16 Months Sober: Chasing After God’s Voice
So, here I am at just a lil bit over 16 months sober. This whole sober-living thing is nothing like I imagined it to be. I thought once I got out of rehab (where they keep you super busy at all times of the day and night) that life would slow down. Boy, was I wrong! Nothing about life has slowed down. In fact, this path I’m on seems to only be picking up in pace. All throughout the day I find myself having to make one decision after another, and for the most part, these decisions are not automatic; they require much thought on my part. But once I lay my head down on my pillow at night, I have to admit this life is good. I’m not exactly to the point I want to be, but I know I’m so close to getting there that with only a bit more patience, this life I have sought after for the past 31 years is fixing to be mine (and it’s all thanks to God and his grace and mercy). Wanna know how I got to the point I’m at today? Keep reading to find out.
Rewind to May 20, 2016 and before
Stupid choice after stupid choice. Add a few more stupid choices mixed in with drugs and alcohol and you see how my life turned into such a mess. And when I say a mess, I mean felonies, jail, bankruptcy, loss of jobs, and more. Only something as supernatural as God could have pulled me out of the hole I was in.
Rewind to May 20, 2016 to December 5, 2016
Mom had me locked up for violating my felony probation due to me turning down her offer to go to a 30-day rehab. She told me she was going to turn me in but I didn’t believe her. Now, looking back, it was the most loving thing she has ever done for me. Her turning me in saved my life. I ended up going to a treatment program in Hopkinsville, KY and found a new way of living.
Rewind to December 5, 2016 to March 2, 2017
I came home from treatment (just a bit too early to please the courts) so they sentenced me to go back to another one. It was during the between time (a period of time lasting about three months) that I learned so much about myself. I learned I was able to stay sober without being in treatment. I discovered I actually enjoyed and wanted this new way of living. I found that as long as I surrendered myself to God every day, he would stay by my side. And then I found that even when I didn’t surrender to him every day, he would stay by my side.
God doesn’t change. I do. But no matter how I change, he is always there. This was also a period of time that I discovered I could have healthy relationships in my life. I didn’t have to be physically abused by a man. Someone could treat me right, but just because they treated me right didn’t mean I was supposed to be in that relationship. I also found I didn’t have to have friends who influenced me to do drugs. There were actually people out there who wanted to be my friend who encouraged me to live sober.
March 2, 2017 to August 7, 2017
Because I left the other treatment center before I actually graduated, I got the luxury of going to another one (please note that I am being totally sarcastic). When I found out I had to do this, I fell to the floor. Here I was sober, doing good, and how dare the courts sentence me to another longterm treatment? What I didn’t realize was that God was using the courts in my favor to help me build a life I never imagined. See, in my prayer closet, I had been begging God to help me get a home for myself and my son outside of my parent’s house. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are my whole world. I love them, but at the age of 31, I do believe it’s time to spread my wings and get settled into this thing called living life on my own (I should have done this way back in 2004 when I turned 18). And while getting sent to another rehab was absolutely devastating, it turned out to be the biggest blessing of my life. The WARM center in Henderson, KY helped me build a support network that always has my back. More importantly, they helped me settle into a home for me and my son.
August 7, 2017 to present
Since I graduated WARM, life has most definitely not been all rainbows and lollipops. I entered into a relationship that just about tore me all the way down. It was a relationship that I jumped into without giving much thought, only to find that everything about the man was going against what I believed in — honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. God protected me in that relationship, though, and showed me very quickly to tuck my tail and run. See, that’s what God does for me. He protects me in all aspects of my life. He does for me what I cannot do for myself. And he continues to shower blessing upon blessing on me.
God has restored so much in my life already, both materially and emotionally. I am at a good point in my life. Am I where I want to be? No, because my son has yet to permanently move in with me, but that is coming in due time. God’s word says that if I humble myself under his sovereign hand, he WILL lift me up in due time, and that’s what I am focusing on doing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not the most patient person in the world. In fact, I’m probably the most impatient, but one day at a time, I am getting closer to the life God has promised me. And all the while, I am using my days to get closer to him, to seek his will and do my best to please him in all areas of my life. He has already given me more than I could ask for.
I wrote a blog post when I was seven months sober about hearing God’s voice. I just want you to know that at 16 months sober his voice even louder and clearer. Are all of the choices he is leading me to make pleasing everyone around me? Absolutely not, but one thing WARM taught me was that I don’t have to be a people-pleaser anymore. As long as I am maintaining conscious contact with God, with my primary aim being to follow and please him, that I can trust he is leading me in the right direction. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m hearing God’s voice and chasing after it with everything in me.