Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Confused? Is there a war going on in your head?
That has been the story of my life for decades. Doing things that I didn't understand why I was doing them, and wanting not to do them, but did it anyhow.
The good old conflict of natures. I wasn't really aware of it until my mid 30's. Before that, I just dabbled in drugs and alcohol.
In Junior High and High School, I was lucky to have one or two friends and ended up dropping out as a Junior in High School. Before that, I was skipping so much school, it was ridiculous. School was to say the least a major disappointment. I envy those that thought High School was some of their best experiences. I wasn't really being bullied, but always being talked about. You know.. "Oh him, he's a Fag" constantly as I walked the halls.
From the ages of 15-20 I found figure skating and had an extended family of about 40 other figure skaters, which included most of their mom's and a few dad's mixed in there as well. I spent 5-7 hours a day training. Those were some of the best days of my life. Looking back, I should have stayed a while longer, but the anger was setting in and I was actually starting to get very afraid of the triple jumps that I was having to start training on. I didn't want to break my neck after all.
But when I left all that, I was alone and didn't know what to do. So I decided to move out on my own. Started hanging out at an 80's dance club called Maxim's in Salt Lake for kids under 21 (the legal drinking age). Seemed to be the place for misfit's. I found a great group of friends there and of course ran into my very first love. Finally having a group of friends for the first time in my life, I was willing to go along with the crowd somewhat. That is when I had my first taste of alcohol, and we drank a lot of it. Most of my friends also were doing drugs. Cocaine, which I was pressured into trying once, but thank goodness nothing happened to me. I was freaking out about it. They also were dropping acid, smoking marijuana, and I am sure many others. Fortunately for my addictive personality, I never touched them other than that one time. This lifestyle lasted about 3 or 4 years and in that time lost my first love and then my true love.
At 23, again I thought I had met the person of my dreams who swept me off my feet and moved me to California. And I needed to get away from Utah in a bad way and religion in a bad way. Way too much drama at this time going on with my family and me being Gay. At this point, Alcohol was not a part of my life. I can't remember us even going to any bars. Maybe once or twice, but just didn't appeal to me.
At 31, in 1996, I left that relationship and bought my first house. This is when it all started truly going down hill. I started drinking heavily and of course with that entails being sexually promiscuous. Might as well get it all out there. I Couldn't go one day without a drink.
And then of course, God had to start throwing himself into the mix again and that threw me in a tailspin. So ANGRY with God for making me a FAG, ANGRY that I couldn't stop drinking, ANGRY that God hated me, ANGRY that God made this way just to be thrown in Hell, ANGRY that God wouldn't just let me die.
Got fired from my job of 10 years, didn't know what to do now, mixed in with being thrown in jail for not only one DUI but two. Self Loathing, Denial, Depression, sex to fulfill a desire for love. Just ANGRY and my poor mom of course had to hear every word and detail of it all. Sorry Mom. This lasted until just last year, at the age of 49.
Something was missing and it was contained in the very word I used every day... why God why.. that's it.. that's what's missing.. I really needed to find God again.
The fact that we are broken and get upset about it, is a good thing. As in Timothy 6:12 Fight the Fight.
So, I decided enough already and along with my partner of 13 years we decided to seek out a church. As I mentioned in my last two posts, my daily addiction just seemed to lessen to a once a week thing. It's as if I had been injected with an anti addiction drug. I can't stress to you how amazing this was to me. I didn't even try to stop, it just ..... Did... maybe it was due to the fact that I was just tired of it all. But so are those in AA, but they struggle with stopping. I didn't and let me re-iterate, I was drinking every day. I couldn't wait to get home to get that first drink and obliterate myself to a non-thinking stage. I was addicted.
Now I am not saying that if you go to church that God is going to heal you right away. It does not happen to everyone. But if you find yourself angry at God and you are tired of drinking, snorting, injecting or sexually acting out against him, trust him to take care of you. But don't think that you have to be fixed first. If you find a church that tells you that you do... run away as fast as you can, and find another one until you find the church that fits you perfectly.
Steps It took for me as a new creation:
1. Admit that I truly loved God.
2. Admit that I needed and wanted help from God.
- Psalm 31:14-15 “But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand;"
3. Found a bible teaching church that fits me perfectly (one that teaches the love of Jesus & his death on the cross). (Tried 5 different churches).
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
4. Go to church faithfully - every week!!! (Be all in and engaged while there
- Psalm 34:1 “I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.”
5. Admit to God & others that you are a sinner. (Admitting to others may be scary at first, but in doing so, I was forced by them not only to get prayer, but start being accountable for my actions, just in the case they asked). But if asked, don't lie.. if you fell again, be honest with them.. you need as much prayer as you can get, and they may be able to offer you other help if needed thru other sources.
- Proverbs 11:14 “Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you will follow, the better your chances."
6. Join a Home Bible Study Group - this was key as we could have open discussion or private with those I trusted.
7. G0t involved in the Church. Volunteered to help out. This was another key for me.I can't tell you the countess number of wonderful people I am getting to know whom all support me just as I am.
- Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
I know from personal experience that the more you think of and help others versus yourself, and keep yourself busy, the better it is for you to get over your addictions. If your too busy to think about them, that's a good thing. Your also doing that which Jesus has asked us to do. Stop thinking about yourself, get out there and help the senior citizens, the poor, the hungry, the broken, the hurting.. Heal through helping others, whatever that may be.
- Luke 6:38 Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
- Mark 12:31 The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
- Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
If you are saying enough already and you are doing those things that you truly don't want to do, but are. Choosing one direction over the other, and what you truly want to do is stop the insanity and find the truth about Jesus. I so know what you are going thru and I am so praying for you my brothers and sisters.
- Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
I pray today, God that you would bless and lift up all those who come here who are hurting and trapped in addictions, that you would bring your Holy Spirit down on them right now. Let them know and feel the true love that you, Jesus have for them. That they have been given your immeasurable full grace and full mercy of you and your death on the cross and that your blood drips with complete forgiveness for every single sin in the past, the present and in the future. To know that they are loved beyond measure and compare. I pray that they will find a church filled with people that love them as much as you do Jesus, and that you will release the miracle of God's healing upon them right now.
You are so much more loved by him then you could know at this point in your life. You have read just a little part of my story, so you know I have been there. Right where you are, right in your emotions, right in your addictions.
I am right there with you, and I know that you can have the joy that I have today in following Christ. It's not exclusive to me. Its all out there for everyone to enjoy, and all you have to do is take that first step. Baby step, after baby step...
And if you fall, please don't beat yourself up about it. As long as your are heading in the right direction, toward's God, always seeking the truth and following him, making the right decisions more than the wrong one's then you are headed in the right direction.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
Ephesians 5:15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”