Tag Archives: Hope

How I Almost Lost My Sanity And How I Got It Back

The last couple months have been terrible.

I don’t want to get into any specifics, but I will say this.

I didn’t want to do anything and I was missing out on life.

I wanted to wake up and hit snooze every chance I had. Even though I would tell myself I wanted to be more productive.

My uncle passed away a few weeks ago. I drove out to PA to go see him (with my brother of course). I had to call off of work, which I hated doing.

I was depressed and I didn’t even realize it.

I didn’t want to keep up with the blog.

I enjoyed time with friends, but all I did was complain about how much I hated my job.

Then it happened. I had a mental breakdown. I had to make a tough decision and do what was best for me.

I was able to be with my friends, not complain about anything (for the first time in awhile), and even joke around and laugh. One of my friends even said that I was smiling so much it was beginning to creep him out.

I found out some things that I should have never found out. But I realized that God had meant for me to find those things out because He knew that I wasn’t in a good place.

He knew that I needed better, and he helped me get to that point.

God is there if you listen. God was there when I had some conversations with a few close friends and my stepmom.

The only thing I had to do was listen to the advice that was given. Which isn’t always easy.

Reality is, nothing is easy. Life is full of choices. Sometimes easy ones, mostly hard ones.

Acts 8:26-29 says “Now an angel of the Lord said to Phillip, go South to the road-the desert road-that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship and on his way home he was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The spirit told Phillip, go to that chariot and stay near it.”

We talked about this story a few weeks ago at my church group. God had told Phillip to approach someone and have a conversation with someone at this chariot. A man that Phillip had never met, that he didn’t even know. I can’t say what was running through Phillips mine but I know that I would never be able to approach a random person and start having a conversation with them.

However, Phillip obeyed. And great things came out of it (you should read the full story!) because Phillip had obeyed.

I was in the same situation with different circumstances.

However, like Phillip, I had to listen to the advice that was given to me. If you ask for advice, but don’t listen to it, chances are the results are going to be disastrous. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

My point is, if you put yourself first once in awhile and do whats best for you, you’ll be better off. You’ll be a lot happier, you’ll appreciate things on a level much deeper than you could ever comprehend.

I’m not missing my brothers graduation.

I’m going to Cedar Point.

I refuse to miss out on my own life.

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

 

 

 

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Something Greater than Yourself Does Exist

We are human. We want to believe that we are the center of the universe. We expect people to serve us left, right, up, down and sideways. We expect to get what we want, when we want, how we want it.

THAT IS NOT HOW LIFE WORKS.

If you want to recover from your alcoholism/addiction, the pride and the selfishness has to go. It’s a lot easier said than done, trust me, I’ve been there. However, if I can do it, then you can do it. You just have to want it.

We have to admit defeat. As someone once told me at a table, self will doesn’t cure self will. But God’s will? His will, and only His will can cure self will.

Honestly, it’s because of God and his grace that I’ve stayed relatively sane these last couple of months. It’s been one thing after another, yet I’m still sober, and I’m still ok.

If I wasn’t sober, well then I can say without a doubt that the outcome of things would have been a lot worse.

I’m not worried about things. I’m not worried about life. I’m calm. If you truly want to be sober, I pray that you come to believe in a power greater than yourself. Once you do that, you’ll find that life as so much more to offer. That you’ve been blessed and didn’t even realize it. You’ll realize what the real solution to your problems are.

To give you an example: If you’ve read my other blog posts, you’d know that a few weeks ago I got into an accident and totaled my car. This was a trigger for me. I wanted a drink so badly. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. Instead of going to the bar, violating probation and drinking my income away, I talked to people.

The next day, I called my bank. Because of the credit I’ve been building, I was approved for a loan to get a new vehicle and by the end of that day, I was driving home with a new car. Well, not brand new, but new to me.

I could have drank. If I did, then I probably to this day would still be without a car. God had everything planned for me from the start. It was a test. A test that I believe I passed.

It all worked out. It always will if you come to believe in a power greater than yourself.

I grew up Catholic and left the church for a really long time. I believed that there was something out there, but didn’t acknowledge that presence. I’m acknowledging it here and now.

My higher power is God. Your higher power doesn’t have to be. I am a Christian, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Open mindedness and willingness are key. I respect other beliefs. Because the world doesn’t revolve around me.

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Let’s Talk Emotions

I’m a little over a month in my journey with sobriety. And I can honestly say that this has been the most emotional month I’ve had in a while..probably because I’m sober. I feel things, I feel things on a deep level. That’s one of the many reasons why I drank.

I’m going to be honest, it sucks. It sucks so hard. One minute I’m crying at a table and an hour later I’m smiling, laughing, and nobody would have guessed I had a mental breakdown that hour beforehand.

However, the more people I talk to in recovery, the more I realize this is normal. Our emotions are going to be over the place. We’re going to be sensitive at first, we’re going to get irritated more easily than others because we aren’t drinking our feelings away.

All I can say is don’t give up.

I feel like I’m walking on an earthquake about to slip through the cracks. I’m hanging on to one tiny piece of rope. That rope is everything I want to be. Everything I’m striving to be. That rope is what is saving my life right now and I can’t let go of it, not yet. If I let go, then I fall to my death. That’s not what I want.

Sobriety isn’t easy. Giving in to a power greater than yourself isn’t easy. But things that we’re destined for aren’t meant to be easy. People can’t progress if they don’t want to put in the work.

My parents worry about me-alot. It irritates me because I am an adult. I have freedoms I didn’t have when I was 16. Them worrying is annoying. But it’s their job as a parent. One parent is 300 miles away and worries. It’s frustrating, I don’t like it. I work afternoons. So I’m most active at night and in the late afternoon. I have to be careful to not wake my Dad up when I’m coming home at 2-3 in the morning.

He gets irritated because I’m coming home so late. He works a 9 to 5 monday-friday type job, gets up earlier, and goes to bed earlier. I don’t have that right now so my schedule is backwards.

Little things like that make me so mad. But someone said to me “How would you feel if you guys didn’t fight over what time you were coming home? How would you feel if they couldn’t worry anymore?” and honestly, that changed my perspective and I became less irritated.

In our journey in sobriety advances, our emotions are going to be scattered and we’re not going to know how to deal. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to deal with it all at once. The key to it though is perspective. There are so many different outlooks on life, and it’s our choice to choose which outlook we want. We can choose to live positively, or we can choose to live negatively. It’s up to us.

If you feel like me, you aren’t alone. It’s normal, but don’t ever give up. Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens.

Photo by Alex Wigan on Unsplash

In the Midst of Persecution, God Was Still There

There are many events that have occurred in history where people were persecuted for their faith, skin color, and even culture.

Jewish people were killed during the holocaust because of the fact they were jewish. People who tried to save them from Hitler’s concentration camps could get severely punished if they were caught.

Back when slavery was (unfortunately) a thing, the Underground Railroad had developed. The brave men and women who escaped their “owners” could get persecuted if they were caught, and those involved with the Underground Railroad and helping to free these men and women could get persecuted just by helping them.

Note: I am not trying to undermine these events, or the people who had to endure the tremendous suffering they had to go through. I am not trying to undermine their feelings when I talk about those horrific events. 

Even today in some countries, people can get persecuted just for reading this blog post. It’s a sad thing that happens.

Those are just a few examples. It’s sad that both events happened because NOBODY should be punished for their faith, skin color, culture, etc.

When Paul was preaching, Caeser was king. What Caeser said, went. There were no ways around it and if Caeser wasn’t pleased, you were punished. This is what happened when Paul went to Thessolonica.

Paul started preaching about Jesus and His resurrection. Some people believed him, others didn’t. Others got mad because Paul was defying Caeser.

Paul and his friends found refuge in a man named Jason. Jason opened his doors to Paul, Timothy, and Silas. Knowing that Jason could get in huge trouble for harboring Christians in the name of Caeser.

When authorities found out about this from those who were angry at Paul for preaching the Gospel, they were irritated. “But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have no come here, and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caeser’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” Acts 17:6-7.

They were arrested. Bond was posted, and other believers helped Paul, Silas, and Timothy to flee to Berea to continue to share the Gospel.

They were persecuted for sharing the truth!

Jason risked persecution just by helping a fellow Christian.

However, God never left Paul and his friends. God provided a way out through Jason. They were released on bond, and they fled.

Even though you may be feeling alone right now, know that God doesn’t leave you, forsake you, or abandon you. In the times when I feel like I can’t feel him, I pray. He WILL make Himself known, if you open your eyes and your ears and LISTEN.

Photo by Claudia Soraya on Unsplash

The Motivation (Or Lack Thereof)

I’ve been blogging less and less. I’ve written for the Odyssey online, I have written for puckermob, and I started this. Odyssey and Puckermob just fell apart. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let this blog become one of those things that I’d start and forget about a month later.

I’ve been enjoying writing these blogs. It gives people inspiration and hope. My words have the ability to impact people in ways that I would have never imagined.

I’ve been thinking about putting myself on a schedule throughout the week. Getting a planner and writing out everything I have to do for the day. Word for word. Bills I have to pay, meetings I should attend to, days I have to work, days I have classes, what time I should be up by, etc etc.

I don’t have a planner yet. So everything I’ve been doing is from mental memory. Yesterday I got up at 8 A.M. I felt really accomplished (anyone who knows me knows that I am typically NOT a morning person). I got my car cleaned out and my room cleaned. Went to two AA meetings back to back and went to school to take my exam. I felt really productive and proud.

Today I woke up at around noon and barely got anything done. I got my budget worked out (bye bye internet streaming services *cough cough Netflix cough cough*) and my student loan paperwork completed, however I wasn’t able to turn in it to my schools financial aid office.

But today, I found out I am closer to getting my degree than I thought I was. I have about a year and a half left. That’s because I kept pushing, I kept striving, and I didn’t let the fear of student loans get to me. Even though I have changed my major roughly three times (which isn’t uncommon; if you are in the same boat, DO NOT feel guilty). I am so close to being done.

None of this would have happened if I didn’t sober up. If I was still out drinking, I wouldn’t have come to know God. I wouldn’t have been able to continuously share my story with people. I wouldn’t have been able to come as far as I have and that’s really important.

I’ve been watching a movie called 5 to 7 a lot lately, and one of my favorite quotes from that movie is “Progress is not linear.”

It’s not. Life is just a giant course of trial and error. If something doesn’t work, we try it again in a different way and make the same errors.

I feel like we have to hit a certain bottom before we rise to the surface. My charge was my bottom. This is why Paul is one of my favorite characters in the bible because Paul PERSECUTED Christians in his time. He had a specific encounter with God. In Acts 9:4, the Lord asks “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

That conversation that Paul had with the Lord changed his life. It changed his life so much that even his name was changed. To learn more of the story please read my blog post From Saul to Paul: The Beginning.

Do I want to do things other than sit for an hour and read the Word? Absolutely. I’m sure every Christian feels that way at some point. However, it’s a really bad habit to get into because when we should be studying the Word is when we aren’t feeling motivated.

 

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God Moment!

I have to make this super quick because I have to leave for work here in about 20 minutes.

The stuff I usually post in the mornings will be posted tonight. My schedule is somewhat backwards today. I had church at 10:30 and got home at about quarter after 12. I have to be at work by two.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you guys about this because I’m super excited that it happened!

It’s been about a month since I’ve been to an actual church service. Between the new job and trying to figure out a decent schedule to put myself on, I’ve been very scattered.

Today, I went. I went with a friend to a new church which was exciting. Trying new things isn’t bad.

As I entered the church, the song “Better is One Day” (which is a great song, you can listen to it here) was stuck in my head.

At the worship part at the end, the praise band started singing it.

This song wasn’t stuck in my head, it was God playing it to me.

It was a sign that I needed. I firmly believe it was God reminding me how awesome it is to be in His house celebrating Him!

I’m so thankful to be living this life!

I’ll talk to you guys later, I have to get ready for work now!

Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash

Are You Awake?

From what I’ve read, Luke 24 is basically the same story as we encountered in John 20. (To read about John 20, click here). It’s not surprising because Luke is part of the 4 Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All 4 Gospels are recollections of how Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John saw events unfold and their way of telling the story. In this case, the story of the resurrection.

It wasn’t even just Thomas who had to see for himself, it was every disciple (according to what Luke says). In Luke 24:37, it says “They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.”

Jesus replies back with “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I, myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” Luke 24:39

Comparatively, in John 20:19-20 Jesus says, “…Peace be with you! After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

They knew about the prophecy. They knew it needed to be fulfilled, but why didn’t they believe it was going to happen without seeing Jesus first?

You don’t need to physically see God or Jesus to know that he is there. I thought I did, but it turns out I was just walking around with my eyes closed, like the disciples.

I really don’t know what to say about this passage because it was so similar to John 20. This isn’t uncommon in the bible, it’s just the first time I’ve encountered it.

We may not be able to physically see God or Jesus, and we may not be able to hear them, but the miracles (even the tiniest ones) that occur in our lives on a day to day basis is Him.

We can see him, if we open our eyes. If we are aware. Are you aware? Are you awake?

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash