Destined For Deliverance
I finally admitted I was powerless.
My life had become unmanageable. I had been in denial for well over two years not wanting to accept reality. On that day, I knew that only a power greater than I could restore my life to sanity. Over a period of weeks, as God explicitly instructed me, I traveled down a path that allowed me to see Him, feel Him, and ultimately turn my will and life over to His care completely and without condition.
There wasn’t any one incident in my life that set me up for alcoholism. I came from a great family, I didn’t drink in high school nor did I drink excessively in college. There was no deep, dark past to haunt me. I was saved and baptized at 17 and my understanding of God and His love for me was strengthened when I met and married my husband. His daily devotions and continual prayers were something I watched and wanted. He has always led by example, sharing testimony, words of hope and encouragement and passages of Scripture with me and our children. He has always demonstrated such patience, peace and contentment, and I wanted that for my life.
We have gone to church for as long as we’ve been married. We’d tried Sunday school classes and Bible studies. We’d been involved in the church preschool since its inception with me volunteering and our three children attending. Some of our closest friends have been mentors to us, and we have collectively raised our children together in the church. At home we pray, read devotions at night and reference God’s promises whenever counseling them in times of trouble. I can honestly say I have thought about God every day for almost 20 years, but I wasn’t acting upon the very things I was teaching my children.
For eight years I did a slow fade into addiction.
I was doing all the things I was supposed to do as a wife and a mother. For the first five years of our marriage we never had alcohol in our home. It began with a glass of wine during dinner prep. That slowly increased to a bottle of wine a night and over the course of two years increased to two bottles a night. I started drinking earlier on Saturdays and missing out on my children’s events because I’d fallen asleep.
My husband was concerned because he did not drink in quantity or as frequently as I did. I tried in many ways to control my drinking. I limited my drinking to only weekends, and I took alcohol out of the house completely and sought out an addiction counselor only to lie to him about my sobriety. The last thing my counselor did was to encourage me to share my story with someone. I resented it. I told him I was tired, no one understood me, and I was not going to share my addiction with anyone. Women like me were not alcoholics.
He encouraged me to tell my pastor.
When the counselor encouraged me to speak with my pastor, I agreed to do so because there were no concerns that I couldn’t share with him. I did wonder how I’d ever have the opportunity to meet with him as we have 1,700 people in our church. I sent him a text and was surprised when my pastor and his wife readily agreed to meet. Over dinner, I shared with them about my alcoholism and the response was simply, “How can we help you?”
I said, “I want you to find someone like me.”
I explained that I wanted another woman, a mom, who understood my situation. Initially my pastor said he didn’t know anyone. He then called the next day to say he remembered a woman who told of a cousin that opened a private recovery center. I got on the computer and opened the link to the center and was flooded with emotion. I knew in an instant I would be going there but wondered how I could ever leave my family to receive treatment. Many thoughts came into my mind. What will I tell our three children? Who will watch them? What will I tell my friends, and what will they say?
God orchestrated it beautifully.
My husband remembered he had a project at work that would consume the better part of two weeks and the children were enrolled in a kid’s camp. With the family cared for, I went to the private recovery center run by a couple who themselves had more than 20 years of sobriety. They said God had called them to open their home to women in need of recovery. I joined six other women there whose stories were all similar to mine. Electronics were not permitted. I did not see my children for 15 days, and I saw my husband only once per week. I found it to be a spiritual experience.
I spent hours meeting God for the first time.
I had always known and believed in Him but didn’t have an intimate relationship with Him until eight months ago. I was learning about myself and in the process began a journey of faith and dependence upon God unlike anything I’d ever known. Since I’ve been sober, I have given testimony at church and God has led several other women to sobriety through my story.
I’ve come to view my alcoholism as my thorn in the flesh. Paul speaks of it in 2 Corinthians 12:7. Through this struggle I’ve leaned into God and my prayer life has been magnified. What I am learning in recovery and through this experience has been such a blessing, and I am so thankful!
I began the Love God Greatly Bible study on Prayer in January. I downloaded the Prayer Bible study journal, do my daily S.O.A.P. and read the blogs. I’m still learning to be more extroverted in my spiritual life and am not yet
comfortable talking about it in a group. I am open with the women I met in recovery and have small groups with them, but I am not in a formal Bible study group right now. I’ve connected with some women of faith through Alcoholics Anonymous. My sponsor is a believer and we’ve already entertained the idea about us doing a Love God Greatly group with some of the women in my life.
I read stories about others who have struggled with addiction. I get overwhelmed because many tell of personal tragedy and loss before sobriety. I haven’t lost anything….my husband, children, friends and family have never left me. I have been blessed beyond measure to be delivered and redeemed of this. The least I can do is talk about what God continues to do for me.
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”
Alyssa Adkins, Cincinnati, OH
Post written by Joan, LGG Leadership Team Member
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