Eight years of daily heroin use has led down some dark roads – however, in my case, darkness was needed to find the light. I, quite literally and figuratively, needed to die to live. After multiple overdoses, encounters with the law, and other institutions, it became painfully apparent that I was blindly running in the wrong direction in a vain attempt to find some semblance of peace, satisfaction, hope, and purpose. Pain was my touchstone for growth.
In this moment of clarity, another venture to rehab seemed to be the way out or at the very least, a step in the right direction. I needed to stop to move forward. I had two options at my disposal and both were met with feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and anger; rehab number 8 or death.
Letting myself go would have been the easier, softer way out, but my pride intervened. Pride was another large deterrent and was also a convenient disguise for fear. My mindset was that I could resist anything but temptation. Having been to 7 other treatment centers and not managing to stay clean, my intellect was screaming rehabilitation was impossible. Impossible; arguably the most hopeless word in the English dictionary. But with God, all things are possible. I had no mental defense against my drug of choice, no other viable options, and no way out. From the ashes of desperation came my 8th attempt at long term sobriety, and in doing so I have found peace within the war.
My renewed faith has afforded me a considerable measure of hope. I am learning to trust other people, and found I must give to receive. My common misconception was that I had to replace something with nothing. Habits, if not kept in check, soon become necessities. Today I am developing good habits. For the past few months, one of my roommates and I pick a different theme each week (this week it’s love), and find edifying verses appropriate to that theme to meditate on each night and then apply the following day; 5 total versus per week, 1 verse per day. In a attempt to remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy, we reinstate all the versus from that week, in their entirety, on Saturday and Sunday.
The point of this exercise isn’t to memorize or gain any academic inclination but rather practical application of God’s living word. Morning devotionals, spiritual step studies, and fellowship with other believers, strengthen my resolve to walk with Jesus. Through these daily fundamental practices, I have found it true that habits replace habits.
Jesus loves to walk…and when He stops, something is about to happen. Today, I watch and pray because my spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Jesus doesn’t run. He hasn’t left me behind. And, I truly believe the past experiences I’ve endured uniquely qualify me to reach those, thought by many, to be untouchable. Although we all come from different places (geographically, spiritually etc.), we all come from the same place (addiction). I am becoming the light inside the darkness. After developing a strong prayer game, I now know it to be true that God works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. At this current time in my life, I know two undeniable facts; there is a God, and I’m not him. Staying focused on my walk, one step at a time, has enabled God’s will to manifest in my life and subsequently, His grace, mercy, and love is allowing me to be a true example of reconciliation.
Andrew (His Way Resident)