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May 22, 2016
"THE POWER TO CHANGE"
On May 22, 2002, a mere 5,114 days
ago, I started on a life of sobriety. Yes, that was 14 years ago today.
Normally, when it comes to my personal
life, I don't put it on the air or on social media. It's just not my style to blurt out everything about me. But,
this is different, I know I should do this. It isn't meant to be a literary piece, it's about my
thoughts, as they come and put them here, raw and unedited.
misunderstand me. This is not to be taken as some attempt to make be clever and make boastful, braggadocios or puffy, selfish
prideful statements. And I'm not looking for pats on my back, nor 'atta boys'. They're
nice, but they're no longer necessary.
I do this for
the sole purpose of letting anyone that may be struggling with alcohol (my issue), drugs or even cigarettes, that there is
a life after bad, unhealthy, ruinous habits and rotten behavior. No matter how small you feel, there is one who can pick you
up, dust you off and put you on the road to happiness and a life over flowing with promise, peace and love.
Without my faith in my God, I would never have known that these
gifts could be mine. With God and the undying support of a few family members and a select few who had also traveled a rough
road, I am here today. And, looking back, getting here wasn't all that tough.
I asked God for help, was truly repentant and was willing to let His will dictate my life----with Him in control---the rest
was easy. I never once had a desire or felt the need to have another drink. Not one time.
After the knots in my stomach were gone, after I started breathing again, after I started living
again, I still couldn't let go of the guilt and so I did a really good job of beating myself up for my past.
Then, one day, while speaking in a meeting, words came out of my
mouth, that I hadn't anticipated. As I spoke the words, I thought to myself "I need to remember this", "I
need to remember this for MYSELF". And after that meeting, I
wrote down what I had said, and I gave it a title: "The Power to Change". And
then I started on the hard part, believing I also deserved the right to change. My inner wounds didn't
heal overnight, and the message that originated within me, didn't leave me either.
I had been so intent on begging for God's forgiveness and consumed with guilt over past less-than-kind
actions (that's an understatement if ever there was one) against others, that I left "me" out
of the healing process. Eventually, through the words that came out of my mouth then, I was able to take a huge step---- I
allowed myself to forgive me. I finally understood the meaning of the words given to me. I
had been given "The Power to Change".
back, as I often have to the day I made that decision, all the obstacles in these past 14 years, piled on top of one another,
couldn't hold a candle to the misery and disappointment I caused in a day, when I was using and abusing alcohol.
YES, TODAY, I AM CERTAINLY SOBER, but
more so, I live a life of sobriety and am reasonably, at peace. I AM EVER GRATEFUL
As a side note,
I also stopped doing any and all 'recreational drugs' at the same time. I was committed
to being sober, inside and out, not halfway, but all in. And, after smoking for 48 years, I put them down
(cold turkey) with the same faith, if not stronger, than that I had when I stopped drinking alcohol. On
June 1st, 2016, I will observe my 8th year of total freedom from any tobacco products or substitutes. As
always, it is by His grace.
I don't take it one day at a time....I
take it as God tells me. His will, not mine. It's known as Step #3 in AA. I call it home. It's
where I dropped anchor--in His will (Let's face it, my way didn't work out too well). I'm
not suggesting I don't pull on my anchor from time to time, but, before I get too far out on my own, I have enough sense
(today) to wait on Him. Using my own life as my example, I know he is omnipotent. He
The following is what I referred to
above--"The Power to Change". It's all mine, I own it, from the first utterance out
of my mouth, to sharing it one on one with others, and now, I am willing to lend it to you, as a reminder---If
God will forgive you, if you can ask others to forgive you, who are you to not forgive yourself?
The photo is of the framed plaque that has been in my home(s) nearly from the day I spoke these words
(click on it to read an enlarged version)
During a time of reflection,
on April 3, 2015 (Good Friday), I wrote the following. I have decided to keep this as part or my profile on our
website. May those reading it, find the love and peace that surpasses all understanding, in our Lord, Jesus Christ. I
also pray that this may cause a rededication of lives, that their living examples are testimonies of God's goodness and
grace. Thank you for reading, thank you for standing strong in the faith of your belief. If you need help or would
like to be contacted---please send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
THANKS BE UNTO GOD
many of us, throughout t,he world, note this day as the day Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, took the sins of the world
to the cross, was crucified, uttered the words "It is finished", died and was buried in the tomb. These are the
events of the day we call Good Friday.
Our faith is solidified on the events and discoveries of days later, on the day many of us
call Easter--the day He Arose-- ascended into Heaven, to sit at the right hand of God The
Father--for all Eternity.
As I contemplate the sorrow, pain and despair my sins cost Jesus, I am mindful of my faith, my acceptance
of Christ as my savior and my belief that I will one day spend eternity, in Heaven, with Him and those who also accepted Him
and believed on Him. These things, to me, the Word of God, assures me of this. My faith is strong and I do not doubt.
Which brings me
to my thoughts of those that believed the words of the one they called Teacher, Master, Messiah, The I Am and Son of God.
How strong their faith had to be. They believed His teachings, they believed He was The Way, The Truth, The Life, yet they
saw Him crucified and the breath go out from Him, they witnessed Him being laid in the tomb---their Lord had died. Yet they
remained faithful and believed what He taught them, though the greatest miracle--HE AROSE--had not yet occurred.
I am blessed to
have had the opportunity to learn of Him, to have a Bible, to read and hear His Words, to have a spiritual conviction that
led me to accept Him as my Savior and today, to try to do His will, and no matter how often I fall short and no matter how
often my testimony is lacking and my examples less than worthy---I am saved and am His--to Him I give all Glory and Praise.
May you know the peace that goes beyond understanding. May you find Him. He waits for you, without reservation, with arms
wide open. He will comfort you. Today, you can be freed from your sins, from your past and be welcomed into the family of
God--forever and ever. Amen.
My favorite scriptures: John 3:16 and John 14:1-6