Renewed Strength

God, grant me the serenity…

Hi, my name is Jessie and I’m an alcoholic.  To think back on the time not so long ago when I didn’t have God in my life is to think back on a time when I had no hope and only despair.  I was desperate for the unconditional love that God has shown me, for His wisdom and guidance, and now that I found it, I never want to go back to that time without it.  Isaiah 40: 30-31 reads, “Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and now grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  When I did not hope for the Lord, I was certainly tired and weary.  I was yearning for something I didn’t have, and I had no idea how to find it.  Now that I have found my faith in the Jesus Christ, I have found my strength.  God provides for us when we ask Him, and He rarely lets us down.  At the beginning of my journey to find my faith I said a small prayer saying, “God, show me how to find faith,” and he did.  Since then, my life has been more full than I ever could have imagined.

The third step of Alcoholics Anonymous reads as follows: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.  I can safely say that you don’t need to be in Alcoholics Anonymous to turn your will and your life over to God.  Trust that He will know what is best for you, always.  When I first came to find faith and develop a relationship with God, I didn’t jump right in.  I needed to take some time, to understand and truly believe that He was the answer to the questions I didn’t even know I had.  God provided us with guidance and answers in Jesus Christ, who showed us true miracles and taught us to live our lives in the best way we can.  When I finally began to understand that and the sacrifices that Jesus made to that we as people could live our lives and be forgiven of our sins and shortcomings, everything finally made sense to me.

As a sinner, I truly believe that doing anything less than living my life the way God has intended me to is a disservice to the sacrifice the Jesus made for me.  That’s how someone told me to think about it – even if there was nobody else in the world, Jesus still would have died for me and my sins alone.  I think about that everyday when I live my life.  It’s helped me in my sobriety, and I absolutely couldn’t make it through each day if I didn’t constantly keep that in the back of my mind.

I never pictured myself feeling such a deep connection to God.  I grew up in a home without His presence, where I was taught that I was responsible for the things I did and for the life I led.  While that is true, I’ve learned that what I do is all God’s will.  Often I look back on the events of my life and I think, “Why would God have wanted me to do that or to experience that or to go through that?”  I know now that I shouldn’t question it; if I haven’t already seen the answer, it will come to me.  God has blessed me with such an incredible life that I find it ungrateful to complain at all when I see the lives of others who are much less fortunate than I.  The purpose of the things I’ve endured may not yet make sense to me, but I trust in God that we’ve all been what we have been through to improve the lives of others.  That alone brings me peace, to know that one day I can help someone overcome hardships with the love of God.

So, have I found a renewed strength? Yes.  I absolutely am a stronger person today by the grace and will of God.  He has provided me with a sense of peace and security that I didn’t know was possible.  I feel His presence in everything that I do and I know He has set me on this path for a reason.  The strength He has given me is allowing me to be the person I was meant to be and I pray each day that I am able to live the life He wants for me.

 

Our Father, who art in Heaven…

 

I’m very blessed to be here with all of you on this 19th day of sobriety, and I look forward to many more.

With love,

Jessie

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