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The Funeral

Okay, some of you might have already heard this or have read it somewhere, but this is the first time I saw it. The Supervisor brought it in for Noreen to read and I thought that I would post it here. I needed to dust this site off anyway. I would give credit to the person that wrote this, but I do not know who it is.

The Funeral

One day all the church members reached the church and they saw a big sign on the door on which was written: Yesterday, the person who has been hindering your growth in this church passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym. In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their members, but after awhile they started getting curious to know who was that person who hindered the growth of his fellow Christians and the church itself.

The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up. Everyone thought: “Who is this person who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he died!” One by one the thrilled members got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it, they suddenly became speechless. They stood by nearby the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul.

There was a mirror inside the coffin; everyone who looked inside it could see him/herself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said: There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth: IT IS YOU!!

Our life doe not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your spouse changes, when your company changes, when your church changes, when your location changes, when your money changes, when your status changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs. Examine yourself, watch yourself. Do not be afraid of difficulties, impossibilities and losses. Be a winner; build yourself and your reality. It’s the way you face Life that makes the difference. -Anonymous

D.
Addictsdiary

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It was the winter of 1985, I was twenty years old. I was riding high in so many different ways. Mostly literally high, some memories are fuzzy, some will stick with me for the rest of my life. I was still working at the pool hall; hustling, boozing, getting stoned, and getting any woman that I wanted. Some people would think that would be the life, but inside I was dead. I had no feelings to offer anyone. There was only one person that knew me, only one that I would let know the real me. For others I had a facade, becoming a chameleon to whatever they expected me to be. At the same time there was something in common toward everyone, don’t get close to me.

I would hang out with anyone that would get me high. I went on dates because I was promised a high during or after the date. I have not any recollection of most of the girls names, and they would mostly get upset when I would not call them. I got to the point where I did not care if I hurt them or not. This was not me, I am a pretty sensitive guy always have been, but not at that time. I would act like I cared, I would go as far as apologizing just to turn around and lie to them in the same breath. I had several girls flip me off in town as I drove by, I would just make them feel worse by flippant remarks. The owners wife had propositioned me once, I turned her down. I guess I had a little conscience left, but just a little.

I would wake up do some coke, or meth. I would end the day, the next morning actually, around 1:00 or 2:00 am freebasing. Sometimes roller coasting on a joint laced with meth, or coke. Waking up at a friends house doing a witch’s brew, which I will not explain what that is here but it would be a powerful high. I was seeing a married woman around that time, I made excuses because her husband was abusive. He knew about me, and used to be a good friend of mine in school. The thing is I really started caring about her, and my feelings for him began to wane. He called me one time as he was beating her, telling me to save her if I could. I got in my car and as I got to their house he was already leaving with her in tow. I was very mad, and blinded to the fact that I was part of the problem not the solution.

He and I got into it a couple of times they divorced and she moved away. She was the only girl that I would drop everything for at that time. When she called to let me know she would be in town I would make up some lame excuse to break a date just to go see her. She did not do drugs but I was always loaded, not that she cared, she just wanted to see me. I knew her since we were both kids and I used to date her sister when I was in school, but we always had an attraction to each other. She was dealing with a lot of her own about her past. Her dad was abusive and drank, she was raped by her uncle, the same one that raped me when I was younger. But at that time we just dealt with what happened and lived in the present the best we could. She will pop up again as I re-tell my story, I will refer to her as ‘Sandy’ from now on.

As I continued in this lifestyle I was losing who I truly was. Every girl that I did fall for would eventually leave me, adding to more pain and having me hide a little deeper within myself. I trusted my own little group, but everyone else was put under a microscope. I had seen so many things, and scams that I knew better then to trust anyone.

My mother had a lot of pharmaceuticals in the cabinet because of her illness’, ever since I was younger I experimented with her pills. She had so many that she never knew. I was getting more pills from other sources also. Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, Quaalude, Ecstasy, the list could go on but if you notice they were mostly downers, I liked to mix them with meth and coke to escape even further. I did not know who I was anymore, if anyone asked me who the real Doug was I could not tell them the truth, I would just say what you see is what you get. Kind of like saying, do not confuse garbage with trash. There is a fine line.

As I look back to those times I see that my company helped me to be what I was becoming, just as I was helping them to grow into what they were becoming. I was a shell inside and out, hollow. I tried to care about people but I was really getting hurt every time I attempted. I was a walking contradiction, I would hurt people but I did not want to hurt anyone. I was in love with being in love, none of my relationships would last more then a month because I would sabotage it around that point. I would be hurt and then move on to the next. Different girls had different aspects that I admired about them, or that drew me to them. And then when they did not turn out to be what I expected I would lose interest.

I think that the lesson I learned from all of this came back to bite me in the following years until I broke all the way not caring at all. But that is the next chapter in my life. I did learn that I was becoming a true druggie that did not get any respect, after all I did not deserve any. Rumors abounded about me, mostly true. I don’t know what some people expect I am today or even if they know I am still alive. I did not know it then, but I realize it now more then ever, you are what group you hang with. There is not any individuality, though I searched and tried to be someone different I never succeeded. Many heads are just like I was, many addicts are what I am, many Christians are searching as am I. We need groups to lean on, to realize what we are going through. To offer a hand now and then, someone, as Rick Atchley said, to be accountable to.

This can work for you or against you. If someone wants out of a wretched lifestyle then there are people that will be there for you. If you want to wallow in self pity and lead a destructive lifestyle, there will be people that are there for you. Only difference that I have found is that the pity group eventually disintegrates, through death, escaping where people can no longer find them, or maturity. The self pity group can understand where you are and will be there for you, but when self faces self one has to lose. A Christian family is there for you truly committed that you do not bury yourself in the grave of yesterday.

D.

 

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Eclipsed By The Son

I walk with a Father that loves me. I stumble He picks me up. He lets me learn by my mistakes. I ask for treasures concerning the soul, He has me earn them, and is willing to give freely. He opens my eyes to the beauty of the day even when storm clouds surround me. He keeps a thorn in my side to remind me of my life away from Him. He never promised me an easy walk, but He has promised me nothing more then I can handle while I am with Him. He has given me a choice to live for Him or to be pulled into a world that does not understand His love and what love truly is. I am eclipsed by the Son, knowing fully that I do not deserve to be, that is love that we cannot fathom.

I throw temper tantrums at my Fathers feet because He does not treat me right or give me the things I think I deserve. All the time patiently waiting for me to stop and take a deep breath to understand that He has given me what I need and more then I deserve. He has treated me more then fair. I am His favorite, He looks down on me and says how precious I am to Him. Then He turns to others and tells them that they are His favorite and how precious they are to Him. He makes me understand that I am here just as are all His children. He lets me know that sharing His love is better then burying it and hording it for myself. Where is the joy in hiding this wonderful love?

Dark days come while on this earth, but I am eclipsed by the Son and a promise of a better life because of His light.

D.

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I have found a peace in my heart.  A comfort that I know only comes from God and His powerful hand. I have shared my struggles with God but looking back through all of the ‘bad times’ He was always there. I never worried much about where God was taking me and my family, sometimes I did not care if He wanted to go ahead and take me, lately I have felt ready. Not to escape the struggles but just ready to go home. But I also enjoy life, I look back on stumbling and struggles and I see God’s hand constantly.

I enjoy my kids who are the greatest, my wife who understands me and the things that she does not understand she has studied and delved deep into the subjects so that she might understand. I am thankful for my friends that show me laughter and so many things that are right in the world. I am not suicidal, I am just comfortable with any direction God directs me. We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, not by what the world considers rich anyway. We barely make it paycheck to paycheck, a lot of times we have to sell things just to make it through. We want to reach out to others but we cannot do it with money, so we try and do it with service to others, which is very fulfilling. This makes us rich.

I do not worry about what tomorrow holds, our situation is tough because I am unable to work at this time because of health issues, and legal issues. As a man I feel like I am not pulling my weight, this bothers me sometimes, but I know that God is always near. I have turned on God before, with words that sadden me. But since I have been with Nee-Nee, my kids, and my church family God has given me treasures beyond description. He is a loving Father who has not hidden His face from me, even though I have felt like He has, He hasn’t.

Sometimes I feel like Superman, a broken Superman, but Superman none the less. I do not worry about myself, and what might happen to me. I watch out for my family and I am a little protective, but I trust in God. I did not worry about the shooting that occurred here, or what my wife and I viewed outside of our window. I was saddened that it effected Nee-Nee and so many of the tenants that live here, but honestly I did not worry about our safety. I have confronted people that would intimidate others without a second thought. I am not testing God, I feel like I have a comfort with God and I feel that it is His will and His strength.

Some of you might ask then why do you suffer from depression, anxiety, compulsive, and attention deficits? The only thing that I can think of is because of my constant drug use, and a craving that I do not fully understand. But I can tell you that it is not from worrying. I am not anxious about tomorrow. God has never failed me, though when I was younger I thought He had, the truth is He hasn’t. That is another reason I like to look back into my past, because as I look at it and the times I thought that I was away from God, I see Him in the dark corners of my life at that time. I look back and see Him when I missed Him the first time. Seeing this I see that God has worked inside me and changed my faith. He has strengthened it and continues to. I know that God has a mission for me to do, I have not seen it yet, but I might even be in the middle of that mission and not realize it until later. He has kept me alive, even during the times that I was ready to leave, and take myself out of this world. My attempts were futile, because God loves me and has a purpose for me and all that He loves.

I believe that tragedies occur sometimes to be a lesson to others, and to help others grow even when we are so deep in our own sorrow, or loss. Death is not an ending but a beginning to a beautiful life, I think that sometimes instead of sadness with all the death that I have experienced, was jealousy that they do not have to deal with this world anymore. My Gramps on my mothers side was a horrible man, who obviously thought of carnal pleasures over his own children and grand-children. But when most people would say a man like that must be headed to hell after he died. And the odds are against him, but God works in different ways. There is still a chance that God brought him home. I don’t know, no one does. I just realize that I have a peace that surpasses understanding.

This upsets people sometimes because they don’t believe me. With all the tragedy, and the ‘hardship’ that we are experiencing at this time, people tell me that it is okay to ‘admit’ that I am worried. It is not impossible for us not to worry, or God would tell us it is normal and go ahead and do it. I do have to work on my patience but not with where my life is going, I have short patience with those that worry about things that they cannot change. We talk about how good God is, we talk about His love for us, and how comforting He is to us. So if we believe, TRULY believe this, why worry? If God took away all of our material things I could go on. I would miss the convenience that they offer, but I know I will live without them. If God took away someone close to me again then I know life will go on, and I will see them again, but in God’s time. I will cry because I miss them, but I will not cry that they went to a better place.

If someone was offering to sell you peace of mind, would you allow yourself to let down your guard and your control, which you don’t have in the first place, and buy it and allow it to work? God offers it for free, accept it, let your guard down and I guarantee you there will be a peace that you cannot describe or understand.

D.

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The year is 1985, I cannot remember if I was 19 or 20 yet, my birthday is June 23rd so I don’t remember if it was the beginning of the year or the latter part of the year. Either way this is the year that I decided to do acid for the first time.

My friend and I just scored a hit of acid, this was the first time either one of us had done acid, so we were not sure what to expect. We were told the worse thing that you can tell someone that is about to use for the first time, and that is: ‘be careful what you think while you are on it. Because it will magnify your thoughts.’ So starting off we knew that we would have to control our thoughts, which is not easy to do on or off of acid. We took it and sit at his house and decided to stay there to see how it was going to affect us, It takes thirty minutes for acid to take effect on your mind. Then it takes around 7 to 8 hours for the effects to leave your body. The first hour is alright, and you enjoy the trip as something different, something new. Opening your mind to new things. The second and third hour seems like it will never end, 4th through the 7th or 8th hour feels like you will never come down and you are trapped within yourself.

The first part was okay, we listened to Pink Floyd and realized what they were trying to do with their music. Or it seemed that way to us at the time. We began to watch a live video of Dio, which in the middle of the concert a cross spins around until it turns upside down. We were engulfed in it, I was holding a brass cobra that had a hole in it where it was coiled up, I held it through that hole and had the cobras head resting on my arm. I began to sweat but I had not realized that was what it was at the time. I thought that the snake had come to life and bit me, what I thought was venom was actually sweat. I threw the snake down on the ground while my friend looked at me in surprise, asking what the hell happened? This was the beginning of hell for me for that night. A classic battle of light vs dark.

Another one of our mutual friends came over, someone we never cared for anyway, because he always got on our nerves. He was drunk and we were on acid, in our minds we were so far ahead of him that it wasn’t even funny. He begged us to score him some acid, he had never done acid and wanted to join us. He was so drunk that his ramblings did not make much sense to us. My friend and I had an aversion and little patience for sloppy drunks in the first place this just intensified it. The visitor got sick and when he did it came out like tracers, slow motion. We both tripped out on that, and when the guy went to the bathroom to clean up, my friend said something about him that scared me, because I felt it too. So when he came out, and my other friend left the room, I told him that it would be in his best interest to leave…NOW. The darkness continued to seep in more and more.

After he left we felt hungry, so my friend began to cut some hamburger off of a loaf. He looked at me and said could you imagine that as an arm being sliced up? The thing is I could, and was while he was doing that. Neither one of us were THAT violent in our right mind, but we weren’t in our right mind at that time. I went into the living room were the light was off, and I had this overwhelming feeling of hatred, and then my friend came in and turned on the light, the feeling was gone. However my friend noticed the same thing, he turned the light off and said did you notice all goodness leaves when the light is off. We both noticed this, so we stepped outside for a little bit. That did not help us any, we wanted to go out and just walk the night, thankfully we did not, because we do not know where we would have ended up that night. Our feet felt like they were going into the cement that we were standing on. We were continuously pulling our feet up before we were sucked into the concrete and stuck forever.

My mind was always racing even back then, it would go from dark thoughts to good thoughts, the acid made it worse. No mater how hard you try you cannot sleep on acid, it is just too much speed to allow it. Even when the person becomes so sleepy they think that they could sleep all night, it is not possible. We laid down anyway, because it was getting late, I slept on the floor as he slept in his bed. I could feel the carpet rolling underneath my arms. I kind of got used to it, and played with it a little bit. Then when I tried harder to go to sleep I closed my eyes tight, and I could see a ying yang of dark and light, good verses evil. They turned into dragons, one white and one black. They began to fight for me, once the light became so bright and comforting to me, that I had to smile, ‘Yes’ I thought,’Good conquers evil.’ and just as I got through thinking this the dark dragon re-appeared and they continued to fight, until I heard a scream in my head, and all became black. I tried to summon the light back in, but it was gone nothing was left but darkness. In my head evil had won it’s fight for me. I broke into a sweat tried to pray but no words came out. I knew what shape I was in, how did I have the right to come to God when I was stoned?

This was just the first time I did acid, I will take you to other times as my journey continues and becomes more depraved. It was easy to know when others were on acid, for one thing their eyes have a dusty film over them. They will stare at you, talk to you, they might even break out into a sweat if they stay with you too long. Laugh at things that you don’t see any humor in. There are different other ways, but the biggest for me is the eyes. The eyes are supposed to be the mirrors of the soul, I think that fits here. Their soul is dirty, and filmed over from the real world.

Later on that year I took another hit of acid, I drove this time and was by myself. Not a good thing when you are on acid, people need someone to keep them grounded. I went over to score some coke, I couldn’t wait to do the two together. I had also been drinking my butt off, someone on acid or speed can drink and drink and never feel the effect of the alcohol. So in reality I was probably a little drunk too. When I went in to score the coke, I said something stupid about his wife or girlfriend, something off the cuff I can’t remember now what it was but I know that I shouldn’t have, but I did. Next thing I knew he brought a shotgun into the living room, bolt down putting a shell in. He also had a knife holstered on his side. He told me that he has never seen me like that and for my sake I need to take what I said back. I started to laugh, probably nervous laughter but inappropriate all the same.

He told me that he would give me three minutes to apologize to her, as he closed the chamber and readied the shotgun on me. I looked at him and said forget it, you won’t shoot me and she isn’t worth it, and neither is the stuff I came to get. I got up and walked out, this was in the country, if he wanted to kill me he sure could have and no one would have found me. I was an idiot, but I walked to my car. As I got to my car I heard running behind me, I shut the door and saw a boot come to passenger side of the car. It shook the car, I saw the knife in his hand but I no longer saw the gun. He hit my side window as I reversed it and got out of there. I was such an idiot, and I knew that what I did was wrong. The bad thing is I kicked myself for not apologizing, not because I hurt the girls feelings, but because I missed out on a quarter of coke. I risked my life for a tiny bit, a little quarter of coke. I also lost one of my ‘friends’ more like a connection then a friend, but a person that had feelings and was willing to take up for what was right.

Through this I found myself going through the different levels of Dante’s hell. Starting at the outer circle of the ring. I made sure that I had friends with me after that night, because I never knew if he wanted revenge or not, I needed to have someone with me just in case. Drugs make you do stupid things, you become a person that you do not recognize, or if you do recognize that person he has been hiding underneath and was just brought up to the surface. I hid a gun in my glove compartment for a little bit, because I was unsure who to trust anymore, not even myself.

D.

 



 

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I know that I said that I was going to go back to reflections but I feel like I needed to do this one first. God is amazing, incredible. His love is overwhelming, and unfathomable. Nee-Nee has been praying and studying, she has been seeking a closer walk with God. About a week or two ago she told me that God wanted me to talk to Him. That her prayers and all others that are praying for me will not work until I come to Him. I thought of this as odd at first, I knew that God did not actually speak to Nee-Nee, I understand how He communicated with her. The reason I thought this was odd is because in my own little world, just between God and me, I wasn’t speaking to Him anymore. Oh, I would throw the occasional prayer His way, just so He knew that He was not forgotten. But I was not following my own advice, I was not journeying with God anymore.

I kept this to myself, I was so strong in hearing His word, I wrote what He put in my heart, but I found I was becoming complacent. God continued to talk to me, even when I was not talking or asking anymore. I felt like I was an active soldier but I became sedentary in my works. So when Nee-Nee told me this revelation, I felt bad. I looked at how I have been feeling lately. Intense withdraws, depression creeping back in, closing myself off again from the world outside. So I heeded the warning, and began to pray again, more intense this time with a focus on others. The things that God put in my view was amazing.

First I saw a news story on the Today Show, of this young man that was declared brain dead, the relatives were called in to say their good byes and the organ harvesters were in route to take the organs since he was a donor. While the family was in his room, the grand mother fell to her knees and prayed to God not to take this young man. She said that he had so much to offer and please do not take him. The young man recovered, the doctors did not have any answers there was not any brain signals and he was truly brain dead. This story touched me. God works in His way and His purpose, I am sure that this touched others in different ways, but it touched me because it dealt with prayer.

The other story I saw was about the mistaken identity of two girls that were in a car crash, one lived one died. While one was in the hospital the wrong family was taking care of her, during this time the wrong family was burying someone they believed was their daughter but in reality it was not her. They had an interview with the two families that were involved, and I was reluctant to watch it because I thought that there would be blame and unresolved issues. But something got me interested in seeing it so I watched the segment that aired during the Today Show, yes God talks to me through the Today Show sometimes, and I was pleasantly surprised how the two families worked together. It was difficult news to accept of course, but the way that these people were handling the situation touched me in a way that is indescribable.

So my prayers to God came more often, my silence in His presence became longer, my meditation more intense. I went to Wal-Mart the other day, one of the door greeters is a young man who was in a car accident when he was younger and now remains in a wheel chair and suffers with his speech. Every time I see him I shake his hand and ask him how he is doing. He always tells me that everyday is a blessed day. Seeing him always makes my day. As I was shopping I thought of these three stories, each story showed that through extremely difficult times, times that most of us will never come close to, they all had one thing in common, a strong faith in God and that God is in charge, not us. So I offered up a little prayer as I continued to walk around and get the things on my list.

As I was checking out, I could hear Brad, the door greeter, telling everyone coming in and going out in a very loud and distinctive voice, ‘Have a good day!’ As I was leaving he smiled a big smile as I was walking toward him. Usually on my way out I just shake his hand again and tell him bye. This time he held my hand and said that he tries to fire up everyone that comes in about God, and let them know the love of Jesus. He looked me in the eye and told me that he loved me, without shame or any consideration of me interpreting it different then what he meant. Still looking me in the eyes, he said that God wants us to love one another, and if we don’t spread the news of Jesus’ love for us then who will? He held onto a cross pendent as he continued talking to me, ‘The world is getting bad, and we need to let them know of His love for us.’ Then he said, ‘You and I. You go out and let people know of His love. Everyone you meet do not be ashamed. I will fire people up where I go, you fire people up where you go.’

The other night I was reminded to set my sights on things unseen, and to keep my mind clear of the world. God opened my eyes once again fresh, to my ministry. To warn others, and to comfort those that are not only addicted but through my dark journeys and bouts with depression I need to realize that I have much to say. I also have come to the realization that I need to open my ears to hear others as well. Creating a bond that God interweaves through ‘random’ meetings and viewings of others in dark situations. We cannot be sedentary and be about our Fathers business thinking that He will do all of the work. He has a purpose for everyone, and everything, this I believe. In my downfalls and struggles He has made them a light for me to use for Him, in other things He has shown that this world holds nothing of interest to me, the interest I do have is showing others of His love.

Do me a favor, you might not be an addict of any kind. But I bet you have habits, little ritualistic things that you do during the day or night without thinking about. Maybe you might consider yourself a ‘chocoholic’ and laugh about it. Or bite your nails, make little annoying sounds with your mouth, the point is we all have little tics. Try to go a day or two without doing it, maybe if you can a week. I bet you will pick something different in it’s place, or you will think that it is silly and not even try it. That is a small amount of what an addict feels, be it a food addict, drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict, etc.

There is a new show that has been advertised on FX, it is about walking in someone else’s shoes for 24 hours or a week, something like that. The point is I think that it would do people good to glance into someone else’s walk. We are given so much by the grace of God, we become spoiled little children, crying to God when everything is crumbling, forgetting to rejoice despite what the world throws at you. So here I am holding your hand, looking you square in the eyes, and saying I love you. It is up to you and me to ‘fire people up’. Are you ready?

D.

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I had built a house for 27 years, it had become decrepit with each stone that was added making it darker and darker. It became a fortress not allowing anyone to enter, and I was in total control of it’s design and up keep. It had so many passages and hiding places that I became lost in my own castle. Though I thought that the work was being done to keep the clutter at bay, it became an overwhelming heap backing me into a corner of my own distress. I became a prisoner to what I had created. A part of me loved it so much that I was willing to put up with the stench and the clutter. Until it became too much for me to bear. No longer did I want to hide from the outside world, I allowed people to live within my castle. The innocent ones were kept blind to the passages in which I took in refuge, greeting them again filled from the inside with dirt and sin, on the outside I wore a mask.

I prayed to my God to remove the mask that had become as much a part of me as the castle that I lived in. To my surprise the mask was ripped from my face, and the passages that I kept a secret all along became opened as my castle began to crumble down brick by brick. I asked God to create new living quarters where my loved ones and I can feel safe and the clutter will be totally destroyed. I asked God that this time, with His help, that this building will be of glass. Transparent for the world to see. He agreed and helped me to rebuild using His strength, knowledge, and comfort into this new transition. The house was becoming a new home for my loved ones and me. One day while I was so tired from the work, and missing the place where I grew up, I went to re-visit it.

As I made my way to the site where my castle once stood, I noticed the debris had not totally been done away with. As I walked I tripped over a block that resembled the corner stone of the old foundation. I do not recall how many days had went by, but I do remember my Saviour picking me up to take me back to the new home. When we arrived I noticed that more people had joined in on the construction, family, friends, loved ones. How could this be? These are the people I had once betrayed and hid from, why spend their time on me? God said He asked them to help and they gladly accepted. I also noticed stones from my old castle visible through the glass walls. I asked God “Why do you torment me with these stones from the past?” He said, “These stones are no longer about you but about others who have built upon their own foundation. To see the darkness that it had brought, to see that with My help there is strength and a renewing of the Spirit within. These stones are yours to carry so you will not live in comfort but to be reminded of what once was.” I said, “How could You and these people love me once again knowing that I turned away from You, longing to hide once again?” He told me that I can no longer hide from Him, with all of my passages and hiding within the filth, I never hid from Him in the first place.

I was told to minister to those who are in hiding, to minister to those who are just beginning to build on their own. ‘Use the stones of experience and write on them a testimony for the world to see. Don’t worry what others say about this, just know you are about My work. I Am the one that picked you up, I AM the one that tore away your earthly love, I tore down your gods, and have opened the door to your heart to enter and create a path that is not without struggle, nor will it be without stumbling. But My hand is their to pick you up, dust off your knees, open your eyes lest you fall asleep in the journey that lies ahead.’ He let me know that others will question my work, and why I cherish a home that is made of glass with the stones displayed for all to see. But let my focus be on Him and He will guide, to make my will strong and to persevere. Some days I will not know who I have touched according to His strength, I will not always know whose hearts I prick because of my journey. But to continue in this marvelous new home, void of secret passages, void of hiding from others.

This is how I see my journey. I learned at the beginning that I have to accept what I can, lay down and forgive that which is not mine. And move forward. Though my post seem dark at times especially when I go back to my past days re-entering my struggles and what got me here. But there is no pity in these travels. When I speak of them I no longer feel sorry for the old person, I am clothed a new. I do know now that just because I found and struggle with God’s desire, does not mean others are on the same path. I know that relapse happens, I made it over a year while others have fallen within days, weeks, or months. God reached His hand to me, because of Him I reach out to others to pick them up without judging, but praying that God will heal them and put words in my mouth, or in this case guide my thoughts in my writings.

I know through counselling that one of the first steps is acceptance, and forgiveness. This is what God was telling me through the counsellors voice. I know that an illness occurred from staying around the filth that was built up around me. Do I hide it or do I allow God to use it to help in the vaccination of others in a disease that has become an epidemic? I choose to use it, I use it without pity, my words are tough, but so is the illness. I write for those that are in their own prison, I also write for those who have never been there so they might look no longer from the outside that they might throw judgment and blame on these who are far away from comfort and God, but that they see these people as sick and are in need of the great Physician. I write that there might be an understanding within the two to co-exist in the love of our Lord and Saviour.

I have found acceptance, yet my heart still gets pricked, and my words prick the hearts of others. Some things I would rather keep quite, it is not my bravery to let you know the lowliness of my heart, but it is God in His infinite wisdom and love that guides me to take a deep breath suck it up and show a side of my life that had been behind solid walls for too long.

D.

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