Lent Day 23: Personal Story #1

As I mentioned on Saturday’s post, I have asked three good friends to tell their stories/ thoughts about addiction.  I am honored that each of them would do this.  I know you will be encouraged and challenged by their stories: 

“To accept the truth of my own brokenness is unbearable…… If my vision of myself is not purified by the mercy and compassion of Jesus, I have to be dishonest…”  
– Brennan Manning
I never knew I had an addiction…or I was never really all that honest with myself. You see, because we have the capacity to…..we WILL deceive ourselves. And I’ve always known the person who has lied to me MOST in this life is me. Even knowing that, there was always this attitude of “why can I not catch a break here”…. EVERYTHING seemed difficult. It was. There was WAY more to life than I had access to.
The thing I was dealing with was not that big of a deal. It happened all around me…it was socially acceptable after all. I judged myself and others to be “okay”(btw, we are never to trust our impulse to judge). It even seemed to be given the “thumbs up” by the Church….okay, an amendment to the Apostles Creed had not be ratified….but, I had ordained friends who were known to participate… and Jesus never threw one lightning bolt anywhere near their heads….
The problem was I was able to “act” like everyone around me…most of the time. Others are not even bothered by it….they are unaffected. I was AFFECTED. But, I did not desire to be healed as much as I wanted to cover my shame. And shame is a hard hitting opponent. The problem… I was OBSESSED by it and was riddled with shame and disappointment. Once life became out of control (for whatever reason…stress, illness, marital un-bliss…insert your “crud” here) I became controlled by my “it”.
I’m not trying to tease by not naming my “it”. “It” could be eating too much or maybe not eating…. Would it make you feel better to know what “it” was? Is “it” working out or possibly not working out… Would you be tempted to absolve yourself if you knew you were not as bad as me? You are not. Maybe I was being judgmental or controlling…. or maybe I yelled at my kids more behind closed doors than I would with you in the room…..the temptations in this life are legion.
The fact is, we all have addictions. Some, society judge as more harmful than others. No worries, there is no way you are as bad as me… SERIOUSLY… I even cuss sometimes. The point is, I’d hate for you to not look at your own stuff because it is “other” than mine……WE ALL HAVE STUFF.
I will open my kimono a little and tell you more…. tomorrow though.
For today, be honest with yourself.
Allow Holy Spirit in to hold your hand through this.
Be real – freedom is at stake after all.


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