To Tell The Truth...
“God’s been knocking on your door for a while now, and Tuesday morning He went ahead and knocked down the door.”
As I listened to those words this past week, I didn’t want to hear them…yet I knew that they were true. In John 1 we read that Jesus came full of grace and truth. And to have one and not the other is to only know half the gospel…which is no gospel at all. And the truth I must admit is that since the death of Hannah, I made a habit of self-medicating my grief, depression, and anger with alcohol. And over that time the amount I drank became more and more. A number of times I knew that I was drinking too much, a few times I even was able to stop drinking for a few days or a week. Yet each time I would eventually go out and pick up a few beers…and eventually a few more. I do not believe that being able to enjoy a drink is a sin, drunkenness is. And I have gone to sleep in sin more nights than I haven’t over this past year. Yet, each time I would convince myself that I was ok. That I didn’t have a problem. That I knew when to stop. That I was justified in doing this because of what God had done to me in the death of my fiancee and the legal battle I have been going through for placing flower boxes on her grave. But the truth is as hard as the holding cell I had to walk into in a week ago now. Last Monday night I pulled my car over on a country road to sleep a while and was woken up by an officer, then arrested for a DUI. And in that cell, I had to wrestle with the hard truth. In this season of my life, I had become an alcoholic. This is not something I say here because I am proud of it. I say it because it is true. I say it because, as I have been told, admitting is the first step to recovery. I wish I could just crawl in a hole and hide from my shame. But I know that will not help, I have done more of that in the past year and a half than I ever have in my life. And my isolation only pushed me further and further into my sin. I also know that I am unable to hide from this because of other things in my life. Because of my trial over the fowers at my fiancee’s grave, my name was on local, national, and even worldwide news. And because of that, my DUI made it to the front page of my local newspaper, was written about online, and even discussed on the radio. So now I am facing a demon of my own making now.
Yet, even here I have also received grace over the past few days. It is not a grace that turns a blind eye to my sin, but a grace that has reminded me that my sin is not the end of me. I know that the coming weeks, months, and more shall be hard. Because I will be forced to deal with the consequences of my actions. The consequences of my sin. Yet I have received the words of empowering grace and I have had people close to me remind me of their love for me in the midst of my brokenness. Those who have pressed in will not allow me to continue to ignore my sin, and they offer me the grace that will help me to walk the hard road that now lies before me.
I know that because of my actions this week many people who stood in my corner a week ago are no longer there. And that is understandable. I only hope that I shall be able to daily walk in the redeeming power of Christ. I grew up around parents who have given their lives to see Christ redeem and recover those people, and those things, that have been brought low by sin and addiction. So I should have known better. I should have been better. Yet, I know that my story shall eventually be able to stand next to those many men and women who have experienced the freedom I now seek and pray for.
If you have read this far I assume you have not given up on me, even though I have often given up on myself over the past year and a half. I had to admit to myself, and to some of those closest to me that over the past year I believed that if I made myself useless to God...He would just give up on me and take me Home to be with Hannah. I have prayed for that end more days than I have not since Hannah died.
Yet, instead, He has brought me into the hard school of discipline. I know that I must walk through this, and I am thankful for those around me who have already reached out and promised to walk through it along with me where they can. And I know that I have a Savior who will be there with me even in those places that others cannot go with me. I will be distancing myself from all social media for the foreseeable future. Yet, I plan on returning to write here on a regular basis.
I ask for your prayers. Because I need them. I ask for your help, because I need that as well. Because I need to become the man that I want to be, to become again the man that Hannah loved, and the man that I know God can restore me to.