Editor Feb 04 : 11:33
I grew up the middle daughter of two prominent, religious parents.
I grew up the middle daughter of two prominent, religious parents. My Dad was also a severely deceitful but "functioning" alcoholic who came home from work most nights reeking of liquor, stuttering and tripping into the house. He seemed to manage to sober up enough in time to perform his deacon duties on Sunday. I told myself that this would never be me. Even still, my parents demanded excellent grades, excellent manners and absolute moral behavior. The way we looked to the world and to our respective "church folks" was paramount.
At 15, I started sneaking drinks from my parents private bar that was always stocked. I drank with my high school boyfriend in my parents basement and also began my life of reckless sexually immorality. I "snuck" drinks throughout this time until I was old enough to buy liquor on my own. I drank consistently and more heavily throughout high school. Although scared to try marijuana at first, I learned how to smoke at 17 and smoked several times a week, almost every week until I was about 24 - - all through high school. By God's grace I made it through the SATs and got accepted to college. I also made it to church service on Sundays, was polite, and fooled most people into thinking that I was the model daughter.
Once on a college campus, I told my parents that my first order of business was to find a church - - which I did - - another denominational church. I also found drinking buddies and the party crowd. I drank and partied so much in my first year of school that I failed almost all my courses that semester, and smoked as much marijuana as I could get my hands on. I fought to cover up my REAL lifestyle and constantly lied in order to protect the image I had created. Meanwhile, I was throwing up and urinating in dorm rooms, wasting my parents money because I rarely got up for class, and I was sleeping around. I got pregnant five times, had five abortions and got high throughout all of it.
Just after my last abortion I hit what I thought was rock bottom. I had finally broken up with my boyfriend, I had come home without my degree and was so desperately lonely I thought about suicide. Shortly after this, my cousin asked me to come with him to a church service he had been invited to. I couldn't believe my eyes when I got there. There was a sincerity I had never seen before in church and I quickly agreed to study the Bible. I got in the water only two weeks later and embraced the Kingdom. Sadly, I hadn't embraced the King. I was thrilled to have met such wonderful and sincere people, but I myself hadn't gotten real and was still a liar. I lied when I studied the Bible and as a result nullified what we thought was my baptism with my deceit and lack of repentance. I finally came clean and got baptized the way God wanted. Shortly after this however, my Dad was killed in a car accident caused by a heart attack he had at the wheel of his van. He heart was weakened due to his increased drinking. Grief stricken, angry with God, miserable and depressed - - I fell away from God and went back to the world.
It's true what we learn in CR that if we leave God we won't "start all over again" in our usage, but rather we pick up where we left off - and worse. I drank more than I had ever before I had studied the Bible. I did what I could to medicate myself from the grief of my Dad's death and my decision to turn my back on God. I would get drunk after work - - AT work. One such night, I had taken a car service home from the office and had to have the driver pull over in mid-town so I could vomit in the street. Where in the past I made sure to hang out with folks that had the marijuana, I now went to dangerous places in the Bronx to buy marijuana off the street from dealers who lived near my apartment. One such night I almost took a bullet from a shoot- out that had begun just before I was to buy a nickel bag. None of this stopped be though. I drank more and lived more and more immorally. The Bible says that if we leave God we will develop "seven more demons". It is true. I missed God and I missed the church, but I was much too prideful to ask for help.
A year and eight months later, God used some special sisters who had maintained their friendships with me to help bring me to my senses. I got together with them, began reading my Bible again, repented and got restored on August 31st, 1994. A man I had begun to date during the time I had fallen away came to church with me, studied the Bible and became a disciple! He reached out to his cousin who became a disciple and she reached out to his ex-wife who is now our sister in Christ too!! Things were great after getting restored but I had some serious work to do on my heart. I had partnered some sisters through CR before but never thought I needed the group ( HA!). At a singles party a year after I had been restored, I had a "fit of rage" because I was served sparkling cider instead of the champagne I saw some other disciple choose to have. It became apparent that I needed to be in CR for myself. My journal made it UNMISTAKABLY clear that I am an addict.
I graduated CR 17 months later (after MUCH discipling) and now help to co-lead our CR women's group. I have a special interest in co-dependency and helping women deal with grief and difficult life situations. I also have a commitment to keeping it real. I've been restored now for almost seven years and have much deeper roots with God. I believe with absolute certainty that going through CR, being comfortable with my sobriety and getting real has kept me faithful to God.
Thank you God. Thank you for everything, for my life with you, for my salvation and for CR. TO GOD BE THE GLORY, I love you all. "To whom much is given, much is expected".