Last weekend I had the honor of speaking at a Celebration Recovery Event in Dowagiac, MI. The husband and I took a little Saturday night road trip together, and he claims it counts as a date.
I was a little nervous on the drive, but the nerves immediately vanished when we got to the church. I received such a warm welcome. I turned to Craig and said, "these are my people.'❤️
I observed two new things while I was speaking that night.
First of all, I didn’t have to try and make the audience understand addiction. They already did! That had not been the case at any of my speaking engagements before. It opened the door for me to go unscripted and share my heart without trying to make the audience understand what it's like to be caught in an addiction snare.
Second, Craig was there front and center. He’s heard me speak briefly before and has listened to a taping of an event but has not been there in person before. He held my hand and prayed with me before I was up, leaving me feeling very peaceful. His presence also made a difference in how I talked about our journey, not “my,” ours. I made eye contact with him many times while I was speaking, and I silently thanked God for this man he has blessed me to do life with.
I also told him he is my new pit crew of one. Which, as long as it’s not hunting season, should work out just fine.
In my preparation to speak, I went through all of the talks I had given to groups in the past. My testimony is the same. That will never change, but I did notice something else.
It still hurts to talk about her.
The woman I used to be. She has hurt a lot of people along the way. I cannot believe this was my life for so many years. My life is so different now, brand new.
I shared this with my audience Saturday night because I cannot think of a better example of how HE makes all things new.
My story reminds me I am only one drink away from being her again. The truth hurts but the place he is still bringing me to eases the pain.
That's why I chose this verse this week.
The line, “I will make a pathway through the wilderness.” reminds me that I am not “there” yet. I am still on the path he is leading me down. Just becaues I am still on it, doesn't mean I'm lost. I have a guide who is giving me turn-by-turn instructions. Sometimes I try my own route, you might call it a detour, but it always leads to a dead end.
Every turn brings a new view, a new outlook, and often a new challenge. New challenges can be daunting but also exciting. It all depends on where you are when you are looking at the road ahead.
Peace on your weekend,