I’m sure you will all agree with me that change is difficult. Especially trying to alter what has been repeatedly embedded into your daily affairs for years. What I’m saying is, “Old habits die-hard.” I did not become a drug addict overnight. Nor did I turn into an alcoholic in one day. Quite the opposite. It was through repeated, daily abuse of these substances that I became captivated and obsessed both physically and mentally.
I am elated to share with you all that this month I celebrate 4 years of sobriety. That’s breaks down to 48 months or 208 weeks or 1460 days or 35,040 hours or 2,102,400 seconds. Those of you that wrestle with this demon know why I broke this down to seconds. Sometimes the struggle to abstain from your favorite pastime is a second by second battle. And sometimes I had to look at every second as a victory.
Breaking away from the old way of life was easier said than done. I repeatedly found myself on my knees telling God I was sorry once again. Begging for forgiveness. Pleading for the “super human” strength I needed. Telling all my old friends that I didn’t do this or that anymore. Some would laugh at me. Others would give me a “more power to ya bro” and never be seen again. But I held tight to my commitment.
Out of the blue one day I ran across this verse in the Bible and it changed my life.
“Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” Philippians 3:13
I realized that I was still hanging on to my past that I was trying so hard to put away. Even though I was boldly proclaiming that I was clean and sober, I found myself still trying to hang out in the same places and trying to fit in with the same old people. How could I possibly forget the past if I were still living in it?
With that in mind, I pose this question to you. Why does a car have a rear view mirror? The answer is obvious. To see what is behind you. A quick glance once in a while gives you a clear view of what’s behind you and where you have been. Unless you are backing up. In that case you better keep looking in that rear view so you can see where you are going. But I was not trying to go in reverse. I needed to “look forward to what lies ahead”. My epiphany gave me a newfound strength. I realized that the windshield is 20 times the size of the rear view mirror. So I can clearly see what lies ahead and on occasion take a momentary fleeting glimpse of what is behind.
So now I have a new view.”This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) I had to put that old man down and start living my new life. I believe a funeral is in order. Procession, casket, gravestone, flowers, the whole nine yards. That way I can go back once a year and tell the old man who died I am still moving forward. I’ll take some flowers, leave them there, have a moment of remembrance and be on my way. Moving onward.
I hope you have been inspired by these words. If you feel that you need a new life, Christ is ready and willing to give you just that. Pray a very simple prayer and invite Jesus to give you a new life. Something like this,
“Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me that I need you leading my life. Thank you for dying on the cross so I can be forgiven. Please forgive me and make me new. I receive you into my life as my Lord and Savior. Help me to live my new life for you! Help me to love and serve you with all my heart. In Jesus Holy name. AMEN”
If you have just given you life to Christ or just renewed your commitment to Him I share in your joy! You are on a road to complete recovery from addiction. God is with you now and His Holy Spirit is with you also to guide you in all truth and empower you for your daily life. Please pray everyday. Read the Bible every day. God only authored one book and it pleases Him immensely for you to read it. Find a church that preaches the Word of God. If needed search out a Christian counselor to give you guidance.
If you don’t know where to turn, please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to give you some biblical christian direction. My prayer is for all addicts, no matter what the addiction, to find freedom through Christ Jesus and to live a healthy and fulfilled life that glorifies God Almighty.
Great piece Brian, love the reality of you idn’t get there overnight and change took time , diligence and the right choices.
Yes sometimes it is a second by second battle! the end result is completely worth the struggle.
Congrats on four years
Great Blog..I too have 4 years clean… its been quiet the journey.. couldnt have it without Jesus,,Thanks again for sharing…
CONGRATS on your 4 years. I couldn’t have done it w/out Jesus either. Nor can I do it day to day without Him. My life verse is Luke 9:23 Jesus said to them all,” If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
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Blessings to you!