After last night’s GKB show in Michigan a man came up asking about a comment I had made during a song intro..
I’d made quick mention of Jesus and His power bringing me out of drug and alcohol addiction, that I had been clean and sober for many, many years due to Him. In essence, recovery is possible and I know it because I’ve been blessed with it- and I’m not alone.
He told me he continues to struggle with addiction even after having an experience with Jesus some time ago that he believes was/is a matter of his salvation.
“I’m saved, I believe… but how did you get over”?
I said “Relationship to Jesus”. Again, he emphasized “I have that, but how did you get OVER”?!
He needed to leave and so did we, but I gave a couple quick answers that will follow here… no “rocket science” no “I never heard THAT before” sort of stuff, but straight-up and fruitful in my experience and thousands of others’ lives also.
It’s a bit like being an athlete in training.
In our chains we trained ourselves to go to this or that drug or drug-of-sorts for our fix, to feel we had some sense of joy, value, worth, purpose for living. As time went on we found our relationships trashed and our addiction-of-choice running the show. Been there, done that.
It is what it is, ingrained, habitual temptation we allow ourselves to act out with, eventually perhaps daily, always ultimately in destructive (self, others) ways.
Drugs, sex, shopping, booze, gambling, power-trips, whatever.
I told him I had to “keep coming back”. That “it works when you work it”. Yep, 12 Step “clichés” some of you are thinking… but guess what? YOU weren’t my Savior when I needed help. You couldn’t have been anyhow! YOU weren’t my Lord, not then and not now. YOU didn’t have in your power the ability to change my heart and mind at the deepest free-will level. Neither did I, not by myself.
My Higher Power is Jesus Christ and without the intervention of God the Holy Spirit, the sanity of continuing Bible (His Word) study and yes, the help of others who also follow Jesus and were patient but persistent with me I would have never “gotten over”. But by these, I did and do and shall. I found and have friends who loved and love me but were direct with me when I needed to do practical things to “get over”. Had I not focused and walked this out I would have been dead from drug abuse, likely before I’d reached my 25th birthday.
It’s interesting that non-addicts (very few around but there are certainly some in every society) often care more about what people think of them than they care about others caught in the destruction of addiction and what those addictions are doing to the addict.
Ignorance, lack of experience, maybe even lack of love, arrogance, perhaps no frame of reference. My reference was my trashed life and a despair that just wouldn’t quit until I surrendered to the God Who made me.
I have lost count of those I have met in prison and jail who ended up there in large part due to not “getting over”.
For many, incarceration is the first situation in years they don’t have easy access to the stuff that ran their lives to the extent they got locked up over it.
Then again, there are plenty of jails and prisons where gangs run a lot of the show and smuggle drugs in. Crazy isn’t it?
I was recently told the largest drug bust in Ohio last year took place in one of the prisons I did music in this past month
-INSIDE the prison many were serving sentences for related to drug pushing and abuse.
That is a monkey of unusual size.
But addiction is one of those “gifts that keep on giving”. Whew. God help us.
The promised land of recovery was a matter of constant prayer, Bible study, confession of temptation BEFORE it became an acted-out sin, confession of sin when I jumped the fence and did act out. It was a matter of new friends, a new place to live and a church that didn’t simply pass out milk and cookies smiling and quoting only the sweet and kissing verses but also the rough and spiritual growth verses of scripture.
In essence, I am in recovery every day and so is anyone else who has been truly set free from their past addictions.
I got over because I MOVED OVER and quit playing “friends” with non-friends who were headed in another direction other than towards Jesus Christ, true church and honest relationships founded on Him and His truth as opposed to “me, me, me and you must agree all revolves around me” nonsense.
Over time, those long-held habits were broken and I found (and find) myself filled with good stuff, Good News, most of all a Savior I know loves and accepts me. I realized being free was a walk, not merely an idea or a creation of my own, certainly not my own efforts. Participation with the Holy Spirit. In fact, cooperation 🙂
The losses became the greatest gains of my life. Love, sanity, freedom and health far beyond anything I had known before.
Over? Well, not completely until we see His face. But that day is coming for all who follow Him, praise God!
Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn