This summer I celebrated my 22nd anniversary of sobriety! Believe me when I say that is a huge accomplishment. I’m not just a recovering alcoholic, I am a redeemed alcoholic. This year, on this important annual milestone, God dropped a bombshell on me!
I’ve heard it said that the age at which a person starts consuming alcohol is the age at which they remain emotionally stunted while in their addiction. So, I started when I was 11 and continued until I was 25. I was sitting in an initial Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, not feeling much of anything besides shame, when I looked at the first 3 steps of recovery in AA. I didn’t even notice steps one and two. My vision immediately focused on step three, which tells me to turn my will and my life over to God, as I understand Him.
My first thought was “Oh no; nobody is ‘saving’ Mary Ann today!” At once, I heard a voice interrupt my mental tirade. The Voice said, “You’re on step one.” Step one is to admit I am powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable. Immediately, I was put in my place, humbled so very gently! There was no judgment, harshness, or meanness in The Voice.
My next memory is walking down the aisle to pick up my white chip, which is known as the “surrender chip” and is for anyone starting the program. For me, that chip was a lifeline that had been thrown to me. I grabbed that lifeline, and I held on for dear life! I was a baby, only eleven years old emotionally, yet I was twenty-five years old physically. I had some serious catching up to do.
In 2017, God blessed me with 21 years of sobriety. As I have worked through the reasons I drank, my triggers, my weaknesses, God has always been with me. I was willing, and He did the work over the 21 years! As I reached 21 years of sobriety, I felt a pulling to Him like never before and I needed Him to clean me out completely! Even after more than two decades, God still wasn’t finished with me. I was convicted!
So, I accepted the challenge! I made a new commitment to God: I would seek Him like I used to seek alcohol! I began seeking Him like never before, mainly because I was desperate for a solution to my marriage, my health, and my finances. Lots of junk in this tall frame still needed another “look through” with His glasses on. I trust His vision and during this last year, he has found so much garbage and guided me in clearing it away.
WOW! It’s as if during those first 21 years, I was “growing up” in the Lord.Then, BAM! Glory to Glory!
I challenge you to stay the course God puts you on. Don’t quit before the miracle happens! I know what will happen if I let my flesh have even a millisecond of input. Therefore, Jesus is driving, and I’m in the passenger’s seat for life! Flesh, you get to stay in the timeout trunk!
~Mary Ann Mitchell