In our humanness and fallen nature we can get lost and try to find ourselves in the bottom of a wine bottle, washing it down with our last-chance pharmaceutical recovery kit. And in this brokenness, we not only hurt ourselves but can hurt those we hold dear.
This was me Spring 2016, drunk and praying that this oval would cure, that this Psychiatrist would be the one to fix me and make me whole again and in the meantime I was going to live in the numbness of a 14 proof bottle.
That March day 2016, I drove out of town removing myself from my typical setting and present over-whelming consciousness. I was at the Nutraceutical/ Health food expo to help a friend network and start her new business. As noon approached, so did heavy rain, a rarity in Southern California, so our lunch with old co-workers and friends got extended, as did our bar tab. Followed by two hours of glad handing at exhibit booths and then happy hour on the exhibit floor with plentiful samples of health conscious juices infused with vodka. Which then led to the real party, rented out hotel lobbies, bars and DJ’s and thousands of “healthy” drunk people.
That night would be the LAST of my drunken nights, the LAST of that prescribed stimulant racing through my nervous system, and the LAST of twenty plus year friendships … because in that concoction lay pain, grief, endings and beginnings and ultimately Christ’s resurrection.
I want to covey my story with intricate details, but some are lost, I foolishly traded them for intoxication that night, like so many before. Instead I am left with bits of pieces of a night that deteriorated in a matter of minutes.
Around midnight in a parking garage, a verbal argument ensued, which if you have to debate who is the most sober to drive .. no one should. So I … being the chief of alcoholic sinners … took the wheel. Two passed out friends in the back seat and the argument continued as I tried to maneuver my friends car.
In some sort of drunken stimulant rage, though to this day I am uncertain of what my intentions were, I pulled the car over and as my friend approached my car door, I leaned out of the car and knocked her to the ground with my fists all the while exiting the vehicle … and as I took my foot off the brake the car ran over my friend’s foot as she lay on the ground.
I want to tell you at that moment clarity came to me and I sobered up and extended my hand to my friend, but neither happened. Instead I threw the keys to the ground, and said, ” I don’t need this shit, my life is hard enough already. ” And I walked out of that parking garage and out of my friend’s lives, I walked 3 miles at midnight in a shady part of town to my car, got in and drove home.
And I call myself; mother, wife, sister, friend, Christian, Lutheran … at that moment AND now I am all those things .. My Old and new Adam wreaked havoc on my soul as I sobered up that morning and still over a year later as I grieve a day I wish I could take back .
That next day, March 12, 2016 is my sobriety Birthday. The day I could no longer NOT see myself and what I had become. I had hurt someone I loved physically and mentally and there was no amount of numbness or escape that was going to rectify my sin, only a silent Christ waiting for me to confess.
I struggled through sobriety, guilt and shame. A dear pastor friend of mine attended AA meetings with me and shared Martin Luther’s words with me,
” We must NOT continue to carry our sin in our conscience and allow it to torture us but instead give it to CHRIST as he has ALREADY borne the punishment for it. We must see that sin was SWALLOWED up by his RESURRECTION it does NOT remain on him. He no longer has wounds, pain or ANY sign of sin.”
These words saved me, as I asked for forgiveness from Christ OVER and OVER again for the pain I had caused. These words saved me as I asked my friends for forgiveness and did NOT get it.
Sometimes, we can’t repair what we have done, relationships we have broken, sometimes there are consequences for our sin that irreparable but with Christ’s strength and forgiveness we can begin to repair ourselves, not to perfection as there was and is ONLY one capable of perfection., but enough to face our story, share it and offer grace, hope and truth to others who also wrestle with their Old and New Adam and need do find their place at the feet of Jesus’s Cross.
You are FORGIVEN through Christ, you have an opportunity TODAY and EVERY day to accept his truth and grace, and share it with others. ❤️