Almost six years into my recovery journey, awareness overwhelming assures me that only by the grace of God have I come this far.

In March of 2018, I entered the Orlando Recovery Center at the behest of my family. Uncertain if I had the strength to overcome the battle I’d been waging for the better part of three decades, I was terrified that this would be my last chance.

I wanted to succeed, I just didn’t know if I had it in me. For years I’d struggled. The shame and guilt I carried was paralyzing.

Weakened by years of alcoholism and an eating disorder, I couldn’t fathom that peace would ever find me. I’d wasted so many chances. I was physically beaten and mentally exhausted. The nagging voices in my mind always won. I was sure this time would be no different.

I had so much to lose, including my life. Yet, I still doubted that freedom from this self-induced prison was attainable. As I sit here now, I often wonder what changed. The only answer that comes is the power of the Holy Spirit and grace of God.

Awareness overwhelming, the moment I sought His face.

JN Fenwick (© 2023) | mothjournal14 | Images from Adobe Stock Images | Licensed for use | Music: Epic Trailer from Royalty Free Music Energy Sound

Awareness overwhelming,
the moment I sought Your face.
Comfort unconditional, 
the moment I felt Your grace.
You stood between me,
and the darkness of defeat.
You opened Your arms,
bade me lay it at Your feet.
You never faltered,
even when my faith grew dim. 
You never wavered,
despite the measure of my sin.
You stretched Your arms out,
and wrapped me willingly,
in the warmth of Your healing love,
where Your mercy set me free.
Awareness overwhelming,
the moment I sought Your face.
Comfort unconditional, 
the moment I felt Your grace.
JN Fenwick (© 2023) | mothjournal14 

Comfort unconditional, the moment I felt His grace.

God did not come to me loudly. He came to me in a whisper. His whisper was enough.

My awareness of His presence within me was immediate and overwhelming. His love was unconditional and powerful. Truly, it was the most powerful thing I’d ever known.

In that moment, I irrevocably placed myself in His hands. I surrendered everything. I had to. There was no other pathway out of the darkness. I know that now because I finally understand that the peace I longed for was never in this world, it was always within me.

As it turns out, that was the beginning of the end of my torment. I cannot explain it any better than that.

My transformation was immediate. The cover of darkness I’d existed in instantly lifted and I was enveloped by the light of truth.

The road to healing was a long and arduous one. I had to face myself and accept responsibility for all my poor choices. Coming face to face with my demons was the hardest, but also the most necessary thing I’ve ever done.

What lay behind me was a path of so much destruction I doubted I’d ever rise above it. Faith assured me that I would.

Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen, Hebrews 11:1.

By placing my faith in God and ceding Him full reign over my body, mind, and spirit, I received the courage and humility I needed to walk the path.

Relinquishing all the lies and all the turmoil into His capable hands, I was renewed daily. My conviction grew stronger. I physically flourished. My faith fed my spirit as I learned to feed and nurture my body.

Each the seeds of hope God planted within my soul took root and grew.

Today those seeds are a mighty forest.

The mountain that once seemed insurmountable is now but a small bump in the road. The prison I’d isolated myself within has disintegrated. Freedom and peace live within me as they never have before.

Through Christ, I have tasted forgiveness. Relationships, once brittle, have been restored. Doubt, once so prevalent within me, has given way to true conviction and wisdom hard won but life-changing.

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free, John 8:32.

All the lies I once believed in fell apart when faced with the light of truth. I wasn’t unworthy, beyond salvation, or irrevocably lost.

As a child of God, I wasn’t beyond redemption. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection assured me that the kingdom of Heaven was real and open to me just as it is to every soul that seeks it.

Safe in the arms of Jesus I experienced peace. I continue to experience it every day. So much so, that no matter what trials and tribulations I face, I know with certainty He is beside me in all things. That is where peace comes from. In knowing Jesus walks with me. Through Him, and only through Him, is freedom from this world and all its troubles attainable.

My security, trust, and reliance on God stand between me and utter darkness. It always has.

It has taken me a lifetime to reach this place. A lifetime of disappointment and disillusionment. A lifetime of self-inflicted suffering. Years of abuse and projecting that pain onto others. Decades of hiding behind a mask of shame and drowning my soul in a bottle of despair.

The second I surrendered was the second I truly began to live. But it hasn’t been just any life. It’s the life I was ordained to live. A life that is only possible as long as I remain steadfast, faithful, and open to God’s presence within me.

Faith changed my perspective.

I’m no longer bound to the finite understanding of this life. Instead, I’ve tapped into the infinite well of grace and insight only faith in God provides.

Safe in the arms of Jesus I experience saving faith and the eternal life inseparably connected to it.

JN Fenwick (© 2023) | mothjournal14 | Images from Shutterstock | Licensed for use | Music : Green Fjord Shores from the Royalty Free Soundtrack Library, Vol. 2

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
my turmoil slipped away.
Surrounded by His grace and love,
I found the strength to pray.
The first words I quietly uttered,
“Please take this hurt from me,
I am too bruised and battered, Lord,
to set my own soul free.”
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
He took my guilt and shame,
and planted in their place salvation,
purchased in His name.
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
His presence led the way,
vanquishing the darkness,
summoning the light of day.
Following in His footsteps,
the chains long binding me,
we’re broken by the power of,
His sacrifice and strength.
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
I left my cage behind,
and walked into the valley,
of love and peace divine.
There the once dark shadows,
that had long enveloped me,
departed as the light of truth,
rose up to set me free.
Safe in the arms of Jesus,
by the power of His name,
I left that valley whole and free,
my life forever changed.
JN Fenwick (© 2023) | mothjournal14

For those struggling in the darkness of addiction and doubt, I pray that the light of truth, the conviction of faith, and the power of surrender take root in your souls. I pray you know the freedom and peace that only comes by willingly and wholly relinquishing your entire being to God. And that just as I have been granted healing grace, you too find forgiveness and respite safe in the arms of Jesus. Amen.



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