“For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says the Lord your Redeemer.” – Isaiah 54: 7-8
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10
This week four years ago was one of the more painful weeks of my life and yet, it was the absolute best week of my life. In one moment of obedience, I stepped onto the path God had been calling me to and received a level a peace and healing I had no idea existed for me.
Let me give you a little background first. I was blessed with neighbors when I was 4 years old who loved me beyond what is imaginable. They had no children of their own so we adopted each other as grandparents/grandchild. These people were amazingly loving and generous and were devoted followers of Jesus. They took me to church, prayed for me and loved me in ways that God knew I needed. This allowed me to learn about God at a really young age and lay a solid foundation for my faith.
I accepted Jesus as my savior when I was 14 years old. By that time, my folks had gotten divorced and my mom and I had moved to Alaska. While I loved my mom dearly, she wasn’t a stable force in my life. She had a gypsy heart and was typically most concerned with her needs above mine. She wasn’t a bad person, she just wasn’t your average mom. She always wanted a daughter and she always wanted her daughter to be her best friend. This may be fine when your daughter is an adult, however, it is crummy when you’re the kid best friend. She moved around a lot and so I moved with her.
From 14 years old until I was 39 years old, life ebbed and flowed as life does but I built a mountain of pain because of the movement. My very first boyfriend and love died suddenly when I was 15 years old. I got married young and divorced when I was 28 years old. I got married again a couple years later, and then divorced again when I was 35 years old. In between there, I had a beautiful daughter who is amazing. My mom retired early to move in with us and be a stay-at-home Grammy. Throughout all of this, I used alcohol off-an-on to medicate through pain. I started drinking when I was 14 years old and knew that it would help me feel better. Not healthy obviously, just momentarily better. By the time I was in my late 30’s, I was a heavy drinker and not being careful with my life. My mom took care of absolutely every aspect of our lives so I really had no reason to have to be careful, as far as I was concerned. I assumed my mom would take care of me forever.
In December of 2008, on Wednesday the 9th, my mom had a brain aneurysm in our living room and I never held another conversation with her again. The next day she went into a coma and 4-days later, she was gone. My life turned upside down and was flushed right down the toilet. To say that I had no clue is an understatement. My mom had trained me to be fully reliant on her and so to not have her around was…well…pain. I didn’t know my daughter’s schedule, I didn’t know where we banked, I didn’t know any of our bills. I didn’t know how to manage any aspect of my life except working and drinking. I remember standing on my porch a couple days after her death, watching snow fall and saying to God, “I don’t want anything to do with You ever again. You’ve just ruined my life in one swift motion. You didn’t need her in heaven, I needed her here and You took her from me. How dare You! Don’t ever do anything for me again because honestly, I think you stink.” And in that moment, I dove head first into the darkest darkness possible.
For the next two years, I got through my days at work, my time with my daughter and school by living for the moments when I could drink. I didn’t drink at home and I never missed work, I drank on certain days of the week and every-other-weekend. On those “free” days, I drank to black out most nights. I was in so much pain I couldn’t stand being sober unless I was doing something fun with my daughter. I hated everything about being an adult because I had never been prepared for being an adult. I was miserable but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone so I made sure to have these neat compartments so that my friends and family didn’t know how much pain I was in and that I was drowning.
I’ll post the rest of the story tomorrow, don’t miss it! If something I’ve said thus far resonates with you and you want to talk or have a prayer partner, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.