There was once a time when I did a lot of run’in and gun’in, doing things that today I’m not so proud of. On top of it all I added drugs and alcohol to my madness. I remember one day walking past the bathroom mirror and not even recognizing the person looking back at me. It was a shell of a woman that I did not know. I got close to the face and stared into her eyes and saw the most empty sorrow that I will never forget. There was nothing there … it scared me! Life was not good and I knew it. Looking back now, I can see that I had virtually no life inside of me, only darkness. My life even with my three wonderful children had no meaning.
I believe that I still had an ounce of faith somewhere deep inside that carried me to the doors of alcoholics anonymous. I sat there listening to people talking about their higher power, and how much it helped them. When I asked someone how I could get some of this “God thing,” they told me to write down on a piece of paper what kind of God I had in my life, and on another piece of paper what I wanted Him to be like. When I was finished they told me to keep the paper of the One I wanted Him to be like and to throw the other away. So I did. Growing up a Catholic my God was for me a very strict and punishing God. So, of course, I decided to keep the “cool God” who I made up to cater to me and only me. I was soon learning to be selfish and self-seeking. I hung on to Him for seven long years and, I stayed drug and alcohol-free but still very much in the dark. I started to realize how alone I felt inside. I needed more.
I started going to church and every time I would walk into one I would always sit in the back of the room and cry, not knowing why. Then I would need to leave early because I knew something was happening to me and I was scared of it! I ran from church to church until the night of Easter eve, 1997. I was sitting with my head in my hands crying, listening to the words of the church pastor and thinking that he was talking directly to me. I was wondering who told him what to say. Did someone tell him how I felt? How would they know? Just then, like so many other times in my life, I felt a hand resting on my heart, only this time I knew it was the hand of God, not the one I made up to keep me sober — it was GOD our creator. Since that night I have never felt alone or in the dark. I pray and He hears me; I read God’s word and He gives me understanding. He’s inside me for guidance. He is wonderful. The more I read [His word], the more I feel. The more I feel, the closer I get to knowing Him. Jesus is opening my heart more and more each day.
Now, when I pass by a mirror, I see a woman with the Lord in her heart and spirit in her eyes. It is through Jesus that I find freedom.