Embracing the Path- the Way to True Freedom
April 20, 2017 | Posted in: Addiction
She only said ‘what many are thinking’ is what the enemy would have me believe, but I asked The Lord for His truth believing my friend had good intentions and did not intend to harm me. You see my husband of thirty years had recently passed away. Within weeks it was Easter Sunday. Prepare they say. Know it will be different. So I planned the day, the people I would be around (and not be around), I volunteered (helping others is good they say – and it was). Easter went off without a hitch. But the next day you let your guard down – you made it. You continue blessing others and go help a friend.
The usual barrage of questions comes “How are you doing? What are you going to do with your life? Are you moving? Are you keeping the house?” Lord, help me – I have no idea! Today, I am breathing. Then comes the observations/judgments – “you are strong; you are handling this so well; your walk with God is so much more than I ever realized. You’re doing good.” Keep painting, I think. Sing worship songs. Breathe. Then comes the comparison – I was talking with *Barbie the other day and she was sharing how hard it was now that *Joe was gone. She misses the little talks, but you are lucky you won’t have that pain since you didn’t come from a loving relationship like she did. You see to the world’s view Barbie & Joe had everything – a wonderful family, home, church, finances until Joe lost a long battle with cancer. Barbie had support, love, help, meals and God’s people supported her in every way. In stark contrast, the world saw my circumstances differently – an alcoholic husband, financial ruin, wrecked cars and hospital visits. I received pity, shame, guilt, and isolation as well as “releasing me from my job at the church.” According to the world’s view, my perfect life had disappeared and I seemed powerless.
But in my weakness is where Christ becomes my strength. In my desperation and despair is when I found my true Savior. I wouldn’t trade any of it. I know my pain is real. I not only have to grieve the loss of my husband but also of my hope. I believed God could and would restore my husband’s health just like Barbie did. I also believed God could and would restore my marriage making it better than it was before. But you see, the truth is alcohol was a “drug of choice” for depression, addiction, bitterness, unforgiveness. The list goes on and on. We all have them. What is your drug of choice? Click To Tweet My drug of choice is prayer and truth. In that God began to reveal to me how he will take that guilt and shame – he never meant for us to carry it. He will bring true freedom – even when it looks different. You see both of our husbands are now healed and in paradise – in freedom – even though the path looks very different. And eventually, Barbie and I will be there too. We are not promised tomorrow.
Whatever your path looks like- to you or to the world – understand it was chosen just for you. Click To Tweet It was meant to refine you, allow you a greater voice for His glory and He will be with you every step of the way. Another friend told me in the midst of the journey “God will not waste one drop of your pain.” I am sure Barbie and Joe took Jesus (hope) into the chemo room, radiation room, hospital room and shared His love everywhere they went. I will take Jesus (hope) into each place I am given the opportunity – families of alcoholics that I meet in the coffee shops and auto repair shops, doctors and nurses who treat the drunk drivers and their families with such respect and dignity, GriefShare meetings where family members are facing shame and guilt and are desperate for freedom, church people who have no idea how harmful their words are and those The Lord places in my path. I will share that God is Sovereign. He is Good and He is Love. He wants our shame and guilt. He sacrificed His Son for our freedom. His ways are higher than ours. His thoughts are greater than ours. He will do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. I will share my story as He took my guilt and shame and replaced it with freedom and hope – regardless of what the world sees. He will be my comforter amidst the pain, my protector, and my provider. He is my perfect husband.
*Names have been changed.