It is always on my mind to write a ‘spiritual’ post on Sundays. In my head they are called Kitchen Stool Sermons. I envision giving a little synopsis of what I heard in church or expounding on something I learned in Bible study. I did it once or twice a year or more ago and haven’t been very loyal to the idea despite the fact that every Sunday I get a little nudge that says “What are you afraid of? Just jump, I will catch you.”
In AA they tell us that alcoholics are really the only ones that can help other alcoholics because we have actually walked the same path. As a recovering alcoholic I have credibility to the newly sober. I get it when a newly sober friend is crying about not being able to drink again. I get it because I did it. Not drinking anymore was me leaving my one and only constant friend. It was abandoning the one and only thing that I always had, the one and only thing that was always there for me. The one and only thing that I understood and felt that it understood me too. Other alcoholics have said similar things in rooms everywhere.
I think this concept works for followers of Christ too. There are many broken people out there. People unsure of what following Christ looks like. Christians often get lumped into one hypocritical pile. My story of drinking will be different than every other alcoholic in any AA meeting across the world but our stories will be filled with commonalities. We each will be able to relate to the other. Faith walks are the same. Mine is different than yours. Not better, not worse, just all mine. People looking into Christianity need to see all varieties of walks because chances are one of them is going to speak to them and when they get into a pinch they will know where to go.
Someone once shared their story with me about how they got sober. When things got unbearable for me I knew where to get help. The best way to thank her is to pay it forward.
The day I got sober was the day that I met God. You can read about my first day of sobriety here. I just reread it myself and cried. It’s an emotional story for me every time. I think it’s good that I can’t read or tell that story without crying. If it becomes a story I can tell by rote it will be the end of my sobriety. The end of my relationship with God. The end of me.
That heart wrenching day on May 8, 2001 was the day I saw the me that God sees. He saw my hurts and my doubts and He said “I will help you to stop hurting. I will help you to stop doubting how wonderful you are.” He spoke to lowly me. He said the ledge I was on was precarious and even though I couldn’t see the bottom I needed to jump. I needed to take his hand and jump. Being buried by self doubt, self hate and shame is not the life He had planned for me.
So I jumped and together God and I have exhumed me, the Teri Lyn I am today.
I’m here to tell you that I believe God was in that chapel with me that night. I’m here to tell you that I believe I would not be sober today without His faith in me. I’m here to tell you that my tinky tiny faith in Him saved me then and saves me again and again now. I’m here to tell you that I have left Him, I have forgotten He was there. I’m here to tell you I have always been called back and he has always welcomed me with open arms and He always asks me to jump again. And though I may not do it immediately, I have not yet regretted a jump.
But I am also telling you that lying in the mud and muck of a coffin made of alcohol is a miserable place to be. I’m telling you that it was hard work digging out. I am telling you that there was doubt, fear and more doubt. There was ugly crying. There was stuff I had to look at that was hideous. Messes I made that could only be cleaned up by me. Messes that made me gag because of the stench. I’m telling you my faith walk has been intermittent and inconsistent. My faith walk has the gait of a drunk. On a ship. Sailing on rocky seas.
I am here to tell you that it has been and continues to be hard work. It’s the hardest work I have ever done.
I believe God is with me.
I falter. I forget He is with me. I still wander around in the sludge of my past beliefs but each passing year I spend less and less time there. I still do bad things. I still have horrible thoughts. I still battle with the urge to fall back to my old ways.
It was the hard path to take. Weak me did it. I jumped.
People say a leopard can’t change it’s spots. That a person is who he is and can’t change. In my heart I know that is false. I changed. Not changing is the easy road. Don’t be afraid. Jump.
I believe it is absolutely false that it is too late for anyone. Fear is for the weak. Don’t be weak anymore. Jump.
The thought that the sin that you or I have committed is bigger than what God can forgive is false. You are the only one not forgiving you. Let it go. Be Nike. Just do it. Jump.
You can change, it is not too late, God is waiting. Jump.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 6:14
This post was written using the prompt given by the Daily Post.