Addiction and a Journey

New definition for recovery from addiction has been releasedThe topic of addiction is so ominous and looming. It feel so vast and uncertain, in-explainable and dark. Just search WordPress, and you will find blog after blog of hurting, suffering, lost, broken, depressed people whose lives are falling apart every day. It truly breaks my big bad biker heart.

I too struggle with many shapes and forms of addiction. My entire life I have battled an addictive personality. A little over 9 years ago I went clean off drugs. Over 6 months ago I was able to quit smoking. Both were cold turkey, difficult, and painful in a lot of ways. Yet I wrestle with other addictions that steal from my joy and happiness, but numb the pain, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Despite addiction, I see hope. Maybe it is only a faint glimmer, but it is there. I recently started going back to Celebrate Recovery and it has been a good support. It is not the answer, but it is a good aid.

In my life personally, I have always been a wanderer. Never happy or satisfied, always seeking the next best thing. Sometimes I wonder if that alone is an addiction in a way. I embrace certain types of change that tend to emphasize who I am. The mindset is very similar to that of the junkie looking for the next best fix. It can be reckless and dangerous, but also a strength that I think God can use.

This year I am setting out on a journey to discover who and what I am. I am spending the next several months taking care of my affairs, then leaving my job and home behind as I embark on a road trip to Redding, CA. In this time away, whether it be a month or two, I intend to blog daily and share what I am learning. Not necessarily for my readers, but because I want to be able to look back and see the progression, the progress, and how that all came about.

My search is for the unattainable. My desire is to find peace. As a very dear friend of mine (my former counselor) recently told me, “If you cannot find peace in God, then why don’t you go where God is and immerse yourself in His presence.” Such a simple thought, but potential for profound results.

Bethel Church is in Redding, CA. Years ago, I was given a word that I would need to visit this church at some point in my life to receive something God has for me. It has not been able to take place to date. But this year is different. There has been so much loss, heartache, struggle, confusion, and pain. Its like I have been burning both ends of the rope, yet still holding on while I am free-falling. So I believe the time is here. It will be me, my motorcycle, a backpack, and a sleeping bag traveling 1,000 miles. There is no certainty other than the destination. There is no place to lay my head at night, no guaranteed meal, no roof of the car if it rains.

Its a journey, an adventure of the unknown. A longing for a heart filled with peace.

Advertisements

He hears us every time

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

~ Jesus Culture

You sit back in exhaustion, head reeling, spirit torn, and feeling defeated. Sadly this is not just a proverbial scenario. It seems to dominate reality in so many of our lives. All you can manage to do is sit there, able to focus only on your anxiety and fear. The only movement you can even possibly make is a jolting rock of the chair, a sluggish pace in movement, lighting another cigarette, or pouring another glass of bourbon with already glazed over eyes.

The crushing weight as you sit there is so exasperating you cannot even fathom what you are suppose to do with it. No prayer can seem to escape your lips as you open your dry mouth. The smoke from your cigarette is making your eyes smart, but you don’t seem to care. Nothing matters. God seems to have left the house.

This last week I was this person. “Oh no!” You may say. Here is a godly, Christian dad trying to make a difference in the world by showing the love and light of Christ, and he drinks and smokes! Horrors! On top of that he does it in the midst of depression and anxiety. He should really get some counseling, maybe follow a 12 step program.

Relax. I am just as human as you are. And I can guarantee your life is far from perfect. So lets put aside the judgement and finger pointing and talk some shop. My brutal honesty with you is only further confirmation that I am no one special, posses no super human abilities or supernatural powers.

Fear, anxiety, depression, and the feeling of being separated from God are all very real. It does not matter who you are, a famous pastor or just a regular guy. Everyone has points in their life where they go through some form of these feelings. It is not always extreme, but no matter what the level, it hurts.

So many Christians I meet tell me they have never truly heard from God.I ask them the same question I ask myself: are you really listening for God? What does that even mean?!

Your spirit inside me holds me close
In your wonderful presence I let go
I cleanse my hands, You burn my heart
I cry out for love, You set me apart

~ Kim Walker, Jesus Culture

When you are sad…do you mourn? When you are angry…do you channel it? When you are happy…do you rejoice?

In the same way, when you cry out to God, whether it is an anguishing cry from the pit of your spirit or a groan of your lips, do you stop to listen for his voice? I personally do not see the point in crying out to a God who does not answer. Rest assured, I have heard his answers in many forms throughout my life. Some are blunt and subtle, others are tiny whispers. What you may find interesting is that the whispers tend to be more profound in nature.

Why is that? Well, I had to be quiet to hear it. I had to let Someone greater than myself calm the raging seas in my heart and mind. Then after the waves settle, I sit back and listen. And yes sometimes listening goes hand in hand with a small glass of scotch and a dark room.

“Listen to me, all you who are serious about right living and committed to seeking God. Ponder the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug….”

~ Isaiah 51:1 (MSG)

 All the fears and anxieties we wrestle with are simply one thing: excuses. Yes they are very real excuses, but none the less we allow these excuses to dictate our relationship with God. Most of the time there is a very legitimate battle that must take place to slay the giants. Jesus told us we wrestle not against any flesh and blood. It is the darkness, demons, and possessed rulers of this world that challenge us.

Here is the beauty. He does not abandon us to these dark forces! He hears all our cries, but after many tears, the morning comes with peace, silence, devotion and listening for his voice.

**Disclaimer: I do not condone substance abuse whatsoever. I hold my own personal beliefs, and strongly encourage anyone who struggles with dependency to seek spiritual and possibly professional help. I highly recommend Celebrate Recovery as a faith based support group for any form of pain or addiction.