Today is January 10th. Exactly one month ago, December 10th, I relapsed for, Lord willing, the last time. Which means today I’m one month self harm free. Pretty soon one month will turn into one year, one decade, and so one. Why am I telling you this? To prove recovery, to prove overcoming addictions, to prove fighting the temptation IS possible.
March 29th of 2017 I went to Chick-Fil-A before Wednesday night church to meet with Angela, a student ministry intern at my church. That afternoon I told her my story, I told her my hurt, and I told her my struggle with my addiction. After I told her that I didn’t really want to stop self harming, she asked if I didn’t want to stop, then why did I come to her? I said that I wanted to see if it was possible. She looked me in the eyes and said, “It is.”
Ever since that day, the hope I’d been missing for the past couple months came back. Because that day I learned that recovery is possible. Before that day I honestly didn’t see an end to this. I didn’t believe I was strong enough to get past it. But the truth is, I didn’t have to be strong enough, because my God is strong enough. Exodus 14:14 says “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” I didn’t have to fight, because God fought for me.
It’s your choice if you’re going to let God fight for you, or if you’re going to try to do it on your own. But I promise that God’s way is better. We’re sinful. We’re imperfect. We’re going to fail. Because we’re human. But God isn’t. God NEVER fails. You need to rely on the strength God gives you and not your own strength, because if you do I promise that you can overcome this. Just like I did. It doesn’t matter if you’ve struggled with something with 2 weeks or 2 years, because God is bigger than your temptation.
Something I wish I had realized sooner was that you’re not alone in your temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” And y’all, it doesn’t get clearer than that. Your addiction doesn’t make you an outsider. So many people have struggled with it, and so many people defeated it. This verse also says that God won’t let you be tempted beyond your ability. Which means that quitting IS possible. That’s not just what I’m telling you, that’s what the Bible is telling you. That should mean more than what I’m saying. God tells you that He provides a way of escape. Maybe that’s a person to help you get through it, maybe it’s your Bible, but whatever it is, it’s there.
While God provides a way out of your temptation, what you need to understand is that God is not the tempter. James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” So while God will always get you out of it, God will never get you into it. If you’re being tempted, remind yourself that that’s the devil and his lies, and that’s what he wants. God wants you to say no to it.
My friend once told me that relapse is an important part of recovery. If you read my previous blog post on resolutions you know that I did relapse. But it doesn’t mean that I quit trying, it doesn’t mean that because I did it once I’ll do it again. It was important for me in the long run, because after I relapsed I realized that I didn’t want to do it again. I’m not saying you will relapse, and I’m not saying you wont. But if you do, don’t let that discourage you. You can keep fighting, and God won’t stop fighting for you.
So today, as I celebrate being one month clean, maybe you’re celebrating your one day clean. Maybe its been a couple of hours, maybe it’s been a couple of years. I’m proud of you. And if I could only tell you one thing, it’d be never give up, and never give up on God. I gave up on God and believing He could get me out of this, and I didn’t even realize it til my friend pointed it out. You’re a fighter, and you can do this. God can do this. Never, ever, give up.