Have you ever been told you were on your own and lay in your own mess you created or you should know better? The decisions you make will determine your outcome? If you have you’ve never heard it put like this before. James D is an overcomer, someone who had it all and later lost it all. What’s the outcome of this story you ask? Well join me today as we find out together what GOD did for James and where he’s at today. As a young boy from Massachusetts James grew up with alcoholic parents and friends who also drank, not a good start so far right? At a tender age James was introduced to alcohol which later became the norm in his daily surroundings which led into his next habit of marijuana. During this timeframe of his life James is now 16 years old and has racked up several charges of marijuana under his now growing resume for Satan. Let’s fast forward a few years and we see James struggling even more with addiction from drugs and alcohol. In this stage denial has crept in, trying to control the things you can’t and ignoring the things you need to change. Do you recognize this pattern, its the exact opposite of the Serenity Prayer. James has now fallen in love, has a girlfriend and a career that is wearing his body down. This is causing him to find relief at the end of the day in a bottle. Alcohol has taken over, it became a consolation in life that he looked forward to on a daily basis. With arguments at home and a demanding work schedule James drank his worries away. Drinking was a way to escape. Wait im drinking because i’m arguing with the wife about my alcoholism…. James couldn’t see the irony of that problem at the time. Funny how we have to use our peripheral vision because looking at it head on just won’t do. Denial is an ugly thing. you don’t want to hear what others are telling you and you seem to have the answers to all the questions nobody is asking. We’ve all been a James at one point of our lives haven’t we? We tell ourselves I don’t want to face my problems because they aren’t what I agreed to, it’s not where i’m supposed to be in life. Marriage counseling has entered the next phase of his life. Counseling is where the fix is supposed to happen but with James it doesn’t, honesty is not being adhered to! Denial or lack of willpower……. only James knows what carried him this far into the shadows. Again Satan is building a strong resume for James and he is on the path to filling out page number two of this resume. Rock bottom has to be around the corner, how much lower can I fall into the shadows? Well here is the answer, James has an accident while driving and hits a cyclist. Rock bottom next exit! Was GOD looking out for James, he wasn’t tested during the accident and no jail time came of it. James made a decision, it’s time to come clean to the wife and let her know i’ve been lying about my alcoholism, it’s not improving and I need help. Feeling honest James is now communicating with his wife and a deal is struct…..only drink when not working and on weekends. Can you say selfish….no i’m not being mean to James here but i’m sure the alcohol was speaking for James and tearing him further apart from his family and social life. Deals can’t be made with your sobriety or soul, it becomes a lose lose situation. Pop open a cold pepsi and let’s keep reading to see what James is up to. Since deals and promises are being made James tells his wife I need one beer to get to sleep, this one beer turned into two and so on. From there the drinking got worse, the smoking weed got worse and a new chapter enters his life………..Abandonment. James was overcome with drugs and alcohol that led him to walk away from his wife and son. Now out alone in the world James is using stronger drugs. Meth has been introduced into his lifestyle and moving from one house to another to have a place to crash is the goal here. Carrying the guilt of abandoning his wife and son is eating him alive leading to more drugs and more alcohol burning bridges along the way. Now fired from an 8 year career James cashes in his 401K which was used up on addiction (none of it for family or help) and cash is now running out again. Sensing a desperation James ups his resume and now adds selling meth to keep his addition fed and a few dollars in his pocket. Let’s build that resume some more says Satan. Stealing cars, breaking into houses are a few things that James felt he needed to do to keep his lifestyle going. A little twist here, James comes home one evening and found out a friend he had been letting stay at his house has robbed him of his belongings, everything he owned was gone. This seemed to be the theme of James’ testimony folks. James was on a spiral and losing everything he owned. This caused James to move in with his parents and that also was short lived as a knock on the door would change his life forever. Was it GOD saying James enough is enough? Was it his wife saying James I forgive you come home? None of the above, its was the cops and they had a warrant for James. All the running was finally over. James was now under arrest and guess what emotion followed…..happiness. GOD must have intervened and reset James’ heart to put him at peace. James is actually happy he is going to get the help he has always needed while in jail. Basically James gave his life to GOD, this was a long time coming but there needed to be a pause in his life where he can fully surrender one on one with GOD. James found himself on his knees fully surrendered asking GOD “what is my next move, i’m listening, speak to me oh LORD”. That night when he surrendered James had the best sleep he has had in a long time. GOD set his plan in motion for James who has now joined a faith based program, entered a “New Beginnings” Transition Center, started Celebrate Recovery……see GOD is now moving in his life, he waited until James ran out of steam to slow him down and get his attention. James’ love of music encouraged him further into the Celebrate Recovery program in which he started greeting people at the door and has become a small group leader. James has since undergone a knee surgery that caused him to lose a job but what he knows now is when GOD shuts a chapter in your life he is preparing you for the next. James is going strong in his faith and that has brought back the treasures in his life bringing him closer to his family who now has trust in him. GOD has given him back the relationship with his son, an awesome relationship with co-workers, great friendships developed in CR and he is proud to say that the friends made in CR are the most real friends he has ever had. James says there is a better way in life and thats through Jesus Christ. If you struggle in whatever life has decided to beat you down with don’t hesitate to get your recovery because the only thing you have to lose is the hurt. James is leading a Chemical Dependency group and he could not be a better spokesman and its through GOD’s timing that this happened. Romans 7:17 reads “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is in sin living in me”.
Question: James when you were at your lowest point who was there to help you up?
Answer: I had no one, the friends I thought I had were no where to be found.
Question: How long were you in jail because GOD must have taken his time to work on you?
Answer: Not long, I was only in jail for 4 months, GOD worked on me instantaneously. I was facing an 8 year sentence and GOD took me right out of that chapter and into the recovery, faith based program which got me out of jail. I completed a one year treatment center in a home away from my family.
Question: In the midst of your dark days did you think about the consequences of hurting your family not just your life?
Answer: Yes, I did think about where I came from and what I lost but at the time I really didn’t care or to even try to do better, I was hurt.
Question: Can you recall the moment that said “I’m Done”?
Answer: I went to Mom and Dad and said i’m on drugs and I need help but they were in denial and said “no you’re ok”. When I was arrested I should have been mad at the world but I was calm and relieved because I was at my surrendered point in life.
What an amazing testimony we just witnessed from one of GOD’s sheep grappled in turmoil only to be delivered by our Savior Jesus Christ. James was living in the shadows and the deeper he dove the more people cast him aside. GOD will never lose sight of you and James’ story is proof that if you don’t listen to what GOD is telling you He will let you run out of steam to catch you at your quietest moment so you can hear and understand him. James’ “awakening moment” came very quickly, but GOD was working on him for a long time making sure he was safe even when James could not see him. Satan lets you build a resume and will hold it in front of your face reminding you of how low you have come. Who will love you now right? Family doesn’t trust you, friends abandoned you, self hate and loathing sinks in, jobs lost……I can keep going but there is no need to because the focus here is restoration. Today’s take-a-way…..you will always be GOD’s child. We don’t need to come to GOD with a resume, our heart is what GOD wants restored so we can take what he has given us and give back, This Blog is titled Give and Takeaways, because Christ Takes away our sin and gives us back to the Lord. By reading and discussing in this blog (giving back) we learn from each others hurt and also take a way a lesson or scripture to help live life in Christ’s vision for us. I’d like to hear your moment of surrender where GOD had you run out of steam so he could have you all to himself and delivered restoration upon you. James, thank you for your honest testimony and what a wonderful way to give back with continuing your service in Celebrate Recovery.