A Letter to Myself

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In my darkest hour, when there seemed to be no hope, I felt broken and lost. I woke up in a place which knew only pain and suffering as if the life had been sucked out of it. I couldn’t comprehend how my life had come to this or how I would escape the void of despair which surrounded me. Did I make one huge mistake to get here or was it a series of bad decisions that led me to this place?

Battling addiction was the hardest thing I have had to overcome in my life and it literally destroyed me, my marriage and my future ministry. As Dianne Guthmuller says, “I thank God that test has turned into a testimony,” but I can promise you the devil set out to destroy me.
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I had to literally hit rock bottom to discover that God was my rock and only through him would I find wholeness and restoration. I have an addictive personality to begin with so when it came to recreational drugs, the deck was stacked against me. It started as such a subtle addiction, one in which I thought I could manage, but ultimately it became one which literally took over my life and drove every decision I made.

If someone could have spoken into my life, this is what I wish they would have said:
Despite your anger, discouragement, denial, or helplessness trust that God causes all things to work together for your good and despite your fear know that God has you in the palm of His hand and He wants the very best for your life. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear the unknown, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you! He will strengthen you and He will help you. Know that you are not alone and no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. Your God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape and He will equip you to endure it. Never give up and do not lose heart. Though it may feel like your outer self is wasting away, your inner self is being renewed day by day. This affliction is preparing you for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. take_heartIn all things have peace because I have overcome the world and when you put your trust in Me, all things are possible and what the enemy meant for your harm, I will use for your good. What the devil meant to destroy you, I will use to bless you, so look to Me through Whom all blessings flow and I will give you rest. Cast your cares and burdens upon Me and I will give you peace. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything give thanks as you receive My peace, which surpasses all understanding. Lastly, know “You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.”–Max Lucado

Which Way Are We Looking?

To truly understand what it means to be whole, you must first understand what it means to be broken. God has a plan for each one of our lives, but we tend to deviate off the path from time-to-time. In some instances, we make a quick course correction, while others; we continue a downward spiral until we hit rock bottom.downward-spiral

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

Last night, I was lying in bed and I was looking into my dresser mirror and saw the ceiling fan going the wrong way and it really got me thinking. The fan in reality was going the right way, but in the mirror it was going backwards. When we look at our lives, we often spend the majority of our time looking the wrong way. While we should never forget the past, we should be looking for the new and wonderful things our future holds as followers of Christ. Knowing the story of what God has done in your life makes it that much more powerful, but using those experiences to better the kingdom of God brings joy, purpose and peace! When we get stuck in the past or present, it becomes impossible to see the future, so never lose sight of the great things yet to come, and never forget we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb AND the word of our testimony!

Over the last 2 weeks, I have battled withdrawal from 3 narcotic medications I had taken following a car/cycling accident and then multi-level back fusion surgery.pill_addiction_by_kaywa-d4ij1lm At times, it has felt like there is no end in sight, but in my heart, I know this to not be true. So far, the worst part for me has been the sleepless nights, depression, anxiety and aching pain, but even in these God has spoken to me and allowed me to see another side of His loving character.Restless Mind The other part to this story which has truly moved me is a man I personally know of is battling these same withdrawal symptoms at a treatment facility. I truly believe God is showing me exactly how to pray for this individual and that has really motivated me to see something beautiful in something so painful. Because God loves us so much, He doesn’t want to leave us where we are; He wants the very best for each of us.
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When we can begin to let that rationalization be our filter in life, we will see the world and all its circumstances through a brighter lens. Not one bad or painful experience will ever be wasted and not one tear we shed will be lost when we love the Lord and are called according to His purpose!