I think I’m a Christian alcoholic.
I don’t want to tell you that. I want you guys to believe that I have it all together, but I don’t.
Personally, I don’t think having the rare glass of wine is evil, but recently I’ve started to notice that my occasional glass of wine is well…more occasional.
This isn’t my first-go round with Addictive Behaviors
As you may know this isn’t my first battle with addiction. I am a successfully recovered bulimic and drug addict. Which is why it was so hard for me to admit that I might have a problem!
Also, it’s been hard to admit because it hasn’t gotten out of hand. I only drink one or two glasses of wine once a week. No problem, right? That’s like…healthy and stuff.
But I feel this unrighteous tug towards drinking and it’s been ongoing long enough that I’ve started to reach out to seek help.
Recently, I visited Celebrate Recovery at my church. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered approach to Alcoholics Anonymous. The speaker there, Steph Macleod, admitted that he’d recently fallen off the wagon due to some lapses in his medication. It was a bold, yet scary, statement. Here he is — on stage preaching about Jesus — admitting that he isn’t perfect.
To me, it was the most refreshing thing I’d heard in a long time.
I went into the small group after the message. I told the group of gals that I was ‘pre-step-1’ of the 12-step program. For those of you who don’t know what Step 1 of recovery groups is, it is:
We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
The scripture to back it up is:
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18
Furthermore, I admitted that I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up my wine/beer/cocktail…especially since my birthday was just around the corner and I was going to have a weekend-long writer’s retreat at my mom’s place, The Cabins at Angel Springs.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to take the situation lightly. I just wanted a transformation that was real. I didn’t want to ‘give up’ drinking, only to lust after it in my heart constantly.
The next two weeks before my 35th birthday I prayed continually about giving up alcohol. I wanted God’s hand. His help to guide down the right path in HIS Spirit (not my own fleshly ‘good deeds.’)
Well, I did have a couple glasses of wine on the night of my birthday and sat around with some amazing ladies, some who drank and some who didn’t.
But God will wasn’t thwarted or threatened.
You see, a sweet (recovering addict), stayed in the cabin next to me. She sat with us that night, not saying a word about my drinking. She didn’t cast a furtive brow or judgmental tone. She silently prayed for me.
Before she left I swore I wasn’t going to talk to her about my growing addiction. I didn’t want to admit it to her, because I knew she was going to encourage me to pay attention to the small prick in my spirit I have been feeling.
She packed up her car and came to give me a goodbye hug and it’s like I couldn’t help myself. I love Jesus so much that I don’t want anything — even the occasional glass of wine — to stand between Him and me.
She graciously prayed for me and breathed words of life into my soul.
Do I like that I might never have a glass of wine again? Nope. Not one bit. Actually, there are moments I wish I would have kept my big mouth shut so I could go on my merry-drinking way.
The Call Out of Addiction
The call out of addiction isn’t easy but when I realize WHO is calling me, I know that I’ll have power to overcome. (Even after any relapses I may have).
God’s call to Himself is more precious to me than even an entire vineyard of wine grapes.
Why am I admit this to you? Why am I allowing myself to come under scrutiny and potential judgement? People reading might be thinking a couple of things:
- All alcohol is evil, I can’t believe she calls herself a Christian. How dare she!
- That’s good for her, but I’m not about to give up my wine!
- I feel ya. You are speaking to me!
For those of you who believe drinking is totally wrong 100% of the time. I understand.
For those of you who don’t have a problem with your occasional glass of wine. I understand.
But for those of you who are struggling like me, please know you aren’t alone. I’m battling with you.
Three ways to join me:
If you don’t have any issues. I’m honestly thankful for that!
Through this situation I realize there are so many Christian women — who have been saved for a long time — that find themselves addicted to something. (Even women on a public platform.)
Will you pray for these three things for those struggling, myself included?
- Ongoing Support
The Bible says that ‘confession brings healing’.
So if you are like me and you think you have an addiction, whether it’s an eating disorder, alcohol, drugs or porn will you be bold enough to confess it to someone?
Confessing to one person is SO much easier than confessing to the entire internet…so understand that I totally know how much it sucks to admit we have issues.
If you want to partner with me to overcome your addiction, you can join my Radical Christian Woman: Addiction Recovery Support group on Facebook.
If you have overcome any addiction, I ask that you would also join the Facebook group above to find mentorship roles among the downtrodden like myself. Please beware that this isn’t a place to condemn, but to support and encourage to seek Christ above all. I will moderate posts and will kick people out without apology to protect the privacy and integrity of the group.
I have a very small audience for my blog and emails. But I want to take this time to apologize for my lack of control and imperfection. I am a work in progress. Learning and growing. I will stumble and fall. Heck, I might even fall off the wagon. (Not that I’m trying to!)
Will you forgive me 7 x 70?
I really need it.
I do want you to know that I’m NOT sure if this is a goodbye to alcohol forever.
I’m not ready to commit to that yet.
But I can tell you that today, I will ask for God’s grace to help me overcome any hold the things of this world have over my life.
My (mostly) Up-To-Date Timeline
This post was written in November 2015. This timeline is partly for my own accountability, but also for other to see what recovery looks like in real life. It’s a bumpy road that isn’t always as straight as we’d like it to be!
- November 1, 2015: Gave up alcohol after my birthday weekend.
- November 14, 2015: Had one beer while watching TV, that night I had a dream that suggested that God considered that one beer to be adulterous to His request.
- March 23, 2016: Drank a bottle wine.
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