I came across that quote quite awhile ago, but I must of thought it worthy of remembering as I wrote in my journal in 2011. In 2011, I was still drinking. Maybe I was thinking about “trying again” to quit drinking. If I look at what I wrote the same day, the answer is yes, but I didn't really make God the primary motivation. I was going to do this by myself again and invite God along for the ride. He was most likely going ride in the back seat on the road to sobriety.
It was another Day One. You know what a Day One looks like. It is the first day of the rest of your life blah blah blah... I actually hate Day One of anything, unless it is vacation. And even then, Day One is my least favorite as I am one of those people who has to acclimate to their surroundings to feel at ease.
Here is list of Day One scenarios. They are not all mine, but see if you can relate to any of them.
I will never drink again. Last night I screwed up so bad. I fought with my spouse. I don’t remember putting my kids to bed. I should not have driven. I cannot believe I didn't hurt anyone. I'll never make it to work today feeling this way. I’ve got to quit drinking. Today is my Day One.
Today is Day One of my diet. I’ve got to get a hold of this food thing! I can’t believe how I binged last night. Why can’t I make it through even one day?! It’s today though. No sweets, no carbs and extra exercise. This is happening today. I have to lose weight.
Today is Day One of shop-free-me! I will not go online and “browse.” I will stay out of the stores unless it is absolutely necessary. I will run my errands and come straight home. I will be more productive and get a lot more accomplished without wasting so much time shopping. I will get out of my credit card debt and live within my means. Starting today!
I will not see him today. I will not text him today. I will not put my marriage on the line anymore by being in this relationship. Today is a fresh start and I will focus on my husband and do whatever I can to strengthen our relationship.
I will get out of bed today and accomplish something. After the kids leave for school, I will not go back to bed and hide all day. I am going to stay up and do something at home today that they can all see and appreciate tonight. Maybe they will have some faith in me again. I will show them I can do this.
There’s a theme here, do you see it? I think it is desperation. I know because the first scenario is mine. I was desperate to get out of this addiction. I made a new plan many times with the old patterns that just did not work. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? It is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That's exactly what I was doing. I made a list of all the things I was going to do each day to stay away from alcohol. You might be thinking, how hard can that be? Well, they don’t call alcohol cunning, baffling, and powerful for no reason! I could be doing just fine one moment and then a seed would get planted in my mind about drinking and 5 minutes later I’m on my way to the liquor store. What does this look like for you, if it’s not alcohol?
The pattern is the same for any addiction and I will tell you why. The struggles and secrets that define us, that we so desperately want to be free of, are the sole work of the devil. He loves our weaknesses and knows exactly how to keep us trapped in sin and addiction. My strength is IRRELEVANT when it comes to the devil. We can only beat these things with God's help first.
We can say Day One all we want, but without a good plan we are not going to make it. My plan was always stop drinking, I will not drink today. Here’s the thing I needed to DEFINE my plan.
To start with God and put him at the top of the list. THEN make a list of all the things I will do instead of what I would not do. My definitive list looked something like this concerning my drinking, but I think it can apply to just about anything.
Start with God and stay with God all day. I talked last week about my index cards everywhere. It really works. Dive into scripture and I guarantee you will find some verses that speak directly to you. Write it down and keep it in front of you at all times.
Tell someone what you are going through. It's a big step to confess your secret sin to someone. You feel so vulnerable! Choose someone wisely. They will need to hold you accountable and be a genuine friend. If you do not have anyone like that, talk to your pastor, call the 800 number for Focus on the Family, just talk to someone! Send me an email!
Can you go to a support group? There are support groups for just about anything. Google a support group for your issue and you will be inundated with direction as to where you could go.
Depression or withdrawal from a substance warrants a call to your doctor. That is a hard call to make, I know. Just do it! You will find (in most cases) your doctor can help. Be truthful and know that he/she really wants to help. That is why they are in the profession they are.
Start a small project that you find enjoyment in. I recently started sorting through all the pictures that never made it into albums. The time flies when I do this! A project can make you feel like you are accomplishing something and boost your self-esteem. Just don’t pick a project that you dread doing. That's not helpful at all right now!
Exercise! It does work, I promise. Start a new routine in place of your problem. Your endorphins will love you! Maybe set a goal like a 5K. Do an exercise that you enjoy, not dread.
Journal your thoughts everyday. My journals are a random mess of emotions! I write down my thoughts everyday. Writing cements things a little more in your mind. It's so helpful to go back and look at where you were and where you are today. When I read back in my journals from my drinking days it brings back a lot of emotion about a time I do not want to return to.
Take to heart the quote I started with today.
“Stand Amazed! He invites you to try again, this time with him.” -Max Lucado
Let God sit in the driver's seat. You simply cannot do this alone and in your own strength. You need Him and the sweet part is that He really wants you. He is your Father! I know that He does not want you, HIS child, to suffer in the sin that holds you hostage. What Father would?
You're a Good, Good Father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I’m loved by you
It's who I am, who I am, it's who I am
-(Lyrics and Song by Chris Tomlin - Good Good Father)
Blessings on all you do this weekend! Join me as we continue the conversation about inviting God along for the journey at hand tomorrow night on PNN!