The Turn Around Point
When I had my final encounter with drinking just under 14 months ago, there was a certain change that came from deep within, but what caused this change this time as opposed to that of every other time I fell to the pressures of addiction? They say that before you can finally turn your life around, you have to hit your all time low, but is that what truly happened to me? There are several times throughout the hours of the day, and days of the week that I go back and relive my past. I don't know why I do this, maybe it is because looking back at how pitiful my life had become was my way of staying clear of that path, but this is what was going through my head the other day when I began to ponder this question; "What was different about the last time than any other?"
The thing about it is that I don't remember much of what took place during that night. I do remember my wife coming home to me, the drunk me, who was supposed to be taking care of our two year old daughter, but instead was passed out drunk on the couch. She took our daughter and went to stay at my parents for the night while I slept it off. I wasn't working much during this time and so I had the next week off and lots of time to think things over, again.
A day or two after the incident, my mom came over to check up on me and see how things were going. My mom throughout the previous six years was the true example of what a mother's love should be. She was always there in the most difficult moments to do whatever she could do to help her little boy. During this visit, she brought over five index cards which she had made for me. (My mom is notorious for making list and organizing things in the most precise detail). She sat down and explained to me that my life had gotten to the point where there were only five outcomes for me. She had written them down on these five cards. I still had a choice on where my life would go from here, but no matter what, one of these outcomes was going to happen to me. Here is what they said:
1. Your wife and daughter leave you. They can't live like this anymore.
2. You end up going to prison for DUI (vehicular manslaughter).
3. You are arrested and lose your daughter for child endangerment.
4. You die of cirrhosis of the liver.
5. You spend the rest of your life admitting that you are an alcoholic (AA) and that you can never touch even one drop again!
I think looking back that these cards were the beginning to me seeing where I had come. I caught a small glimpse of where my life would go if I continued to drink. I had had scares before this. I had Googled the symptoms of liver failure and checked myself over to see if I had hit that stage, but my fear only lasted a day or two and I was back to my old ways. I carried those cards in my back pocket for the next few months and I still keep them on my dresser to this day. The day after this I was driving to the supermarket and I was listening to Christian music when a new song was played that I hadn't heard before. It was called Lord I'm Ready Now by Plumb. The songs message speaks on how the point in life has come where life is out of control. As a last attempt, the individual reaches out to the Lord. It goes on to say that they are now ready, they have torn down all of the walls that were up in defense of their old ways, and are going to rely solely on the Lord their God. They knew that they were running out of time for their life to change and it was almost a "Now or Never" moment. It was time for a change.
This song hit me to my very core. I knew that this was a changing point for me, and that there was only one way to do it, through God. I went home and decided it was time to pull out my Bible. I had no direction of where to read and so I just started. I wasn’t long before I came to these verses in Jeremiah 29: 11-13 which reads: "For I know the plans I have for you" -- this is the Lord's declaration -- "plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." I dropped to my knees and I prayed to God. I poured my heart out to Him and I told Him that I had nothing left. I was powerless over my addiction and needed Him to "Step In". As soon as I finished my request, I received my answer. I was told, as clearly as if God Himself spoke it to me to my face, that if I were to follow, obey, and trust in Him, that He would take the desire to sin from me. He would throw it as far as the east is from the west.
I am happy to say that I have not touched alcohol or drugs since this moment in time. I have not even had the slightest urge to return to my addiction. I sat down with my wife a few days after this experience and explained it to her. I told her that this time was different. She of course didn't believe me at first as I had made this claim numerous time before. I told her that the reason this time would be different was that I had lost all control of my life, and so I had turned it over to God. He was now at the wheel!
At this point in time I feel that God allowed her to see my soul and the new creation which was about to emerge from nothing, because she stayed. So many times throughout the years my wife should have left me, so many times I should have had to gone through a divorce, but I didn't. I know that God was walking with her as much as He was with me.
A flame had been lit inside me. My life began to slowly fall back into place. I was happy and healthy once more. For anyone who is going through struggles similar to these of mine, or of a completely different nature, know that God is with you. I know that these times can feel like the most lonely of all, and that He has given up on you for good, but He hasn't. He is waiting for you to open up your life to Him. If you will place your trust in Him and turn the wheel over, He will walk you through the storm, leading the way for you. You just have to trust Him.
I know that He did, and continues to lead me. I have know doubt that if I ever turned away from Him, I would fall back into my old ways, because that is what addiction is. It is a lifelong battle that never goes away. What makes it easier is that Christ is on the front lines and we can know for certain that as long as He is there, the battle and the war have already been won for us!
Here is the link to the song I heard that day on the radio.
Plumb - Lord I'm Ready Now
Written by Brent Clark
Sober for Life