by Christian writers. Philip Yancey, for one, because he is straight forward, honest, and unafraid to talk about his struggles and doubts- and he works through those in his writing. I totally relate, because I too have found that writing is my best tool for working through all of my struggles.

What I’ve learned is that things of the world, can mold, bend, warp and shape you. The more you listen to, believe in, or act certain ways, the bigger these ways GROW. I’ve learned that I need to call out, and put a halt to MY ways (Surrender) – and turn to His ways. And this makes complete sense to me because MY ways almost killed me.

The advice that I’ll share came from another friend in recovery:

“ALL things and people will inevitably let you down, or leave you at some point. What you must find, believe in, trust, and surrender to, is the ONE thing that is constant; never changes, never lets you down, and never leaves you… and that is God- your Higher Power.”

And… as they say in the program: May you find Him now.

Thanks again Liz. I’m sorry it took awhile to write the post, but I needed to have a clear head. I tend to think that what I’ve learned since I came to believe is what I need to share, but I’ve discovered that just coming to believe is a struggle in itself…for so many.

I nominate Rick Christensen, for one- because his presence here has been a real blessing. He’s like a roaming display of God’s amazing grace. Always encouraging. In addition, each and every blogger who reads or stumbles on this post- who bravely shares the tales of their struggles and victories.

You are all valiant in my book.

 

Having Enough

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Sometimes I think or say something, and later I realize that it wasn’t 100% correct.

I try to look at it like there’s a lesson that I need to learn, or a new discovery that I can take away from it. I’ve mentioned before that it’s important for me to learn how to live sober, and that DOES (and probably always will) hold true—however—there are other things that I need to DO, and I always seem to put them at the bottom of my list!

Giving. Being of service. Carrying the message. Thinking more of others.

It’s not that I don’t have a huge desire to be selfless… I really DO! It’s that my mind keeps returning to my old thought pattern—which goes something like:

What do you have to offer? You’re not ready. You’re not well enough. You don’t know enough yet. 

I can go on and on, but you get my drift. IF I allow myself to listen to and believe those thoughts… I’ll NEVER be ready! There’s this old belief system that was instilled in me at some point in my life, and (sadly) an every man for himself mentality, that keeps telling me… you WILL do great things for others… but FIRST, you need to ARRIVE.

Arrive where?!? I have no clue! It’s like there’s an imaginary finish line somewhere out there, and I keep believing that once I cross THAT, I will be strong enough, good enough, smart enough- or will have enough- to help other people. Like I said before… I’ve been sensing this season coming on for awhile now. This feeling that all I’ve been doing lately is stalling. It’s time to get into action- and start doing more to help those who are in need or are still struggling.

Last night it was becoming clearer, and then today at church… I think God was giving me a message:

It is time. “I” am enough for you.

Blessings… and please stay tuned. I’m excited!

The time is always right to do what is right. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Tale of Redemption

faith2

A few things happened today that really moved me, but I’m only going to talk about one for now. Tonight was the meeting that I co-secretary for, and it turned out to be a pretty emotional meeting.

There’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, but I was never sure if the time was right, or if bringing it up was even the right thing to do. Tonight I got the answer (and permission).

I’ve mentioned before that I have three grandsons. A photo of my oldest grandson (who is eight) is here in the blog, buried back in an old post. I have far fewer photos of him than I do of the other two, because I don’t see him that often. He lives with his mother and grandparents, and his father (my son) is now married and has the two younger boys.

His mother is a recovering heroin/meth addict.

I was in my four years sober without a program phase when I met her over eight years ago, and she had just gotten clean at the time. I liked her instantly, and saw a lot of myself in her. Then… she relapsed, and nothing but chaos followed.

As God would have it, she and I ended up at the same church, same Monday night recovery class, and Thursday/Saturday night meetings. Actually, we were both baptized on the same day too! August 14th, 2016.

Anyway, it’s been a LONG journey for her. She has exactly 3 months more time than me, so when I received my nine month chip- she took her one year cake. Tonight I asked her to lead the meeting, and she shared her story for the very first time.

Fifteen years of addiction. From age twenty to age thirty five the longest she was ever able to stay clean was six months. She has moved around- between her parents home, rehab, sober living homes, and the streets.

She has overdosed multiple times, been hospitalized, and finally…

…in December 2015 she gave it to God. She let Him know that He could either help her overcome her disease of addiction, or she was jumping off the freeway bridge.

She never took that leap.

THAT is a tale of redemption.

God bless her.

The photo is the first in my series Finding the Divine in the Mundane. The bird and design is actually painted on the back of a trash bin—at a nearby park.

After hearing her heartbreaking story, I thought it went along well.

God does not make junk.

I’m so proud of you T! I love you!

Unteach Me

I titled my story Unteach Me because I’ve learned throughout the last two years, after finding God, that I’d always been looking at life wrong. Not only did I have a lot to learn, but I had a lot to unlearn.

The following was written before I started my blog, so I shared a piece a day after I decided to share my story. Just in case anyone would ever like to read the story in it’s entirety, I thought I would add this table of contents to make it easier to navigate.


  1. IN THE BEGINNING: Looking back, I can clearly see that this would have been the perfect time for me to find God. Instead, I found alcohol.
  2. REWRITING YOUR STORY: The very first drink I took fixed everything. I was no longer tongue-tied. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was courageous!
  3. THE AUTHOR OF MY LIFE: I was always STRIVING. I strove to be ultra-independent, to make money, and to be totally self-reliant. Then I strove to be stress-free so that I could somehow be happy and content!
  4. SWEET SURRENDER: Nearly two years ago, in the throes of a downward spiral, I fought to hold myself and my business together- by a thread. The harder I held onto that thread the more everything seemed to unravel.
  5. HEARING GOD’S WHISPER: Whenever I talk about finding God, I always wonder how people perceive that. You know… like… I wonder if they think I saw a vision (or thought that I did).
  6. A LIGHTER LOAD: Whenever I quit drinking before, it was merely that. I quit picking up the glass. I would continue on…just as I had (but with a clear head).
  7. GIRL TALK-PART ONE: I hit my first DETOUR in June of last year. I was living in a studio, and had just started a part-time job that would keep me there.
  8. GIRL TALK-PART TWO: The world around me had groomed me in such a calculated way that I was fooled, and I was just beginning to see things in a new light.
  9. A SPRINKLE OF FAITH: I began with a blank piece of paper, and had absolutely no idea how it would all turn out, but I set my sights on a glorious future. The possibilities were boundless.
  10. THE COMEBACK KID: After getting back on my feet, both in sobriety and with the broken ankles finally healing, my journey got real. Stupid real.
  11. FIGHTING TO WIN: When I mentioned “taking down the enemy” in my last post, I was talking about sobriety…and my own spiritual battle. I wasn’t declaring war on men.
  12. THROUGH GOD’S EYES: Perhaps imagining how people look through God’s eyes was helping me grasp that things aren’t always black and white. I was learning to appreciate the bigger picture, where the two extremes merge together to create countless shades of gray.
  13. THE GREAT ESCAPE: I realized that my things were holding me hostage. I had created my own prison, trying to hold on to all of that stuff, and now the shackles were coming off.
  14. A STEP FORWARD: If they hadn’t challenged me, I might still be up on my diva-like pink throne… daydreaming about another fish to fry and buying time until my next fall.
  15. A CHILD OF GOD: How I saw things now was that a curious young girl stood before me… full of intriguing thoughts and questions about life… and I silenced her.

Roots

Root is an extremely important word for me today. Throughout the past two years I have been reflecting on my life and writing about it, in an attempt to get to the ROOT of my problems.

Noun: The basic cause, source, or origin of something
Verb: Establish deeply and firmly (be rooted)

As of January 7, 2015, the day that I first attained sobriety (though relapses occurred), and the day that my wholehearted search for God began bearing fruit, I’ve spent a lot of time becoming deeply rooted in Him and His Word. And as of March 7, 2016; the day that is now my sobriety date, I’ve worked at being well rooted in my recovery program.

Gil always reminds me that we have seasons in our lives. I do see that, and I believe that after many, MANY months of reading not only God’s Word, but some great books by C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, Philip Yancey, and even A.W. Tozer; my roots—although baby roots—have taken hold. I also believe that in starting this blog, a new season came upon me, which I guess was the outpouring of my story. Prior to that, you’d most likely find me in the recliner chair with a book in hand, at a recovery meeting, or at church functions (a far cry from my barhopping days!).

The thing that I need to be careful of is that I remember that blogging is a part of the mix, not a replacement for those crucial and lifesaving activities. That’s what my focus in 2017 is going to be; maintaining a healthy balance.

I saw a post on Facebook last night, and it was a GREAT reminder:

Joining AA is like joining the Mafia. Anywhere you go in the world, you have family. But… if you leave… you die.

The same can be said about following Jesus. I have family everywhere! But I need to stay rooted. I need to remain in the Vine, or I will wither and die. I guess that’s my way of saying I’m going to work a little harder on surrender, and maybe a tad less on blogging—or somehow incorporate the activities.

I do have more of the story to share—about discovering the ROOT of my problems—and I’ll be doing that soon. I just wanted to pause today and just BE. I’ll be making some sort of table of contents, too. My story seems to be lost amidst the many posts and photographs—and for anyone who can learn from it—I’d like them to be able to find the darn thing!

Until later- Peace and Love.
—Janet

Confessions: Light Breaks Forth

light-bulb-faith


I heard a great analogy last night. A light bulb went on, and I knew that I needed to use it in this series.

A hound dog will eat itself to death.

I did my research when I got home and was relieved to learn that this dog will do no such thing! But… when I talk about that void, my insatiable appetite that drove me to my never ending pursuits of More, MORE, MORE—that statement is a FACT.

Janet will (insert action word here) until it kills her.

Left to my own devices, I will overdue things to the point of self-destruction, sickness, or far worse… Death.


I’m skipping through twelve years of my life today. It’s the Christmas season, and I want to focus on the GOOD. I want to cut to the chase and tell you what saved me, and set my recovery in motion. Step Two!

STEP TWO: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

I came to BELIEVE!

There are so many things that I want to share. Breakthroughs, God Winks (AKA coincidences), trials, triumphs… and so on, but today I want to share a special one.

On March 6, 2016, two women from church recovery picked me up at a supermarket (where I sat in a stupor) and drove me to the hospital. My blood alcohol content was around .34 when they tested me, and I stayed there to detox for three days.

My spirit had been crushed, but I came out with a new determination. My first day of sobriety was March 7th, and I made my decision. 

March 7th was my day. I claimed it.

In October, just before starting this blog, the Book of Esther kept coming up. All over the place. Like five different times, within a two week period! FINALLY, one night I sat down and said:

Father… I’m going to read this book because I think you’re trying to tell me something.

When I told a group at church that… they kind of laughed at me. Not AT me, but with me. See… I’m kind of new at believing, and understanding how God talks to us, so sometimes it takes me a while. I think Gil would say that I’m a toddler, just learning to walk.

Anyway, as I read the story… the date March 7th kept appearing. MANY times! The version that I chose that particular night literally spelled out the date, in black and white, as the date that Esther’s people defeated their enemies.

I was completely AMAZED and thought what does this mean??

I proceeded to read a study guide which explained that the Jewish people represent GOOD or FAITH; and the enemy—or the Haman’s of the world—represent EVIL or DOUBT.

As I put the book down, I realized that God really WAS trying to tell me something.

I had just read my story!

March 7th was the date of my VICTORY—The victory of FAITH over DOUBT.

I don’t know about you, but that fills me with excitement and joy! It’s a perfect day today! A beautiful Sunday…to praise God and to say thank you Father…

…Thank you for the gift of BELIEF!

Read: Part Five

Confessions: Part Two

If I had to sum up how or why I took the wrong road, I’d say it was because I had no faith or belief in God. To make matters worse, I had no direction, no plans, and no goals. I was a walking, breathing, empty vessel… easily tossed around and swayed by whatever (or whomever) was in my vicinity.

I just existed.

That’s how the chameleon came to be. It was never intentional. I was a shy and quiet girl, from a perfectly normal family, who JUST wanted to fit in and be liked.

I started becoming someone that I was NOT in junior high, when I entered the world of cliques. I never fit perfectly into any one of the groups. To survive that excruciating experience, all I could do was pretend that I wasn’t petrified. I started acting cool.

Coolness came with a price. It meant parties with drinking and recreational drugs. It also meant failing my classes, in spite of the fact that I was perfectly capable of passing with excellent grades. I hid the fact that I was fairly intelligent because I was afraid I would be ousted from the cool club. How weird is that?!

Perception is funny. As I’m writing this, I have to wonder. Where on earth did I get the idea that being cool meant doing those things, anyway? Was it a preconceived notion that I had, or did someone tell me that?

See… that’s what I mean about my people pleasing and the imaginary THEY’S that I was trying to please.  As I think back on my life, it seems that much of my trying to fit in was based on my own assumptions of what people wanted from me. That’s just ludicrous!

Anyway, once the partying started it was life at full-throttle, in a sense, and the next thing you know I’m in that stinking marriage surrounded by booze—and drugs that will keep me alert so that I can keep drinking the booze—and I’m completely and utterly lost.

Skip to Part Three

I’ll tell you something. I’m literally experiencing what I wrote about before—about writing being powerful. I’m STILL discovering things from my past that are helping me see the errors of my old ways, or how and where I made the wrong turns.

It makes me think about the enemy. He really DOES whisper to us. He’s been wanting me sick—or dead—for a LONG time, and filling my head with all sorts of  lies.

Conversation with God

Father, you feel so far away,
I’m not sure that my words are right.
All I ask is to feel you near…
Did you hear my prayer last night?

Open your eyes my little one,
Remember the veil was torn apart.
Be still, and know that I am God…
for I am speaking to your heart.

I’ve summoned the wind to join us,
My spirit stirs amidst the breeze.
Look! The branches, they dance about…
Rustling leaves whisper melodies.

Forever and ever I am with you child,
I’m everywhere, and in everything.
Your words need not be perfect…
I know your heart, I hear it sing!

Oh thank you Heavenly Father,
for this song that you’ve given me.
I’ll be back again tomorrow…
to dance beneath our sacred tree.

Picking Up Speed

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

My sponsor said that to me after I told her about all of the coincidences that started happening in my life once I came to believe.

I think that prior to that time, my eyes were just closed. I say that because—looking back—I’m finally able to recognize God’s little nudges and prior attempts to get my attention when I was in desperate need of help but didn’t know (or believe) that it was HIM that I should turn to.

One thing I’ve never mentioned is that some years ago, I lost my jeep. It quit running and I was in no condition, mentally OR financially, to have it repaired. I had NO business driving back then anyway, if you know what I mean, so I have to wonder if that was actually one of those anonymous blessings.

Anyway, I received a text from my best friend. We grew up together and she’s like a sister to me. She and her husband were talking about me over dinner when her husband made a wild suggestion. For a minute, I thought I was going to fly right out of the seat of those pants that I fly by!

It came from so far out of left field that I never saw it coming. I think the ball actually hit me on the back of the head, because I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. They knew nothing about my prayers for a car, but they randomly, and quite unexpectedly, offered me their old car.

I get to pick it up in a few days!

I’m not sure about you, but I suspect that there may be a little note waiting for me when I get inside….

You’re on your way child. Enjoy the journey, remain faithful, and don’t look back.

Eternally yours,
Papa

 

A Child of God

Asking God to help me see my life from His perspective is what truly helped me. I went back forty years, to when I was lost in that awkward limbo between childhood and adulthood, and serious issues consumed my thoughts. I was convinced that no one would EVER understand what was going on in my head. I was the odd man out, the outsider, and a teenage misfit. I just didn’t fit in anywhere, and it was too risky to try.

I let fear win.

How I saw things now was that a curious young girl stood before me—full of intriguing thoughts and questions about life—and I silenced her. I introduced her to alcohol to help ease her angst, and we hit the fast-forward button. We raced into the adult world- totally unprepared.

What I came to realize was that, although my outward appearance had changed, that child had lived on. She carried-on in protest like a rebel without a cause—always reminding me that I was not like everyone else, and that I’d never measure up in this world.

I stamped the “reject” label on her myself, years ago, and she carried that stigma for decades. I was my own worst enemy! That’s probably when my recovery process really started to take hold. I visualized this younger me, and thought about what I could say to her…

You are loved, and you are worthy. You’re not different; you just see the world differently. That doesn’t make you less, it makes you unique. Be strong. Be courageous. Trust your Creator. He is with you wherever you go.

I embraced my inner child, and I told her these things. And then… I whispered to her the words that have never failed to see me through the darkest of days…..

You are a child of God.

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1  John  3:1

 

The Comeback Kid

I’m so glad I’m writing again and looking back on my journey. It’s really helping me grow. It’s not fun to recall my crazy blunders, but if I stay focused on the lessons learned, I seem to learn even more. Plus it’s refreshing to see how far I’ve actually come.

Last night I started thinking about how I always refer to January 7 of last year as the day I got sober. But, I’ve had relapses since then. I couldn’t put my finger on why that particular day was the date that I always went back to. This morning it dawned on me.

It was the day I came to believe in God.

I knew that it was Him working in me that night when I had my moment of clarity, and He had finally become REAL to me. THAT’S when I knew that my life was going to be different. It wasn’t some overnight transformation, but it was the beginning of change. Now my mistakes look different to me. I see that I was only on step TWO of twelve in the program, and just one tiptoe into my walk with God. And I had absolutely no idea what surrender really looked like.

In other words—I was in for a rude awakening.

After getting back on my feet, both in sobriety and with the broken ankles finally healing, my journey got real. Stupid real. Not only was I trying to recover from alcoholism, but I had just admitted that I had this weird love addiction. I seemed to know what was wrong with me, and kind of understood why, but I hadn’t quite figured out what to DO with all of this information.

Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass. Japanese Proverb

My plan of action was to put a halt to any romantic relationships. Unfortunately, once I resolved that men were taboo, they launched an attack and began tactically infiltrating my boundaries. Seriously! Take a stab at “embracing singleness” and potential love interests will crawl out from under rocks. I kid you not.

The man that I had pursued came back in and out of my life after I thought he had vanished for good. My emotional ups and downs triggered more drinking and—let’s just say that I started recycling my “Welcome” chips. Somehow I managed to stay just above bottom for six months. I quit writing completely, and it’s probably safe to say that I wasn’t talking to God much, either.

In spite of my friends’ advice, and my own common sense, I kept the revolving door open. While that door was still spinning, a new man slipped in—right out from under that rock and through my front door. He was funny, smart and charming…and he transported alcoholic beverages to me (that’s how he got in the door), so I was quite smitten.

Refusing to listen to my gut’s constant warnings, we saw each other for about four months. Not too often, but often enough for an alcoholic love addict to start feeling all of those chemicals and hormones churning around. In mid-February he laid his confession on me. He lived with a woman. So, it’s became kind of apparent that men with serious commitment issues knew how to find me. No? Sometimes I speculate that they have a top-secret information bank somewhere, and I’m listed in it with the notation “Easy Target” next to my name.

Anyway, I hit the bottle hard and spent about two weeks poisoning myself. I was tired of opening up to men that I knew nothing about, fed up with myself for handing my heart out to strangers, and I was DEFINITELY sick of being told that I was too serious, melodramatic, or lovesick. Long story short: some friends from my church-recovery group intervened, and I was pulled out of the murky depths, once again.

The closer you get to God, the harder the enemy tries to knock you down.

A friend in recovery said that to me and I believe it with every fiber of my being. I experienced it firsthand. But, if there was one thing I HAD learned in my life, it was how to be a fighter. So I grabbed that seed sized faith I had, held onto it for dear life, and started putting on my armor.

THE ENEMY WAS GOING DOWN!

Next Up: Fighting to Win

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

A Sprinkle of Faith

There were a few things that were weighing heavy on my mind when I first reached out to my friend Gil. He’s the one that I wrote about in Hearing God’s Whisper.

I had reached a point in my life—and in my drinking—where I knew that I was not only ready, but I NEEDED to find God. The life I had been living was without faith, without belief, and—looking in the rear view mirror—seemed pointless.

I had no purpose.

One of the most significant things that changed my perspective entirely. Gil inspired me to write my story. It wasn’t so much that he encouraged me to write, it was that he proposed that I “write about how people can change at any age.”

I think that’s when I had my first epiphany. I was ready to accept the challenge! I was going to write the story of how my life was transformed. This actually meant something HUGE. In order to fulfill the mission, I actually had to change!

I HAD A PURPOSE!

I started with a blank piece of paper and had absolutely no idea how it would all turn out, but I set my sights on a glorious future. The possibilities were boundless. All I could imagine was that something magnificent was waiting for me out there, and that all I really had to do to find it… was believe. That tiny glimmer of hope was all it took.

A sprinkle of faith.

After talking with Gil about my struggles and doubts, endless pursuits, and my unceasing inability to ever reach a point of complete fulfillment, I was finally beginning to understand what it meant to be born again—and to look toward eternity.

It meant coming to the table with a clean slate every morning and seeing things from new perspectives every day. It meant that there IS something glorious and magnificent out there. AND it meant that the Perfect Love that I had always been looking for really DID exist…

For eternity.

Next Up: The Comeback Kid

The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle. Matthew 17:20

A Lighter Load

Some people won’t look up to God until He puts them on their back. That point really hit home for me. Agony, sickness and feelings of despair definitely put me on my back. I was truly humbled, and it forced me to look up to God.

Whenever I quit drinking before, it was merely that. I quit picking up the glass. I would continue on—just as I had—but with a clear head. I strove harder, forging ahead faster, stronger, and more diligently than ever. I had something to prove. The failure to see results would eventually discourage me. Exhaustion would eventually set in, and I would inevitably turn to the one thing that gave me comfort. The bottle.

This time I just KNEW that my life was going to change. Once I had that moment of clarity, and realized that getting sober (and staying alive) meant more to me than my business (or anything else, for that matter), my priorities shifted.

My business wasn’t much, but it was MINE. I built it, and I owned it. And when I say built it, I’m talking from the ground up… which was from a laptop, sitting on a blowup bed in a room that I rented. Over time, it grew to pay my bills—and then some.

In all honesty, eventually I gave it up completely. I had a new sense of freedom and was discovering that my worth wasn’t found in that business. I was grasping something of REAL value. I was learning how to live.

I was coming to realize that surrender wasn’t defeat; it was simply passing the reins over to God, and trusting Him for the outcome. There was a LONG road ahead, but I was no longer weary and my load was light.

And I was sober.

Next Up: Girl Talk- Part One


Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Hearing God’s Whisper

Whenever I talk about finding God, I always wonder how people perceive that. You know… like… I wonder if they think I saw a vision (or thought that I did). How else DO you acknowledge that you’ve found something that can’t be seen or touched?

Sometimes people come into your life, and whether they stay long or just pass through briefly, they leave you with something. They have an impact on you. To me, that’s God.

When I was younger, the handful of times I attended church had discouraged me. I showed up. I tried to understand. Sadly, I was like a fish out of water. I felt nothing. It was like walking into a theater… in the middle of a movie. The entire time you’re watching it you’re trying to catch up, but it’s not making any sense! Everyone there knows something that you don’t. They know the WHOLE story.

I spent months on end corresponding with a dear friend of mine (the one who inspired me to share my story) when I was drinking and in despair. One of the greatest things he proffered me, aside from his graciousness, was an unwavering conviction that, not only was I going to make it out alive, but that GREAT things were in store for me.

He taught me that there’s a significant difference between religion and relationship. He had an undeniable relationship with God, and I wanted what he had!

I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for his friendship, support and guidance. Since our first conversation, several years ago, he has been there. Listening, praying and encouraging me, every step of the way.

If that’s not God whispering to me, I don’t know what is.

Next Up: A Lighter Load


Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18

Sweet Surrender

I’m always doing things backwards. Act first, think later. Of course my first thought after doing something is always “Now WHY did I do THAT?” And then there’s the other side of me that refuses to take a micro-step until I know (and understand) everything there is to know about something.

And I mean EVERYTHING.

That might explain my lack of interest in all things spiritual for the better part of my life. If anyone asked me what I believed in, the most accurate answer I could give would be “nothing”. The only thing that I knew to exist was my own little reality, and it wasn’t pretty. Still I prayed at times, mostly when the chips were down—and I mean REALLY down. Even then, I wasn’t sure “to whom” I was actually praying.

Several years ago, in the throes of a downward spiral, I fought to hold myself and my business together—by a thread. The harder I held onto that thread the more everything seemed to unravel. My mental state was deteriorating, I was sure that I was dying, and in my heart of hearts I knew what I needed.

I NEEDED GOD!

That’s when I started seeking Him. I was searching really, REALLY hard. I prayed day after day, and night after night. I talked to people who knew God, and THEY prayed.

The first answer came unexpectedly. An amazing friend called and offered me a place to stay for a week so that I could detox, and I agreed. I would be in a safe, alcohol-free, and comfortable environment, with her companionship and support.

On the eve of my departure my mind was racing. I was plagued with doubt, and was mentally preparing to call off the trip. It had taken me eight years to build my business and, although it had already started to crumble, I couldn’t bear to see it crash. I knew that if I left, abandoning what remained, I would be sure to lose it all.

That’s when I first felt the hands of God reaching down. I had a moment of clarity. A total thought shift. My business didn’t matter. Nothing but sobriety mattered. I HAD to go. I was never so sure of anything in my life. My worries melted away, I felt a wonderful sense of calm, and I slept peacefully. For the very first time in my life…

I surrendered.

Next Up: Hearing God’s Whisper

The Author of My Life

The first thing I want to throw out here today is that I’m new to blogging. Maybe that’s already obvious, but I’m adding a disclaimer to be safe. Doing a little C.Y.A. (as we used to say at the office).

I just dropped my anchor here and jumped in. I’ve got a habit of diving into the water before getting my toes wet. I’m notorious for it. What matters is that I’m doing it. Typing my heart out, and bopping away to the beat of my own drum.

I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum. Maybe it stems from feeling like such an outsider in my early years. At a pretty young age I started exploring self-help books and read whatever I could about becoming the magnificent Author of my Life.

I was always STRIVING. I strove to be ultra-independent, to make money, and to be totally self-reliant. Then I strove to be stress-free so that I could somehow be happy and content! The only thing that ever stood between me and the accomplishment of these goals were HUGE obstacles

Over time, the art of “picking up the pieces and starting over” became second nature to me. I was a pretty solid warrior. Until my last few bouts with alcohol nearly consumed me, that is.

While my kids were fairly young, I managed to quit drinking and lived nearly ten years sober. I worked harder, made more money, and bought our first home. Life was good! Unfortunately, I had no relationship with God, nothing that even resembled a recovery program, and an inflated ego.

I toyed with the notion that things were different—that I didn’t really have a problem—and that I could maintain control if I ONLY allowed myself to indulge in wine, and for celebratory reasons. This proved to be a bad idea. Very bad. That particular celebration lasted for years, and so the cycle continued.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that being the head honcho, the magnificent author of my life, didn’t really work out for me. Now… praise God… I’m in a real recovery program. I’ve surrendered pen and paper to the REAL Author of my Life. A power MUCH greater than me is in charge…

And I am finally free.

Next Up: Sweet Surrender

In the Beginning

Adolescence.

Such an awkward time in life. My personal experience with it was life changing. Mainly, I remember mounting depression. I left grammar school anticipating fall, when I would be entering Junior High with my fresh suntan that I’d spent all summer working on. I was brimming with excitement and I had so much to look forward to!

Much to my chagrin, life had other plans. I was confronted with unforeseen changes. I was also suddenly more aware. I began to question everything. Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Why do we have to die?

Death grew to be an obsession with me. It was ugly and unspeakable. My lifeless body would someday be six feet under, disintegrating… for eternity. Life would continue on without me, and eventually one day I would be completely forgotten by all.

I had such a difficult time fathoming all of this. Why are we here anyway? We’re all just headed in the same direction. To the grave! It made absolutely no sense. No sense at all. The more I contemplated, the more the whole world seemed like complete nonsense to me. I was a wreck by the time I arrived at school the first day. My shiny happy world had turned dark.

Looking back, I can clearly see that this would have been the perfect time for me to find God.

Instead, I found alcohol.

Next up: Rewriting Your Story