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IfGodThis month in the U.S. is our tradition of Thanksgiving. Today is my Day #17 of giving thanks, and today I am thankful to God for 2 years of Sobriety. Two year’s ago today; God took away my addiction to alcohol and cigarettes literally overnight. You may or may not believe in God and you may or may not believe that he still does miracles today. You may believe that miracles are just happenstance, but maybe my story of an instant healing of addiction can change your mind a wee bit that miracles are the work of God.

My drinking started innocently back in 1998 after having left a 10 year relationship and another one a short time after that. I found myself on my own and truly alone for the first time in my life. I had never been without someone by my side. Along with the drinking I started up the smoking again that I had quit once before.

In 1998 I met someone I was interested in and we would usually hang out at a bar. He was also willing to hang out at the country bar which for me was the only music of choice at this time. One particular night, we had a two shots and a beer and he wanted to move on to another bar, so naturally I said yes… We did that two more times and on the way to the fourth bar, the red lights were flashing behind my car. I just received my first DUI at an alcohol level of .21% and was tossed in a cell for the night with about 50 others. This was just the beginning. Once I got that DUI, the interest in that person faded and the next two years were loneliness contained in a bottle; whether it was at home, at a bar near or far, another city or various other places. Anywhere that fun could be had with a drink or the booze was free.

I met my current partner in 2000 and I don’t remember much drinking in the beginning, but that soon changed to not being able to go anywhere after work without one in my hand or where alcohol wasn’t available. I often would be up all hours of the night, sometimes having drank so much that I would throw it up, but that didn’t stop me, it just left room for more. Obviously this led to going to work with hangovers, sometimes with no sleep being too tired to deal with it, angry and hateful, or of course not very productive.

I am the type of person that when conflict would arise, I would leave the house, which of course meant taking alcohol with me and ending up being out all night driving around or parked and wallowing in my drunken-ness, depression, stupidity and anger,  just wanting to die. This led me to a 3 day sting in a mental health ward on suicide watch and a few years later to a 2nd DUI at an alcohol level of .23 All I remember from that night was driving onto a military base just wanting to turn around to go the other direction on the road I just came from.  That’s the last thing I remember. I apparently blacked out right at the entrance. I woke up the next morning in the brig of a military base, not really sure what happened.

In 2009 I started working for myself out of my home, which meant the drinking could start whenever I pleased. I started to notice that when the clock hit 1PM in the afternoon, I needed to go out and get my booze for the night. If it got much later then 2 and I had not gone out to get my booze, I would get all agitated.

After my 2nd DUI, I made a pact to never drive again with alcohol in my system. I stopped the vodka and went strictly to beer. I thought drinking beer meant that I wasn’t an alcoholic and could control myself better. I was kidding myself. I could drink a 12 pack and still need more. And if I ran out? well of course, I would go to the store two blocks away and get more or just turn to the vodka that was always in the house.

I also have to thank God that the many many times I was out drinking and driving, that I didn’t hit anyone or anything. I really lucked out considering the levels of alcohol that I had in my system.

To keep the story a little shorter, we started going to church in October of 2012 and of course knowing that drinking was bad for the body, that I was getting older, and drunkenness was looked down on in church and by God, I felt I needed to stop. But I really liked drinking and smoking and just couldn’t do it on my own… I had tried before and it lasted no more then a day.

On November 16th of 2013 while drinking and smoking, I prayed to God for help in taking away the desires for the taste and need for alcohol and cigarettes. I went to bed that night thinking that nothing would change and that it would take months, maybe years of praying, white knuckling, attending AAA, having a sponsor, and therapy before I would ever get over this addiction. Being honest, deep inside I didn’t want to stop. I enjoyed being drunk and too out of it to deal with the realities of life.

When I awoke on November 17th, 2013, something was different. I managed to make it thru the day without even a thought of wanting or needing a drink or a cigarette. I thought it was perhaps just a fluke. A one day reprieve. I even tried smoking and it was so distasteful to me. Two puffs and I couldn’t handle it.

But today as I write this, I am two years clean and sober. No AA meetings, no therapy, no sponsors needed. The miracle of prayer had worked. I have had a drink here or there, but never to get drunk and quite honestly the taste is always bitter and makes me wonder why I ever enjoyed drinking in the first place. And the cigarettes? Never have they touched my lips again. It is finished.

Do I believe in miracles and the power of prayer? You bet I do. Does it work all the time? NO!!… Do I believe that God is like a Genie in a bottle. Absolutely NOT!!  This is a huge misuse of the Bible. I am not even sure I am comfortable calling it a miracle. It was just my will to seek an answer that just happened to align with God’s will for me at this time in my life.

I know there may be some out there still struggling with this issue, and my heart goes out to you. I pray that God will hear your prayer and take this away from you, but please know that I have other very large and looming issues that haven’t been resolved, regardless of crying out to Him for help. But I an trying to understand that there must be something that He needs me to learn through these trials. In due time these too will go away. Had it not been for many of the trials and turbulence in my life, I wouldn’t be in the place I am at now. All truly does work out for the good with God. And thru seeking the Lord in these trials, A great deal is revealed to me.

I have actually seen miracles and the power of prayer work a few times since having started my walk with God and faith in Christ, so it does work, but the thought that you can just ask and all shall be received is one of those phrases that Christians should refrain from using. It simply isn’t that true. It isn’t God’s duty to make us happy all the time, if at all. If that was the case, nobody would die, get sick, go thru divorce, losef jobs, etc.

I can honestly say that I could not have done this on my own, and if I had, the journey would have been difficult and certainly would have been drawn out for months or years.

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26 ESV

Perhaps God isn’t or never has answered your prayer, and perhaps it made you believe there is no God. He is there, and he is listening. But God knows the past, the present as well as the future and perhaps him answering your prayer doesn’t align right now, for what is to be. Our weaknesses should keep us faithful to God. Knowing that we definitely need a savior and that he already took care of it for us, should make you strong and bleed tears of joy for his sacrifice for us.

If you trust in Christ’s work for you and If your weakness and your sin bothers you, the good new’s is that it isn’t going to lose you your salvation. Keep trying to fight the good fight… you will win some battles and you will lose some, but take joy in the fact that you are already his child and an heir to his kingdom.

I often go to this webcomic that came up on my facebook page. It say’s it all. It places your fight with sin into perspective… I often go back to this when I am struggling, to remind me of the good news.

Please do me a favor and help me out by rating or liking this post.                        Thanks & God Bless,

A Jef Email copy