Monday, February 24, 2014

Why I Am Not An Addict

Simply put, I am not. 
"But, you talk about addiction in your past.  It is a part of your story" 
Yes, I do, and yes, it is. 
I was a drug addict. 
One of the worst ones, if there are degrees of just how bad it can get.   
Imagine this: You have this friend, a young lady. You have spent over a year getting to know her.  And you know her heart. She is a faithful wife. She loves her family.  She is devoted to her children.  And above all, she loves God. 
But she introduces herself this way... "Hello, I am so-and-so and I am a prostitute" 
It makes no sense.  Clearly, she is not a prostitute. 
She is a teacher and a mom and there would be no time for prostitution.   
So you ask her why she introduces herself as a prostitute. 
She replies "Well, you see, ten years ago, before God saved me and before I was a wife and a mom, I was selling myself on the streets.  That was the life I lived." 
It sounds absurd to continue calling herself a prostitute.  Nothing in her life indicates that she is a prostitute.  But, there are clear indicators that she is a believer in Jesus Christ, a wife, a mom and a teacher. 
Addiction was the biggest part of my life for years.  It did define who I was. 
Everything I did was based out of the fact that I was an addict. 
I took feed my addiction. 
I feed my addiction.
I feed my addiction. 
I fool my friends and family into thinking I was ok,
so that I could feed my addiction. 
I even went into a career feed my addiction.  
Addiction defined who I was. 
Everything revolved around my addiction. 
I was a bonafide addict. 
But God intervened.  And now, he calls me his. 
“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine"
Ezekiel 16:8
Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not ashamed of my past. 
I have a blog that talks openly about my past, being a drug addict and alcoholic. 
I can identify with many people who are hurting because of the bondage that addiction causes. 
I shared my testimony a few weeks ago with a group of young ladies at JSU, and I talked a lot about my addiction to drugs and alcohol.  
God has given me a story.
But it is his story, and I choose to let him write it. 
And by his grace, there has been a plot twist and a change in characters. 
 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come"
2 Corinthians 5:17
I believe in the power of words. And I believe that if we identify ourselves by our past, we will continue to live that way. 
In the way of shame, guilt, and regret. 
If we identify ourselves by who we are in Christ, we will live free, joyful, and abundant lives. 
As a believer, I can't help but think that it grieves the very heart of  God if we live in our past...if we choose to identify ourselves by what we have done as opposed to what Christ has done for us.  Whether that be a drug addict, a binge eater, a bully, or whatever we have done in our past. 
"That, however, is not the way of life you learned  when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
Ephesians 4:20-24
The gospel tells me that Christ died for that. 
The gospel tells me that I can be set free from that bondage. 
The gospel tells me that Christ is bigger than my sin. 

"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:3

The gospel turns things on it's head. 
The world would tell me I am living in denial by not claiming my identity as an addict. 
God's word tells me I am living in the truth. 
As for me, I choose to live from that identity that I am his. 
I am his beloved daughter. 
I am not my past. 

1 comment:

  1. Ohmygosh, I love this. Congratulations, Katy. I have so much to say on this topic, don't even know where to start. You probably know WV is at the top of the nation for opioid addiction. My #1's best friend died of an overdose while recuperating from a surgery (she was in rehab and the discharging Dr prescribed opioids when she TOLD them she was an addict). Her death helped legislate changes to medical records with addiction as a pre-existing condition if told as part of intake (it brought natl attn). I am so happy for you, so happy for you.