My faith has always been a huge part of my life, and it has always been an important part of my recovery. As i have shared many times in the past, my faith community is such a large piece of my support system, and for them I am thankful. But even greater than the love of an earthly family, is the Love of my Savior. Who rescued me from a life that was full of darkness and dead things.
Last year in Texas, I was facing a new chapter in my life. I was stepping out of my comfort zones, and it was scary and exhilarating and it was hard. In April of last year, I was only newly walking the road of recovery for a few short months, and it was a daily struggle. But in the midst of that struggle I was asked to share my truth, to tell my story…open and honestly. The thought excited and also scared me straight to my core. But I knew, that if I didn’t… I would carry the burden of shame and secrets with me, and it would destroy me as it had so many times before. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was what i needed to do. I needed to be brave with my story, to release my pain, and to help others do the same.
and for that opportunity i am so thankful. because it has changed my life.
and a part of me knew that. even last year. even with all the thoughts going through my head. I knew it was all part of a bigger plan.
I was so far away from God in those days, because I felt my struggle discount my worth for His Love. I thought I had strayed too far away to be helped, to be changed. But that morning, I was struck with the Truth that dissolved all those doubts. I knew I would walk out of this experience changed.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The morning of the Overnight Walk, I woke up with that verse in my heart. Playing over and over in my head. Reminding me that the path I have taken in my life, is not in vain, there is purpose in the pain. There is a calling over my life that I cannot deny.
I made my way to Thanksgiving square, and there was a weight on my heart. Not a burden. But a heavy feeling of thanksgiving that was overwhelming me. I entered the chapel and there was no one there, but as I sat and prayed and worshiped..the power of grace and love was so heavy in that room. Alone in that room, I gave my life back over to God. I trusted him for the first time in a very long time. I believed in His unyielding power to redeem my story. To redeem my life, from the pit of darkness that I had been living in. I made a promise to walk each day in recovery, to treat this body with the care and respect that it deserves. To treat this life, as the gift that it really is.
As the light shone through the intricate glass work of the chapel windows, I could feel the light being awakened in my own life. and a peace surrounded me, like none I had ever felt before. I knelt in thanksgiving. Thanking God once again for the second chance at life. Thanking Him for the opportunity to share my story to help others and to be a light in their darkness. I was changed in that room, and in that moment I found a bravery that could only come from HIM.