Sunday, December 6, 2009 goes

Whew. This is hard. There has been a lot going on in my life lately. I have been thinking long and hard about sharing it with all of you. I think I just need to get it out there in the open. Man, I honestly don't even know where to start. Keep in mind, that this is a really LONG story made short. I am leaving out a lot of stuff. Honestly, there is a ton that I don't remember. I am just going to hit the high (and low) points. I am leaving out most of my emotions about everything for now. I'm sure I will write more later. Also, I am just rambling in this post. I am not going to read and re-read it to get it just right. So, if there are things that don't sound right...sorry. I also want to say that I am not writing this to say "look at where I have come from". I am writing this as therapy for myself and to say "look what God has done in my life". I'm going to start with some background information.

Okay, so when I was in high school I experimented with alcohol and marijuana. When I went to college in 1998, I really got into alcohol and drugs. It was bad. So bad that I failed out of my first year at Lander University and my roommates moved out on me without telling me. I came home one day and they were gone. I don't blame them for it. I did so many things that you wouldn't even believe from selling drugs to stealing from my own friends and family. When I say it was was bad. I got a DUI while attending a community college in Greenwood, SC. I told my parents and my Dad drove down to Greenwood and moved me back home.

I got a job working with my mom and started attending Greenville Tech. I continued to stay in trouble for a little while. Then, the guy I was dating got in a really serious car accident. The day he was getting out of the hospital, a dear friend of mine and my family's was killed in a car accident. At this point, my eyes were opened. I decided to really try to make a change in my life (so I thought).

I applied to Mars Hill College and began attending there in the Spring of 2001 to get a degree. I got baptized during the Spring of 2001 at my home church with some of my friends that I had made from Mars Hill. That summer, I did Work Corp which is a program for college students to be youth directors for churches that can't afford to pay for one. It was an amazing experience.

During the Fall semester, I started getting back into drinking. One thing led to another and I got myself back in the exact same place I was in before...drugs and alcohol. I just couldn't seem to stay away. I managed to still keep my grades just above passing...praise the Lord.

Now, I will skip ahead to my Senior year. In January of 2004, I got another DUI. It was a Sunday. My friend and I began at a restaurant in downtown Asheville drinking bloody mary's for brunch. It ended with me getting pulled over by three police officers at about nine o'clock. I was so intoxicated that I didn't know or remember being pulled over. Wow. Every time I think back to that night it brings tears to my eyes (every time) when I realize that it was God that sent those police officers to me. He saved my life. Better yet, He saved someone else's life. I am so thankful to those police officers for doing their job. Unlike most people, I love police officers!

So, the judge ordered me to either 30 days in jail or 2 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. Obviously, I chose the 2 weeks of rehabilitation. I continued in school in hopes that I could graduate in the Fall of 2004. In April, I "met" Chris. Chris and I had known each other the entire four years in college but our eyes were opened to each other in a new way. We started dating pretty seriously. I checked into rehab that summer. The judge had allowed me to finish my semester before going to rehab. By the time I went to rehab, God had already done a lot of work in my life. God really used Chris to show me how He could change my life and love me no matter what. Everyday that I was in rehab, Chris wrote me a letter. He was amazing through everything. His friends were extremely worried about our relationship. At the time, that made me so angry. But, now, I see that I would have been the same way. I was trouble. Plain and simple.

Chris stuck by me. It was completely obvious that he was the man God created for me. I had a lot of baggage and he didn't care about any of it. As you could guess, I did not save myself for him. He never made a second comment or had a second thought about it. He loved me for who I was then instead of who I used to be. I am so thankful to him for that.

As most of you know, Chris and I moved to TN in 2004. I got a TN driver's license and (for the most part) never looked back. We had a wonderful church family and God taught me a lot of things during our four years in TN. Then, we moved to Raleigh and it came time to get my NC driver's license back. I knew I would have to meet with a counselor and prove to them that I went to rehab for two weeks. I thought once I did that then it would be over. Boy...was I wrong.

I put it off and put if off, thinking that it didn't matter. On September 13th, driving home from my parent's in SC with just Kael in the car, I got pulled over. Come to find out, my TN driver's license means nothing in NC or SC. So, I got a ticket for "driving with a suspended license" even though technically I had a squeaky clean TN driver's license. I have been without a driver's license since that day. We had to pull Bryce out of preschool. I have court on December 17th. I had to get an assessment with an alcohol and drug treatment center. They concluded that since I have had 2 DUI's and I admitted to having a couple of glasses a wine a week, that I needed to do 60 hours of group counseling. So far, I have gone to 12 group sessions. I have 10 more to go. I will write more about this later. It is kind of crazy.

I want to say that I am not an alcoholic or drug addict anymore. I do not believe in "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic". I know a lot of people will strongly disagree with this statement and that is okay. We all have different experiences with alcoholism. However, I am (daily) putting ALL of my faith in Christ to keep me on the right path. I don't struggle with wanting to be on the path of drugs and alcohol anymore. My life and family are wonderful. I know what abusing alcohol and drugs will do to my life and I want NO part of it! God has blessed me so much and I know that He has taken away my desire for that life. But, as one of my friends always says, none of us are above anything. Sin is always right around the corner. It is a daily commitment to follow Christ and to seek His face in all that we do. I am so incredibly in awe with God's grace and mercy in my life. If you know me well, you know that I cry a lot. I used to think that it was because I had so many years of not being sober that I didn't know how to deal with my emotions. I still think that was a lot of it. However, I realize now that I am often overcome with complete awe that God saved me.

"For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream