I grew up in a church that was more concerned with legalism than with having a personal relationship with the Lord. I was more scared of him than anything, afraid that one sin would equal hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. So I more or less learned the basics, and filled the pew for 20 years, more content with daydreaming than anything else. Being scared ends up in resentment. So I never really cared about the Lord, and lived by the mantra of ‘I’m a good person, so I’ll do whatever I want.’ To me, the Lord was more of a fairy tale, because I couldn’t see his goodnes much in the church around me.
My mother was very strict and didn’t give me any freedom. She treated me like a small child into my late teens and I couldn’t wait to break free. so at 20 I moved away and tested my newfound freedom in any way. Sex, drinking, drugs. I was living carefree. I ended up having an abortion, and later convinced myself God hated me.
Fast forward ten years and I was addicted to amphetamines and pain pills. I was having delusions of leaving my husband for someone I thought I had a psychic connection with. The particular guy didn’t know. I just knew in my heart we were meant to be together. I had convinced myself we had known in a previous life. (He was an old high school friend that I didn’t even have contact with.) I was also constantly fighting with multiple voices in my head. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish who the real me was.
I would have moments of lucidity, but I had way more delusional moments. In a lucid moment I evaluated my life. I had two children and a husband who loved me dearly. And I was living the lonely secret life of a functioning addict. I tried on my own to quit a hundred times. It never lasted over a day at a time, and every time I took a pill I would think,
‘I hate myself.’
Living a secret life is so incredibly lonely. You’re one person on the outside, but inside there is a non-stop struggle.
I don’t even remember how I got to the point where I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I felt so lost and so broken. I had wasted so much of my children’s lives so far, and I couldn’t remember any of it. So I prayed and repented, and told the Lord to please take over my life. I didn’t want to be in control anymore. And he did! Praise him! And he has even let me forgive myself of my past! (The drugs had always made me keep my past in the forefront of my mind, tormenting me daily).
I still have temptations from time to time, and I’m learning just how sneaky the devil can be. But I have been lifted from my delusions and addictions. In his mercy he has transformed me into a new creature. I am filled with this peace and love that i never even knew was possible! I never was aware that we could actually have a real relationship with our Father. I had no idea that I had been so spiritually oppressed.
Our Father is so, so good. I never understood the term ‘born again’ until I experienced it myself. The old me died, and I have become what he intended me to be all along. I see him in everything. I hunger to read more of the Word every single day. And now I want to spend the rest of my time on earth helping others in similar situations. Friend, if he can forgive me, he can (and wants) to forgive you too! Just admit to him that you don’t want to be in control anymore. He will guide, guard, and protect you. He’s waiting. Let him in. What better guidance can we receive than from He who is perfect?
I hope to meet you in heaven!