God, Pain and Becoming a Drunk

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I looked down at the amber liquid that sat so peacefully in the glass as the light danced through it, and I desperately tried to will the muscle spasms that were tearing through my pelvis to end. I slowly sipped while beckoning the liquid to start relaxing the battle in my flesh. Six weeks since the miscarriage, six weeks since a good-bye of my third daughter to Heaven, six weeks of my body being on fire, again.

Six weeks of running.

I took another sip while wishing the wine was actually a piece of cheesecake because that is my true lusty drug of choice. Food, specifically sugary fats in almost any form, give me a hit of that. I don’t even like the taste of wine, and after all this time of “trying it,” I am guessing I will never develop the taste to actually “enjoy” it. Instead, it feels more like a powerful bottle of medicine, complete with liver warnings in cases of excessive consumption. Another sip.

After 8 years of therapy working through the whys of an eating disorder, trauma, and grief and loss, I don’t really need anyone to tell me how I got here.

Pain.

This time, though, it is physical, not just emotional, and it is the wrong time in this country to ask for help with physical pain- so sip.

My oldest barged in through the front door and declared she had placed her letter in the mailbox. She was bouncy with anticipation. I took another sip; the muscles were starting to calm as the warmth ran through my flesh. It was the first time she had ever written to her birth mother, and it was a big deal. I began to flash to images of her birth mother–brief moments we had shared in earlier years, and it hit me again: there is no difference between her and I. We both need a Savior. She chose meth, I chose cake, and now I am sipping on wine…all to “escape” the pain. The promise of “escape” is the root of the lie. “Only by the grace of God go I,” I mantrad as the tears once again filled my eyes… and now I am more certain than ever that one change can literally change everything.

I took another sip, and I heard Him gently and lovingly repeat the words he had whispered earlier that day, words I wanted to push away as I tried to walk…

What if feeling the pain DOESN’T destroy you?
What if you give all the fear to me?
What if I am enough to carry you through this too?

The tears fell.
What if God is right?

I took my last sip of wine and surrendered.

That was 40 days ago.
That was in the middle of the pain.
That was broken and battered and uncertain if I could keep surrendering all the moments and all the days of whatever lay ahead.
It was a step.

I have kept “stepping” through all the messy moments of the last 40 days.
I have kept leaning through the pain and physical setbacks.
I have learned more about breathing.
I have learned to like super dark chocolate and now know that the brand matters.
I have seen Him show up in a thousand different ways I may have missed before.
I have watched all of my littles grow and my littlest give her life to Christ.
I have lost some weight, increased my muscle mass, and grown able to do more than I have since I had hip surgery 3 years ago.
I am no longer having muscle spasms, but I do still have pain.
I have not arrived, but I am learning.

One moment at a time, one day at a time, I am learning anew He is able.
God is bigger than my lack of trust, He is bigger than my pain, and He is bigger than my fears.
He is truly a God whose strength is made perfect in our weakness…
Because I chose to run, I chose to drown, I chose defeat, I chose lies-
BUT GOD
Chose to rescue me.
BUT GOD
Changes everything.
BUT GOD
Is never content to leave us in the prisons we fashion for ourselves.

He is the God of freedom.
He is the God of peace.
He is the God who saves, rescues, and redeems.
And He does all of this because He loves us.
Broken, crazy, lost, stubborn, hurting, US.

May He never stop rescuing me, and may my pain draw me nearer and allow me to see clearer the One Who Is Worthy.

Do you know my Jesus? And if you do, what are you refusing to surrender and trust Him with? He promises He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine, and I continue to be proof.

Sincerely,
A Woman Who Never Imagined She Would Become a Drunk

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