Today marks one year since I began this blogging journey. With a desire and hope. Although I had put down the glass countless times in the past 22 years, this was not the half-hearted effort I so often made.
I began it with Belle’s 100 day Sober Challenge. I made it but then the holidays happened. Along with the denial.
Moments of clarity followed by dissent. More rebellion.
January 1, 1986 was my first honest effort at sobriety and I remained for 9 years. August 15th of last year was my second. I remained for 100 days. June 20 of this year is my third. I have 2 months.
Since meeting the 100 day mark two days before Thanksgiving last year this is my longest stretch without the wine.
My life today is unrecognizable from what is was just 2 months ago. At that time I was hiding away in misery with a job I despised and a boss/owner that was just downright nasty and unappreciative. I was also mourning the (perceived) loss of my dear and most trusted companion to marriage and I was racking up thousands of dollars in dental bills.
Today I am sober. I am working full-time at a job I wake up excited to get to. I have been hugged and kissed and told how happy “they” are to have me back and how much I’ve been missed. “They” being my former health food store customers. Today I am overjoyed for my friend and his engagement. Why shouldn’t I be? We have been praying for each other for many years for this exact blessing. I still have the dental bills but they will be paid eventually. I know that whatever the Lord has for me in my future will be perfect. It always is. He can even turn the garbage I create into gold….if I am willing to participate. To do my part. To not lose hope. To ask for forgiveness and to forgive. Myself included. Myself especially.
And then get out of His way.
A customer from the cheese shop stopped in and handed me a card. He wrote:
“Dear Elizabeth, I was saddened to learn that you were no longer at the cheese shop but happy to know that you’ve returned to your old position at the natural food store. However, I must say without your smiling face and cheerful outlook, shopping there is just not the same. I suspect I am not the only one who misses you but we all wish you well!” Fondest Regards, Toby
I am so undeserving and unworthy of all the Lord has blessed me with. But He knows my heart and He is a merciful God eager to bestow His grace on those who love Him and seek to do His will.
Before coming to faith in Christ, I always thought of His will as confining, limiting, boring and uncool.
It is my own will that is all of those things. It only breeds sorrow and destruction.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
This peace that passes all understanding is mine if and only if I choose to remain sober. A lasting peace that remains even during life’s storms.
I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Him and this sober community. I thank everyone for their patience in bearing witness to my moments of idiocy and support for my (rare) moments of clarity.
Prayers gratefully accepted.