It was easy to make excuses why. It was part of who I am as an Italian American.
I was supposed to drink wine.
Oprah said a glass of red wine every day was good for my health.
It became a comfort when nothing else was.
It was easy to lie about.
I lied to myself. I lied to my family. I lied to my husband.
But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't lie to God.
As I found myself seeking Him more, it was something I couldn't hide. He always knew.
When I attempted to lie to myself about why I was drinking every night, He knew the truth. The truth that I was trying to hide from even my inner most being.
How do you fix a problem when you don't believe there's a problem at all?
I looked to a glass for a piece of comfort. For a moment of peace that would be short lived and fleeting. It was okay because everyone on TV did it. Of course it was okay for me, too.
But my fear would only be numbed by the two or three glasses I'd manage to drink in a night. It never ceased. It simply hid behind the dark red veil of the contents of a glass.
It was a temporary fix for an ever increasing problem.
My fear couldn't hide from itself. And every morning my groggy head of anxiety would creep back into a world where fear would begin anew, and the cycle would repeat itself.
Get through the day.
Make it to 5:00.
When you're making dinner. Then it's fine.
A glass with dinner. A glass after the kids are down, and all is well.
Except God was at work in a major way in my life. Drawing me closer to him daily.
I was attempting to ignore a problem that I didn't believe existed, but He wouldn't back down. He would draw me closer and closer to Him and eventually right into the middle of His Word where He could really speak.
And oh did He speak.
Not simply a decrease. Not the idea of "maybe just once a week or at social gatherings." No. Stop. Turn around 180 degrees and run the other way. And don't even begin to look back.
I didn't think it was fair. There is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine. Why should I be the one who has to stop?
But there was no denying it. I was being commanded to quit. To stop. To turn and flee from one thing I thought was bringing me peace.
And I ignored the command for far too long.
I ignored it until I knew that I had no other choice. I would have to obey or I would have to stop seeking Him. It was one or the other. I couldn't have Him and a worldly shield at the same time. He would have to become my shield or I would have to let Him go.
I couldn't have a relationship with God unless we were going to agree.
I spoke the words aloud to my small group of women, and I was immediately accountable. It was suddenly all too real.
And like I was in some kind of movie with sorcerers and magic wands, my desire was gone. My cravings were no more.
It sounds near impossible even typing it on a screen.
How do you just stop?
Honestly I wish I could take the credit and tell you that I was strong enough. But it had nothing to do with me.
I was scared. Where would I find peace? Where would my worry stop?
I had no idea.
I had no idea of the power of God's Word in my life. I had no idea that He could and would actually transform me! From fear filled and anxiety stricken to walking in the Spirit of the Lord and knowing who I was and what I was called to. I have definitely been changed.
A mom who used to wonder if she was able; if she could really do it all, changed. For lack of a better word, I was simply changed.
I wish I had the words to explain it to you so that you would understand. But unless you know Him, I don't know that you can understand.
Moral of the story?
When it's more than you can take.
When the world gets in your way.
When your fear is larger than your peace.
There is only One who can show you grace.
You can drown in the waters of His grace it's so overflowing.
Jesus Christ is a God of relationships, and He simply wants to know you.
He loves you where you are, and He loves who you are.
You are a child of God and He can deliver you from whatever you might be battling in a way that can only be explained through the love and grace of a mighty God.
So I shout out your name
From the rooftops I proclaim
that I am Yours!
I am Yours.
All that I am, I place into your loving hands.
I am Yours.
I am Yours.
~from Rooftops by Jesus Culture
.....day 32 of a year of writing.....
Sorry if tonight was too much Jesus for you. Someone needed to read it tonight. And Jesus would never apologize to you for His unending love and grace.