So, I told you I was going to be telling you all about my busy jam packed weekend, but being that I am in the midst of that fun time, I thought I would write about what came first.
Drum roll, please... a week of alone time.
My husband and I had a vacation planned down south for a short week. Preceding that week, he was going to be non-stop crazy busy with a convention where I did not need to tag along. I decided to go down to Alabama early to get some writing done and get ahead because we have a very crazy (crazy good) May coming up. It sounds like bliss, doesn't it? A week away with no pressures, except for what you put on yourself and for the most part it was. Other times it was a little lonely. I found myself having detailed conversation with the cashier at Publix a few times! I may have wandered into a shoe store or two…
I found out a lot about myself in the past week. The biggest thing about being alone is that your time is what you make it. I do not like to waste time at all and for the first few days, it was rainy so I made the most of every moment on my Mac: catching up on emails and with those in life I wanted to touch base with. That was the first two days.
Then, I felt God nudging me to more. I have to say I felt really driven, which surprised me because I thought I would be pretty lazy. Before I left, at the last minute, I threw some of my old journals in my bag. I started reading through some of the really hard times and it was so rewarding. To see how much I was relying on God in those hard moments of transition from addiction to recovery. How when I cried out in frustration, God heard me. How some of the best scripture I have ever discovered felt written just for me and was so applicable in the moment and still is now, only a few years later. I look at how trusting I was, as I went on this journey totally blind and having only God to guide me. He was and is so good to me. I look back at the stuff I handled with him, the prayers he kept answering, and the love he kept showing me every day in this process.
In one of my previous blogs, I talked about the importance of journaling. It's not only for the release of your thoughts, but to look at progress and what God is bringing you to. I want to share with you some of the things I highlighted this past week. The excerpts I'm sharing are some scripture, meaningful quotes, and my own reflections. It was amazing to see how he was giving me just what I needed. Some of them made me cry, others made me laugh, still more I could see how God was working in me. The biggest one is how God answered so many of my prayers, and the prayers that others were praying for me. Do you know how humbling that feels? Even the prayers that I did not think were answered, that I am still praying, have been answered in some way. God did not remain silent in anything.
“Don’t give up when the miracle is in reach, so close you can touch it.”
“Every day, in every way, I am better today sober than what I was while drinking.”
Text from my husband after a bad day. “I love you, I believe in you, I will wait for you, Love, Me” (By the way I had not ran away. I was just pouting in another room.)
“When I was drinking, it was exhausting to stay in character each day-to always try and figure out who I was that day. A big game of pretend. I was made for more than that.”
“I’m not counting my days of sobriety, I am collecting them.”
“God is grace and nothing else but the desire to change that he has instilled in me is what saved me.”
“God is waiting to redeem, and save things ugly and turn it into something beautiful.”
“Countless second chances we’ve been given at the cross.”
“Self help will only take you so far.”
“My destructive habits are disqualifying me for what God wants to use me for.”
“My story is happily ever after because God bought my happily ever after at the cross.”
“Oh the joy of waking up happy with no worries about the night before and what I cannot remember. I love being present from the moment I open my eyes.”
It's Okay not to be Okay.
Instead of trying harder, trust more.
"First snow of the season, so beautiful, God knows every flake, amazing…"
"I hate snow" (24 hours later - my, how our perspective can change!)
“I Love that Livvy texted me this last night, how did she know how much I needed it so badly in that moment??? I love her obedience!”
"When you find yourself in a tempting situation, think GAME OVER, and walk away."
THIS IS YOUR GOLIATH!
“God has given you the gift of your body, and it comes with an owner's manual - the Bible. In it are all the instructions you need to take care of yourself and live a long life.” -Rick Warren
After I was done writing these down, I literally sat in silence for awhile, taking it all in. I realized that I was overwhelmed by how much God had done in such a short time. When I was willing, he took over totally and completed. I thought about how I am trusted to be alone here, when just a few years earlier that would have been unthinkable. My family would not have trusted me any more than I would have trusted myself. Not to mention, these things I lived in fear of the world ever finding out about, I am now putting out there for all to read! I feel exposed and that's ok.
Those sentences are all from a journal written within 6 months of my last day one. That day I made the decision to totally surrender my addiction to God. Do you see how many things he put in front of me to use as tools every day? Those were his gifts to me. And do you know how I accepted them? With faith. The faith of a child.
When a verse, quote, or thought was written down, I knew that I was supposed to live it out in faith and I tried, I gave it my best. Not always with a smile, I might add. When I look back through pages and pages of writing (believe me this is a very small sample and I had a hard time narrowing it down) I see God's hand in this whole process. When I look back at what I wrote only a few mornings ago, I see him working in me, on my family and on whatever else I have been praying for. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful…"
That's who he is, my friend. When I read through the pages of one of the most difficult times in my life, it make me feel like he is all mine and is totally attentive to just me. I feel loved and cared for when I see how he has never left me alone in this battle. I pray that you will feel his peace and love guiding you through the days ahead as he as already done in the days gone by.
It’s ok. He’s a big God and I’m willing to share.
Make sure to join me for more "Alone Time" tomorrow night on PNN! 6PM EST