Perfect Strength (Overcoming Addiction)

My name is Justin and I’m an alcoholic.

Wow, that is humiliating to say. I didn’t want to write it. Pride kicks in and says put “recovered alcoholic” or “recovering.” Well I am recovering, but I would be lying to ever say I am recovered. I relapsed badly about a month ago. I lied to myself and said that I was recovered. I wasn’t. I told myself, “I have it under control now.” I didn’t. The problem with alcohol is that it is my weakness. A weakness is an area that we do not have control of. It’s something that has power over us. Where we are weak we are powerless.

It saddens me that there are so many out there with this same weakness. Being an alcoholic for years I naturally surrounded myself with friends who liked to drink. Now that I don’t drink it’s near impossible to hang out with any of them. I wish it weren’t the case because I miss them. I miss the laughs and the conversations. I pray for them that they will one day decide to try a life without alcohol. It’s not that they all have as bad a problem as I do. Some have carefully crafted a skill of “social drinking” that doesn’t seem to affect their work life or relationships. I remember when I was there. Wading in the water about waist high, but somehow without even noticing I ended up in the deep end. Some are deeper than I ever was and I cry out to God for them. “Someone throw them a life preserver!” And at times people have, but they hastily push it away insisting they are staying afloat just fine.

I thank God for my sobriety today and my sister’s as well! Born into a family line of alcoholism the enemy knew exactly where to attack. Thankfully we had our mom—whom Jesus loves—behind the front line praying boldly to the Father night after night for years. Her prayers did not go unheard. At the right moment, predestined before the earth was made, God stepped in and said,

“Enough is enough! Come with me my child. My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in your weakness.”

Strength made perfect in my weakness! Do you realize what that means? It means I no longer have to fight alone. I don’t have to do this on my own. Where I alone am powerless God gives me His power to have perfect strength. Perfect strength means not too much or too little, but exactly the right amount of strength to overcome.

Lord I pray that you will fill many with your perfect strength! May we be a generation and a nation known as those who overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

The first step is admitting that we ourselves are powerless.

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14 thoughts on “Perfect Strength (Overcoming Addiction)

  1. robin claire

    Hi Justin,
    I think we talked about both being alcoholics already. I thought there was something about you that got my attention. There’s something special about alcoholics I think, though I don’t know what it is. When we get sober, it seems that God goes into over-drive trying to help us stay that way. At least that’s my experience. Many happy sober days to you my friend. robin claire

    Reply
    1. Justin Post author

      Amen to the “over-drive!” haha. I love that! I think that anyone who God has helped overcome an addiction is just so thankful that there becomes a strong love-love relationship. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Steven Sawyer

    Justin, Wow! How brave you are. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re courageous enough to admit you are powerless. Been there. Done that. I am going to follow you, because we are both addicts (me to pornography and toxic relationships). And our struggle is a daily one. Praise God for your sobriety and mine today. Tomorrow is another day. I will support you, my brother, and pray for your continued recovery and blessings. God bless you, my friend.

    Reply
    1. Justin Post author

      Steven thank you for the encouragement! It does take a lot to bring our weaknesses to the light. I would say it takes an act of God. Praise Him for his strength He has given us! I will pray for you too. I’m glad we have met on here. God bless.

      Reply
  3. lenwilliamscarver

    Wow the courage it took to write those words and throw them out into the cyber-world for all to know…all I can say is Wow! You are a very strong man made so by your faith In Christ and His mercy and grace for you, I applaud you for it takes a universe of faith to stand up and utter the words and to declare your love of God!!! Having come from a long line of dependency and watching my father die from a ‘liquid brain’ due to his alcoholism I am grateful and thankful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for showing me early on what not to do. I will follow you and pray for you to continue your recovery! 🙂

    Reply
  4. nopew

    May God do a good work through not just your openness and testimony, but through those who speak out with you to witness to our Saviour and Divine Love. We are all weak, addicted or not!

    Reply
  5. lostinporn

    I’m new to your blog. I think you might be following mine as well. Forgive my cynicism, but I find your posts a little bit hard to believe. Everyone I’ve ever known who pretends to have it all together in Christ turns out to be fraudulent. I’ve been trying to put my trust in the gospel for 15 years and for whatever reason, it doesn’t seem like it’s working for me. I’ve done all the steps you discuss for victory. I’ve done it all. Now, I find myself tired, disillusioned, and bitter inside. I know that it’s not God’s fault. I truly believe He is love and goodness. I believe He has all the power. I believe His good news is pretty great. But, I just can’t figure out why it’s not working out for me. Also, I am keenly observant that it doesn’t seem to be working in anyone else who professes that I know. I feel like something is wrong with Christianity today. I feel like something is wrong with me. Maybe you’re the real deal–I’m not trying to judge you. But, if so, what are you doing right and I’m doing wrong? Your posts come across as though you have all the answers. Do you? Or are you in hyper-Christian mode just to avoid your business? Are you running from yourself? I hope this isn’t coming across like I’m against you. I’m not. I just have deep questions. I’m trying to stop being afraid to ask them.

    Reply
    1. Justin Post author

      Hey there. I have to say your comment caught me by surprise because I have honestly not once considered myself to “have it all together” or to “have all the answers” as you put. In fact the post you are commenting on is about how I personally screwed up just a month ago–and I messed up big time. I didn’t post all the details on here but let’s just say I am very thankful that Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible. With that said I’m not sure how to respond to your question. I write this blog to be encouragement to others and because of that I avoid any type of complaining/negative posts.. (you can read about a negative post I did put up and then later decided to take down here: http://iwanttobelieveingod.com/2012/10/24/the-living-hope/) I have plenty of shortcomings and areas of my life where I am still waiting for victory but rather than complaining about those -like I hear so many others do- I rejoice in the areas I have found victory! When God teaches me something, I write on it hoping that what He has taught me can be passed on. About six months ago I went through some serious spiritual warfare that made me question everything. I was severely depressed and doubting the existence of God more than ever before. But He brought me out of that and from that victory I am at a new level of peace and freedom in Christ. It is not that my problems have disappeared but in perspective of how big and real God has become in my life, my problems don’t seem so big anymore. Let me ask you a question. What is it exactly in your life that makes you say, “it’s not working out for you”? Also, I admire your courage to ask tough questions and to be honest. Just the fact that you are reaching out shows that you are on your way to a new level of faith. If I could suggest a book for you one that helped me get through depression and gave me inspiration to keep pressing into the deeper things of God is: Spirit Wars by Kris Valloton. If you would like to discuss things more in depth maybe email would be better and more private: iwanttobelieveingod@gmail.com I’ll be praying for you brother. God is going to bring you into a deeper level of freedom. Keep leaning into Him and don’t be too hard on yourself. Learning to accept God’s grace is the first step to freedom.

      Reply
      1. robin claire

        Hi Justin,
        I also wrote something to “Lost”. I thought what you said was spot-on. We are all just “human-beans” and are stumbling along in this complexable world the best we can. Even Christians have their down times. But, thanks be to God, we who have Christ in our lives are getting a little extra help navigating it. Love you, robin claire

      2. lostinporn

        Thank you for your support. This has been so helpful. I wanted to let you know I’ve created my “Who Am I” page. I was afraid to expose my identity, but now I’ve taken the plunge so stop by and let me introduce myself to you!

    2. robin claire

      Hi dear “Lost”.
      I have a blog called: robinclaire.wordpress.com. I got your comment for “iwanttobelieveingod” in my e-mail (for some reason? Maybe it was a God thing) Anyway, I just wrote something about asking certain questions of God and I told a personal story of my own miserable Christian wanderings in it. I thought you might be interested in checking it out. Hope things start looking up for you soon. Love, robin claire

      Reply

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