Thursday, August 30, 2018

Growing up with an Alcoholic: A Story of Redemption

A few weeks ago in church, my Pastor used the phrase “God writes a better story,”during the sermon, and it really moved me and got me thinking. Growing up, when I was really young, family life was pretty good. It wasn’t until I started high school that things started to go downhill.

I was 12 years old when my brother was adopted and for the first two years of his life things were great. I loved pretending to be mom, helping out with him and other things around the house. We did a lot of things together as a family, but eventually my mom had to go back to work, and that’s when she started to get really depressed.

So depressed that she started drinking. First it started out as a drink or two during the week. Then it turned into two drinks 4 nights, until she was drinking almost every night. Sometimes she would finish a full bottle of alcohol in one day. Don’t get me wrong her life didn’t end completely, she was still able to function. She was what you call a functioning alcoholic and she was very good at hiding it from others, but we really knew how bad it was and we saw everything that went on behind closed doors.

The memories from high school and college weren’t the greatest, I’m sure you can imagine. Lots of missed events, yelling and screaming at each other, not to mention the worry every time she got into a car to go get more. We couldn’t stop her. There is just no reasoning with an alcoholic.

I won’t go into all the details, I can’t even remember them all. Some of it is just a blur, but maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe God doesn’t want me to remember everything. Maybe he just wants me to remember the ending to His story.

It was about a year after I graduated college when my mom sat us down and told us she had had enough. She was ready and she wanted to get help. It was time. What an answer to prayer that was. We knew that the only way this would happen would be on her timing!

I remember taking her to the rehab center close to our home, where she spent the first week of her rehab process, but after speaking with one of the counselors, they felt it was best for her to go to a bigger facility down in Florida. The place she was staying at in New Jersey was only meant to be for a week or two and she definitely needed more time. After praying about it, we agreed that this was definitely God moving in big way and that He would provide a way to pay, if the insurance wouldn’t cover it. I can’t remember much of how I felt while she was gone, other than helping at home with my younger brother and other things that needed to be taken care of.

What I do remember is when she finally returned home, three months later. Not only did she look different, but there was something different about her, when I looked her in the eyes. I knew the victory over alcohol had been won. God had delivered her and she was a changed woman. I also remember not fearing the future, if whether or not she would start to drink again, because I knew that this battle was the Lord’s battle and He was fighting for her, we just needed to be still.

It’s been over 10 years now since my mother has had anything to drink, and it puts a smile on my face every time I think about how far she has come. You see in my head, the ending to my mother’s story was a little different, but isn’t that how it is for all of us? When we’re in the middle of the storm, we always write the worst possible outcome or ending in our heads. Instead, we need to wait upon the Lord during these times, He will renew our strength, just like my Pastor mentioned in Isaiah chapter 40. And what happens next? God is the one who writes the story and it is indeed a much better story!! Many Blessings!

Keep It Simple,

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