Facing addiction, alcoholism, grief, and despair, are journeys of the soul that must be faced alone. These journeys feel more like battles, but they open us to healing and to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our Creator than we’d ever know until we face them.
For me, 2018 will always be the year I grew up. That might sound corny seeing as how I was 51 at the time, but there’s really no other way to describe it. That was the year I faced my demons, all of them. The ones I’d been carrying around with me since childhood. The ones that felt like an anchor around my soul.
The thing is, though, I understood deep down that if I was going to survive this reckoning, I’d have to rely on someone so much greater than myself to survive it. After decades of trying to control my life and failing miserably, I was exhausted. My family was exhausted too. Agreeing to enter treatment for both my eating disorder, something I’d struggled with for decades, and my alcoholism, was only scratching the surface. There was so much shame, guilt, fear, and anger underneath.
Oh, it occurred to me to run the other way. Who wants to stand in front of the mirror and really see themselves, warts, scars, and all? To say I was afraid is an understatement, I was terrified. More than that, I wasn’t sure I was even strong enough to face what lay ahead. Physically, I was frail. Mentally, I was exhausted. Spiritually, I was depleted. There was only one answer and it found me almost from the moment I set foot in that hospital. I needed to go to the well.
Salvation is real and it is available to all who seek it.
For so long, I believed I was unworthy of salvation. I had convinced myself that I had made too many mistakes, let too many people down, and committed too many sins to ever be worthy of forgiveness. The only thing that lie ever bought me was more heartache, more despair, and more importantly, it provided the excuse I needed to continue with my selfish behaviors.
Lies are like that. Instinctively we know they are falshoods, but we hang on to them anyway, convincing ourselves that the grey area is an ok place to be. It’s not, and accepting and facing that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. No one likes to be lied to, but who exactly do you have to blame when you’re the one who’s been lying to yourself? Yeah, facing myself in the mirror of truth was not pretty, but it was necessary. But I was not alone. There was someone standing beside me in front of that glass. Someone who had been waiting for me to seek Him. Someone who believed I was worthy and who had already paved the way for my salvation.
The moment I surrendered is the moment His grace covered me.
I am here today, five years into this journey of faith and healing because of one thing: I surrendered my life, my past, my present, and my future to the keeping and mercy of Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. There is no other way out of the darkness. There is no other love greater than His.
That moment of surrender was a transformation like no other. It was the moment I was released from the dark prison of my mind and the lies that had caged me there for so long. It was the moment I understood truth and accepted it. It was the moment I embraced forgiveness and received it. It was the moment I felt His grace cover me. It was the moment I felt the unconditional, relentless love of God and welcomed it into my heart and soul.
Oh, I still had to do the hard work, but He gave me the strength and the courage to put one foot in front of the other. At no time did He leave me. At no time did He turn away. When my doubts threatened to take hold, when my fears bubbled to the surface, He calmed the waters and beckoned me to trust His timing and His plan.
I learned more about myself in those first few months of recovery than I had throughout my entire life up to that point. More importantly, I learned more about Him. I felt Him in the deepest corners of my soul renewing my faith, my hope, and my strength with every dawn.
This was my journey. The one I had to walk alone, though I was never alone. He was there. He still is and because of that, I am forever free. And I am grateful. Grateful for the broken road that led me to the well of salvation.
There are some journeys,
you must walk alone.
Do not fear stepping
into the unknown,
for He is there.
From your first breath,
to your last,
He will remain.
Guiding your steps,
strengthening your heart,
covering you in grace unending.
And as you face the coming storm,
He is your refuge.
There is no height, no depth,
nothing in creation,
that will keep Him from your side.
And as you walk in solitude,
He walks lovingly beside you.
Yes, there are some journeys,
you must walk alone, my child.
But these are the journeys
that enable you to discover who you are,
and who you were created to be,
in ways that nothing else ever will.
JN Fenwick (© 2022-2023) | mothjournal14 |
Four Weeks: A Journey From Darkness is available now on Amazon.