Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oi? You been on 'oliday?

I am going to go ahead and preface this with a HUGE and SERIOUS warning: Not everyone who reads this is going to be able to process it fully. I KNOW that I'm putting this out on the freakin' Internet for the 'whole world' to see. Do I care? NO! Why? Because hiding is what has gotten me into the situation I was in, up until almost 8 days ago, and has me writhing in the aftermath of fear and pain of the mentality and physicality of my sin. I will say this, though. This is NOT for you to gossip about and I call down God's angels to silence your tongue if you speak ill of what glory God is getting from my situation. I don't take this lightly. I'm not an idiot. I know there are people that will read this, perhaps glean something and know immediately what I'm talking about...on the flip side, others will only contemplate and never think of it again. But, if you do decide to tell people of what you KNOW to be the truth of my situation, in fairness, take the plank out of your own eye first. Then let us deal with my plank. Let them come to ME and I will stand as a living testimony of GOD ALMIGHTY. This is MY story, my testimony of God's grace and healing, my LIFE to tell, not anyone else's. No matter how important you think it is to 'share.' If you know you are a gossiper, slanderer or 'sharer,' please, out of respect for my family and to honor God, don't read this. Go read something else.

Peace and Chicken Grease.

Now on with the show.

Oi? You been on 'oliday?
Yeah, an eight-year "holiday" FROM HELL!

I'm not going to go into all of "IT" on for cryin' out loud (yet), and no, I am not referring to Disney. Disney was a great holiday. I hate roller coasters, but I know I'd ride the Tower of Terror a bazillion times if I could get back the (on and off of ) eight years I've lost. (I'm sure that after the tenth ride, I'd stop vomiting and passing out from anxiety and just get bored anyway...or laugh my head off and realize I love the feeling of free-falling.)

Anyway, the hell in which I am referring is this stupid, friggin' addiction I've had on and off for eight years that I am finally free of...well, it's been a week, but I'm free so far. Nothing dramatic happened, really. tired of it. God has shown me a glimpse of His dream for my life and man, oh looked GOOOOOD. That's what it took.

I've got family, friends, even strangers praying for me and looking out for me and keeping me accountable. And I'm going to give Celebrate Recovery a good 'ole, standing-ovation try (I didn't say, "good 'ole college try", cuz honestly, I never did much like the college scene and I can't say I really tried when I was there--although, somehow I managed to pass everything but Math anyway. I didn't even finish my degree anyway...aaaaannd I'd feel cheap if I lied about giving props to my healing having anything to do with formal schooling.) I already feel cheap enough for all the crap I've done while addicted.

So, on the contrary, life has always been my school. I've never had any use for droning lecturers. What they said, never stuck. I'd doodle and think of elaborate short stories and wait for lunch and the blue sky. I'd rather read a million good books (shoot, even BAD books, if there is such a thing), walk the sands of the ocean or climb a tree in bare feet, face burials of 10 beloved pets, fight viciously with everyone I know, at least once, and to love deeply, passionately and have my heart broken over and over, so that I may even try to glimpse the vastness of God and the universe. (I still have a few of those goals to go, actually. Like, the fighting viciously part.) And with all that I've seen and experienced and lost in my tiny 33-years, I still don't understand the vastness of God or the universe, of course. Never will. That's fine with me. This isn't my home anyway, but I want to enjoy it as much as I can before it's gone.

Anyway, let me say this; I don't know why God had this happen now; this total healing. This repulsion by my sin. But I'm sure as heck glad He did. I've been begging Him to take this thorn from my flesh since 2001 and I couldn't believe He wouldn't do it! I got ticked, actually. (Ticked at the wrong thing, but ticked, nonetheless...and who do we blame when things don't go our way??? Yep. God.) I did my duty and went to church, tithed, attended Bible studies, quoted Scripture, love on the lost. So, what the heck, right?

Thankfully, I never stopped believing in Him; or His love, goodness or beautiful righteousness (His sanity, yes, but never His love, goodness or righteousness), but I certainly didn't want to have any real conversations with Him, either. He could have crushed my addiction once-and-for-all when I whole-heartedly wanted to start Truth Magazine, when I got married, when I had my little Hamlet, when I was recovering from three surgeries to remove necrotized fascia, but whatever.

Who can know the mind of God?

And that's Scripture, folks. Romans 11:34 says, "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?" Not me, thank...well, Him. If it was up to me, the whole planet would have waaay worse problems than fake Global Warning (kidding, kind of), Michael Jackson's obsession with plastic surgery or people thinking Obama is the savior. I would have wiped us out with a flood again when I was 16, promise or no. I'm just glad I'm not in His position.

See, we know that satan (we'll call him the s-word from now on), likes to pull some pretty sick pranks. Don't fail to mistake them for fun and games. He's playing for your life. He's trying to make you think all hell is going to break loose if a loved one is going to die. Or you'll lose a job and you've got mouths to feed and here comes the s-word, delighting in sending his slimey little cohorts (remember, he is NOT omnipresent) to pester you and plague you and taunt you unto death-and perhaps not even physical death, but certainly death of hopes, dreams, friendships, marriages, families and all good things in this world. But it's not God's fault if you choose to believe the s-word. Oh no! Do NOT be mistaken there.

Because, from THE MOST important AUTHOR, we know that, "The wages of sin is death, but the FREE gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."--Rom. 6:23 (Did you get that part? I lost if for a long time. If He's not your Lord-the one you trust with all your hopes, dreams and fears, well then, He's nothing to you at all). Also, James 1:15 says, "When lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth with it, death." I like how another version puts it, too. "Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full–grown, brings forth death." It gives sin this living, breathing entity that we can take so much more seriously. Our sin is like breeding axe-murderers. ON PURPOSE! You think I'm kidding? Look at some of the most notorious killers...they usually came from some twisted form of Christian home life.

(And, Yes, by-golly, after 8 years of (again, on and off) addiction, I can still recite Scripture and that is only by the grace of God, as well.) Do I have the right to preach, heck no.... And...heck, yes. The lack of belief is what has kept me in bondage for so long. So I rejoice in the Truth and when it is spoken...from my mouth, from anyone's mouth.

But now...what keeps us in these entrapments?

The Lies. You know 'em. I know 'em:
  • You are NOT worthy (course I'm not) except that Christ Jesus lives in me and makes me worthy.
  • You're a no-good liar and a thief (yes, that's true) and yet, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • You deserve every bad thing that happens to you (prolly, yeah), but we know that everything works together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And every good gift comes from God. He longs to give us good gifts.
  • Ooo, this is a good one! S-word works hard on this one, I bet; You are completely and utterly alone. BUT the Lord is near the broken-hearted; he is the saviour of those whose spirits are crushed-Psalm 34:18 and A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. —Proverbs 18:24

And on that friendship note, there is also the verse (to those trapped in addiction, struggling with shame, wrapped up in the sin of anger, unforgiveness (a biggie), lust, etc.:

Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
—Proverbs 27:5-6
Remember that when your friends and family will not allow you to live in sin any longer.
So, what gives me the gall to stand before God and you and write all this?

Because I am a sinner SAVED by GRACE and He has healed me and I know the truth.
(And because He told me I could.)

(See random pics from our trip here: You've Got a Friend in Me and here Disney in 36 Hours) Oh, and thanks, Ty, for keeping me company and giving me courage!


d$ said...
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Andrea said...

i love you, my amy. always.

Hannah said...

Love you Amy.

Joseph said...

Ok, so there was my devotional for the morning. Thanks Amy for your openess and commitment to the Truth. I rejoice with you for God rescued me as well from a few addictions myself. He is Great! Like Tony the Tiger, but a lot better, and His cereal is probably better too ;)