Hungry for More
"I was humiliated and frustrated with my job. I was searching for recognition as well as money. My quest for a prosperous lifestyle through my Monday-through-Sunday death trudge was in fact successful, but I hungered for more. I wanted to make a vital contribution. Beauty, satisfaction, pride, and accomplishment were what I pursued. I wanted it all and I wanted it now! I began to take some of the pressure off by having a couple of glasses of wine with dinner. This practice quickly turned from glasses of wine to bottles. I was an extremely messy person and no one wanted anything to do with me any longer.
I had tried several alcohol treatment centers. Upon completion of thirty days spent there, I would not drink for months but would always eventually return to the bottle. Each time the consequences were greater than the last. My family firmly stated that this type of treatment was not keeping me sober and that we were going to have to try something different. That something different was the Esther House (PRM’s women’s recovery program). I had never heard of it, so I went to the internet. If I wasn’t afraid before, I was definitely afraid now. I got on the phone immediately to my children to inform them that they had to do something; my brother was trying to lock me up! My old tricks of manipulation no longer worked.
I was completely broken, scared, and homeless when I entered the Esther House program. After three months, I finally saw the idols I was chasing. I had another way to live. I needed and yearned for the Spirit to fill my emptiness.
Getting counseling at the Barnabas Center was instrumental in the development of new behaviors. I learned that not only did God forgive me, but he loved this sinner! Any time I honestly pointed out that I was such a terrible sinner and that God could not possibly forgive me let alone love me, I was reminded that I was just being prideful. Did I really believe that Jesus’ death on the cross was enough to forgive the sins of the world but not mine?
I grew up believing that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. It wasn’t until three months ago that I realized that, even though I believed Jesus died and then rose on the third day, I did not have an intimate relationship with Him.
This past Good Friday, I was reading an article that a friend gave me. The first thing I read was this:
‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28-30).
Boy was I tired of chasing the high my addiction no longer provided. I was ready and willing to do anything to escape the bondage I was in. I desperately needed rest!
The article kept referencing the words, ‘submitting and surrendering’ to the point that I was annoyed. I began to underline each time I read them on the paper in order to prove this point to my therapist. I was required to prove myself throughout my career, so I have always had an issue with both of those words. There was NO WAY I was going to do either. As I got to the end of the article, it was clear even to this stubborn personality that God was speaking to me through the Holy Spirit.
I finally surrendered on my knees, sobbing, telling God that I was finally willing to surrender these last things that I chose to hang on to. Turning over self-control was what was holding me back from having this intimate relationship with my Savior. I surrendered to Him and I submitted to His authority. What a peace I immediately felt. Not only did I surrender my life to Christ, but I surrendered the identities of my old behavior - guilt and shame.
It has been eight months since my last drink and five months since my last cigarette. I have been able to transform by the renewing of my mind. I now have the intimate relationship with my Savior that He desires! I now have a new life in Christ! I have never been more humble or happy in my life. A large part of this is through my Esther House experience. I am blessed with a competent staff, a community of sisters, helpful volunteers, the generosity of the outside community, and Jesus!
My hope is to rest long enough to become the person God created me to be. You also can receive rest for your soul if you respond to Jesus’ invitation:
‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ ”