Wednesday, April 18, 2012
It Was Nothing But A mere Sliver...Of HOPE.
I mentioned in a brief post last night that I attended a dinner for a Jail Ministry that I am involved with. The featured speaker was a woman who told her story, how she was able to overcome her Meth addiction and the harrowing account of the events leading up to her becoming a Christian and how the Forgotten Man Ministries played an important role in her finding a new way to live.
I could not help but think how hard it is for people who are struggling in this life...whether it be with addiction, divorce, illness...Whatever their issues may be because we all face adversity in life. And often we feel that it is us against the whole big, bad world.
I think back to the days of my active addiction and then to the early days of my recovery. Both were extremely difficult, painful times in my life. I often felt during those times that I wasn't going to be able to overcome my troubles and frequently I felt like giving up. Of course during my active addiction I made a very serious attempt to "give up" by attempting to take my life.
But what I really think about was during those early days of recovery....why didn't I give up then? What kept me going...day after difficult day? In some ways the pain and struggle was worse then because I was no longer escaping my physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual pain through drinking and drug use.
Today I know the difference was hope. After I got out of the hospital something inside me had changed...I had hope...albeit it was just a sliver but it was there none the less and it made all the difference. I don't know how it got there or what I did to get it but something inside me kept me going forward...because deep down I now felt that just MAYBE I had a chance. I didn't know how I had a chance but I just knew that I did. And that was just enough to keep me in the game, as it were.
Today I know that God was leading the way (just as HE had ALWAYS been there leading the way) but this time I was finally in a position (I was sober, I was willing, I had stopped fighting and surrendered) to recognize HIM and FOLLOW.
Even then it was nearly 5 years into my sobriety before I realized and accepted that I was a Christian. Before that...I just believed that there was some sort of God but I never felt compelled to try and define him...I was just hanging on each day by that fragile SLIVER of HOPE. And for me, at that time...that was enough.
So that is where my head is at this morning. I am thinking about all those folks in the world who woke up today...wishing in their heart that they hadn't. That they had just kept on sleeping forever. It is those people I think about today. And they are an important part of my motivation to keep going today...to keep writing about my story here on Shell Shock Serenade, to keep going the jail as a volunteer, to keep the Bible Reading Ministry going on Tuesdays and Saturdays...to be willing, at any time to reach out to another person who may indeed be hurting so much that they are standing at that very same cross roads that I did...do I choose to live...or choose to die?
It really does make it worthwhile knowing that one person can make a difference...