When things get too real, when I feel naked in my vulnerability, or when I am overwhelmed with grief too raw-I retreat.  There is always a trigger, and the last one was abandoning ship with my toxic relationships.  I allowed the Holy Spirit to lead the dance, there were days when I was terribly alone-but yet, not lonely.  I dig my own company and that of my husband and canine.  I could spend hours in my garden, shouting for joy and thanking Jesus for his meticulous attention to detail.  My anxiety leads to compulsive cleaning, and I have a Honey-do list for myself-the entire farmhouse needs fresh paint, we are in the process of doing some much needed home improvement.  When I tire from hiking, gardening and anal retentive housecleaning?  I have my writing, my bible, my research.

The word bored does not exist in my vocabulary.  I often tell my husband that I am spending the day watching old movies and snuggling up on the leather sectional-and then we laugh and laugh our fool heads off, because we both know that even when I am down with the flu, I clean.  I know the reasoning behind some of this-spending way too many hours in bed, be it hangovers, depression or serious illness.  My health was improved dramatically by getting sober-yet my emotional health became much, much worse.  I began skin picking, obsessive and compulsive disorder they say.  The point being: it was as if someone had stripped me bare, and I couldn’t run, nor hide.

back view photo of a woman wearing orange and black floral sleeveless jumpsuit standing on seashore
For when I am weak, only then am I strong.

I understand the reasons behind the valleys.  When we are on the edge, in our rawest of moments?  That is where you will find Jesus, and He will build you up so that you fly like the wings of eagles!  I have learned so much about boundaries, friendship and my strong desire to be appreciated for who I am, not who people want me to be.  And on the other side of that coin comes the recognition and respect for others and who they truly are-flaws and all.

So now, it has come to a new spiritual awareness of life:  not a black and white version, or what I perceive life to be.  Life on life’s terms, the kryptonite to every man and woman in recovery.  We didn’t become addicted because we handled life well, or had a childhood that was reasonably functional.  Every single one, myself included, every one of us was running from pain.  Thus the backlog of grief-a term you will hear in the rooms.  God made us so that we can make choices, but that doesn’t mean we will always make the right ones.

No matter how far and fast you run; no matter what your vice-be it food, drugs, booze or porn-you simply can not run from emotional pain.  So you make a choice to live, and baby, that hill is uphill for a mighty long time.

I am here to tell you that it gets really, really, really good.  It is a nail-biting adventure, not for the faint of heart, but when you truly face your demons and give your grief to God?  Oh, life becomes a symphony-and one that you can call your very own.

The exile is over.  I am stronger, wiser and more aware than ever how much I, we, truly need Jesus in our lives.  He will forgive you of anything, that’s why he died on the cross.  When He said

It is finished.

He meant the debt was paid.  Turns out, God will even forgive what we consider unforgivable.  My life has been one of stigma and persecution, simply because I am His!  I never fit in, I never gave in, and it was only because my sweet Jesus was carrying me.  If there is someone you need to forgive, or someone who you need forgiving from?  Your life will be enriched and remember-remember to forgive yourself.

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