We have surrender, we have community, and the last step is obedience. Whatever God says, do it. I struggled and struggled for so many years trying to break myself free from the chains and the cage. But I couldn’t do it on my own. I had to rely on God. Thankfully, I had finally got to the point of desperation that left me no other choice but to listen and obey. So I made the choice to finally do whatever He told me to do, which meant asking Him. I’d really never asked before, I simply told Him what I wanted and was then frustrated and stuck when it didn’t work. I had to trust the people He put in my life to help me. God directed me back to AA. I wanted to go to the christian 12-step program, celebrate recovery. But I prayed and He said no. It didn’t make sense to me, but I went to AA. Celebrate Recovery in the area where I live only has a few meetings, I could only get to one a week. I needed more than that. God (and the people in AA ) said go every day. I prayed for help to heal the inside of me. He led me to a Christian counselor who helped me make sense of all the thoughts, feelings and actions I had. And he taught me how to deal with them on a daily basis in a healthier way. Every day, I surrendered myself to God, asked Him to lead me and when He spoke, I obeyed. Even when, and it usually didn’t, make sense, I obeyed. 1 John 2:3-5 says, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him." Of course, I’m not perfect and I messed up along the way. But like we talked about earlier, in the surrender His grace is sufficient. And in that surrender, in that community, in that obedience I found sobriety. 1st 30 days, then 60, then 90, 120 days, 6 months, 1 year and now I’m almost at my 2 year sobriety date.
Oh, and there have been more triumphs along the way too. Being sober was just the beginning. I was finally able to forgive my Dad and release the pain and anger of the abuse. I’ve been given many opportunities to share my story to offer hope to others. The greatest gift of all though is my relationship with the Lord. I have learned how to hear His voice. I have learned that He is faithful beyond anything I’ve ever experienced or could ever understand. I want to share something I found in one of my journals as I looked through them as I writing what I would share today. I had written out that scripture 1 John 2:3-5 and a prayer that I was struggling with not following God’s commands to me. God is so good, He will answer me sometimes as I write and this is what he answered to my prayer that day… you know me more because you are healed, you are restored. Take heart in knowing your testimony is richer, deeper because I have worked a miracle in you. Your knowledge of me is now first hand. Trust is deeper, belief is more grounded, faith is stronger. And that is my glory.
I was still struggling with alcohol at that point. But God knew I would be healed and redeemed. And He spoke that over me that day. And I think that journal entry was written out just for today, so that I would go back and see it and share it with you today. So that He gets the glory for what has been done in my life!
I have learned that by surrendering and obeying the chains fall off, the cage is busted wide open and dreams, visions, hope and promises burst forth before me. And God says, Dawn, let’s go after that together. There is a place of deep significance out there for you. A place that I expertly designed and crafted just for you and me. Dawn, let’s go after that together. And when I say yes, my feet come off the ground and my heart begins to soar like it never has before.
My question to you today is this – What is the thorn in your side that you need to surrender to God. We all have one and I’m sure that as I was telling my story, God was speaking to you about yours. Saying this, this you have to surrender. Will you hear His voice and obey? This is a safe community of women where you can shed the shell of perfection you are hiding behind. He wants the real you. Not the fake, pretending you. And when you give him the real you, that’s when your wings will really fly!
Excuse me…But these wings were made for flying.
How could I ever fly? Please. That statement was written just for me. Me, right here. The one with the broken past. The one with the messy story. The one with the heart surrendered to God. Yeah, me. I can fly. Because my God made me that way.
Most stories would stop here with the words, The End. But I think The Beginning is much more appropriate!