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Archive for the ‘Questions’ Category

Scared into faith?

Doing well today. Woke up at 5:30, and was greeted by rain and thunderstorms. It is dark outside and I love days like this. When they come in my back begins to hurt, and I feel a pain down my leg so I am always relieved after it gets here. Life is good here, we are in limbo still with workers comp but I know that in God’s time it will be taken care of, probably when we most need it.

We had a visit from a lady that attends Church with us last night. She was wanting to check on us and show us a DVD on selling, I am sorry ‘giving people business opportunities’ I think that it is good for her she is a people person and I am not really much of one. But we sit through the presentation and told her we will think about it. Which we will, I just don’t see much of an opportunity for me in it. She also showed us a video of a ministry that she is involved with, it sounds like a good ministry if people follow up with the others that they touch, which she has a list of the people they meet and keeps in touch with them. I love this lady and her heart is in the right place and she feels like she is doing God’s work which I am sure she is.

Her ministry is going around to middle class and lower class sections to show the importance of baptism. The video has a sermon on baptism and the importance. Nee-Nee and my only hold out about it is we feel like people should study more and grow in the importance of Jesus, not to be scared into baptism but a desire to live in Christ and understand the love of His word and an understanding of faith. As I said she follows up with these people which I think is good, and the Church in that area follows up with them. So I can’t speak of that which I do not know much about. I think Bible study first and then a growth into baptism, but I could be wrong.

This ministry aside, how do you feel about baptism? Should one take the important step of baptism without any understanding of Christ? Should there be study leading up to and having God work in them to become baptised? Should we treat baptism as the only ticket to heaven, and let them learn later about faith and redemption? Should we treat baptism as some treat faith? Again this has nothing to do with the ministry that this lady is involved in, they have steps in place, and there is bunches I still don’t understand about it. Do people understand that they can still fall short, and will fall short? Do they realize that they will still have much growth and they won’t come out of the water with intelligence streaming down their body? Do they know that they are not guaranteed Heaven just because of baptism? The questions could go on, you could probably question it to death, I think that this is the importance of study, and a deeper understanding.

D.

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Scars

One more day from the counselor, one more day I am drained, one more day. I was looking at my hands and I noticed the scars that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I looked into the mirror and looked at the scars on my face, the ones on my chest. None of these are ones that have disfigured me beyond anything, and some I would have to point out. Some scars came from fights, and accidents, mostly accidents my own thoughtless acts. The ones that are deeper are the ones that hide deep beneath the skin. They look worse then any of the others that someone might notice on the outside. They are the ones that are infected, they are the ones that I am constantly picking at never letting them heal.

The last week has been a fight. Not only with the addiction but with the depression that came bubbling out in response to me taking away it’s bandage. The thing that kept it hidden underneath a scab which welled up waiting to escape. The feeling is so overwhelming at times I fight not to turn back, also speed stops my thoughts from racing, where I can concentrate on one thing and not having to think about what my original thought was. I have also scarred myself with the chemicals that is in meth. Pseudo ephedrine, Red Phosphorous (the strike board of a matchbook), Muriatic Acid, Brake cleaner, Camp stove fuel, Red Devil Lye, sometimes battery acid. This isn’t a whole list of what is in it, but it’s enough to give you an idea of the foolishness. The thing is I would do it again if I didn’t have so much at stake. Most addicts know what is in it and yet they won’t stop either, or would go back. It’s draw is that powerful.

I hate going back into my past and ripping open old wounds, some are repressed that I am now seeing them fresh for the first time that I can remember. It’s like opening your eyes to a dream just to realize that it isn’t a dream at all. The thing is it is what I wanted, a glimpse of what laid beneath. Now I want them to go back, heal and have them hide themselves one more time. I went to a funeral this morning of an older gentleman that attended church, I wish that I would have had the chance to know him better, I was there to run sound. Funerals are our send off and a reuniting with our Father, the thing is I really dislike them. I have been to enough of them to last me a lifetime. They open up fresh wounds also.

As I got older I created more scars that haunt me, when I was younger others scarred me. I pray that some day I will wake up and realize that my life was all one big dream and it was all back to normal. But I know that won’t be until I go Home. James Blunt has a song one line of it is: ‘I am not asking for a second chance, I am screaming at the top of my voice.’ I feel like that, but I often wonder if I had a second chance I would more then likely create worse wounds, probably cutting myself deeper the second time then the first. I know that I am blessed to be here and have the family and friends that I have, I am thankful for that. The thing is the roads that I have traveled are all connected to each other bringing me to where I am now, and that means that I would not know a lot of the people that are in my life, I might not have my kids who I love deeply, the Church family that I love deeply, my wife who is my support and best friend, and my friends I could not trade them no matter what was promised the second time.

So I will continue with the scars that are given me, they are infected with a venom that awakes me at night. They make me tired, so weary. They make me think of a medicine that will kill the pain, a medicine whose chemical make-up is poison. I am told time and time again, that there is hope for those scars to heal, and that I will be happy again. I know that we all have scars and it is a tough road no matter what you went through, but I pray that there is a day that I don’t struggle and I can just enjoy a day without my thoughts going from one thing to the next. That I can focus on good things, that I can focus on anything beside the scars.

D.

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I had a pretty decent weekend. My sister and brother-in-law came in, and we watched the game Saturday night, I had my normal ups and downs but it was nice to get to visit with them. I fought back against everything and did not want to upset the mood. It started to hit me hard during Church and afterwards I teared up more. Noreen can always tell even when I am trying not to let it show, she held on tight to my hand and arm during the services.

 As I thought about my sister’s family, I also thought about Noreen, and the kids. The kids are blessed with two sets of parents that love them, and wants the best for them. As memories started flooding my mind I started thinking back on getting high. A little odd huh? To combine the two thoughts like that was something that I even have trouble with. As my thoughts jumbled, rolled around in my head the thought of the overdoses came into the mix. I begin to wonder what would have happened if I succeeded? How would that have affected my family? I would say that it would not have affected the kids or Noreen any, but a sad admittance is they were in my life during at least one instance, actually probably more with my last run in with pain pills.

I told you about my first one with an eight ball of coke. Another one was using Demerol, or overusing Demerol. During my first marriage, I have been married three times, I just had surgery and I had a friend that was a Pharmacist, pretty convenient huh?, so I had an abundance of what I ‘needed’. My first marriage was hellish, and I initially took three because my tolerance was up I took two more about thirty minutes to an hour after that. It happened so long ago but it seems that I might have taken more before my parents came over to eat with us. As they were there I begin sweating and talking incoherently, they knew something was wrong, I just looked at them laughed and said, “I think that I took too much Demerol.” I tried to get up and fell. They called for an ambulance to come and get me, I don’t remember getting to the hospital, but I do remember coming to as I was getting a shot. I did not know where I was, but my mom was there and she asked the nurse what it was that she just gave me. The nurse replied a shot of Demerol. As my mom was yelling at her and telling her that was the reason I was there, I jumped up and yelled, ‘Demerol!’ and fell once again. My next recollection of the event was waking up in a hospital bed.

One time I did a quarter of Ice, Meth, a line of Coke, and smoked Crack all in the same short span. I drank and took pain pills to the point of passing out, there are times that ended up in overdose, and then there are times that again by the grace of God, I just woke up feeling horrible. With a terrible taste in my mouth, wanting more speed so I could start the day. With the thoughts of wanting to get high and the thoughts of the overdoses taking over the main parts of my thoughts, I wondered what they both had in common. Each time I used I wanted a certain feeling, I wanted an escape, a false life that would take me away. I knew it was a crap shoot, I would either have a good high or a bad one. Usually I would pass the subtle feeling that it gave me because I was still coherent enough to know that the real world was still there. I was still feeling the anxieties of what I wanted to go away. Sometimes paranoia would sit in, and I wanted to go one step up to escape the feelings that it was increasing. Looking back I invited death in. I prepared for it, it was in my thoughts as a peaceful sleep, an avoidance of everything else.

By all accounts I should be dead by now. People have died just doing one thing that I hit on repeatedly. I can admit now that at times I felt it a curse that I did not succeed. Sometimes I think how ironic it would be if I survived all of the idiotic things I did to myself just to be taken in an accident that I had no control over. I have no promise of tomorrow, I wonder what is the purpose for my life? Why have others died sometimes the first time they used, to overdoses, while others, ‘the lucky ones’ made it out? Looking at my family I am thankful that God gave me His hand to let me out, but why? At times I have to admit, with what I am going through now I wonder if I am any better for them being a shell of what I should be and what they need.

I am full of questions, when the answers come in view of my family and others that are leaning on God to overcome, I want to be there to help them in what life might throw at them. But mostly I see myself reaching out my hand for them to help me overcome what life has thrown at me, and what I have thrown at life. God has a plan for me, I have no doubt. I do not believe that I made it on my own, God had a hand in it even when I refused or did not even want His help. I am of the belief that God controls my life, sometimes Christians don’t believe that and it makes me wonder how they make it thinking that they did it all on their own.

What does God have planned for me? As life goes, things get buried and move on, I don’t want this to be in vain. I get so tired sometimes, I get so sad sometimes. I fight empty cravings sometimes not even knowing what I hope to achieve by giving in, just knowing that there is an escape to this, even if it is thinly veiled.  I want to use again, I am afraid to use again because I know that I would not know when to stop. Now I know that it would hurt so many people, my family and especially my kids. So I will hold onto this feeling that I created and keep looking for the bigger picture.

With my siblings my age difference kept me from being close with them, so it was nice to spend time with my sister and her family. It was the first time that I hated to say goodbye. I see this as one gift that I have received the renewal and the closeness of family. I just pray that I will use this as God desires, I pray that my eyes will open to the reasons, for once in my life I pray for survival and a purpose.

D.

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Looking back on everything, there is one thing that I cannot shake, and that is the times that I have brought irreversible damage to others in my past. I believe the reason I am trying so hard to make this experience a positive to others is the fact that the majority of my life had been such a negative to others. I used religious misconceptions in my arguments, depending on what I wanted the outcome to be. I used to sell different types of drugs, it was a way to get them cheaper and make a little money on the side. I had a reputation that I wasn’t one to double cross and I tried to keep that image up. I could never find the happy medium, I was either viewed as mean, and then I would come across, later, as a pushover. I felt that the hard side of me was necessary to survive.

I would go to parties to sell sometimes to people that I didn’t know. If the product was bad, I would find someone that didn’t know much about it and hand it off to them, for more then I should have. Otherwise I would sell everything else to people that I wanted repeat business, one was to a guy that later died from an overdose. An overdose that I assumed came from what I sold him, I sold him quite a bit. That wasn’t the last time I sold, and there is other stories I could tell but that is one that sticks with me. I feel like I murdered him, how can I make something like that up to the ones that miss him? And to the others that ended up in accidents after they left partying with me? I think of these things constantly, I eventually stopped dealing, and kept using. I can’t get my head around the people that I mislead spiritually either. I knew what I was saying to them was wrong at the time, but I kept on. The people that I fought for no reason, the people that I talked into things even when it was against what they stood for, and so on and so on.

I have talked to others on how I feel with different answers, but I can’t help but to carry each burden on my shoulders. I sometimes dream about them, , more like nightmares than dreams. It is one thing to forgive myself for what I have done to myself, but how can I forgive myself for something I have done to others? I can’t go back to all of these people and ask for forgiveness, I couldn’t even tell you all of their names. I wanted to write this in an ‘Arrow’ story, but I can’t envision how God would respond.

I am told we are forgiven if we turn away from our sins. I have been told that we can’t turn back time, and we should do as well as we can day by day. I was told, when I was younger, that we have to confess all of our sins so we can be forgiven, this is something that I have laid down as untrue, but I still believe it is somewhere in my psyche and I can’t fully shake it. I have conflicting pulls on this subject, I so want to lay this down and move on, but how can I when it is others that are feeling the pain caused by my actions? I don’t feel that I have that right. If I continue to carry it with me, and never laying it down, will I remain unforgiven?

D.

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I just returned from my fourth session with my counselor. It is a day I dread, and a day I look forward to. I know that I will take a walk back in my past, which is not always a good place to visit. Without me saying anything to her, she touched on how others negative views of me while growing up had an affect on me. I try not to give negative feedback to my kids, but I know that I could do better. I refuse to let others comments define me now, but that is a new thing that just happened since I have been clean and came out in a public way. Coke and meth gave me a positive view of myself and in return became my best friend, and a family member that basically raised me. Someone could point toward the company I kept and how they had me do it. The answer to that is no, with them I found someone that would listen and share my views. That did not have full judgment over me, but would look after me, have my back so to speak. They were going through there own personal issues who turned to the same ‘friend’ that I did for escape. I think that is why acceptance from family is so important, through that relationship you will find friends that are in the same place as you. My counselor did not say all of that, so don’t take it from a professional view, but it is what I have gained from my journey so far. I know that there is more to the equation but from how I opened myself up today, I believe that is a big part of it.

Lately the effects of withdraw has been showing it’s ugly head, my body is missing the old acquaintance. My teeth have been tight, for lack of a better word. My throat has been dry and sticky, and no amount of water will quench it. When I quit the last time, when sweat from a glass or air from a fan would touch my skin, I would feel as if it was burning, and then freezing. My mind would mess with my senses, I found out that is an effect of the withdraw, and it could come back. In fact in a smaller way it has. I also have sweats, shakes, and become very pale during some episodes. Before I never considered myself an addict, I used when I wanted and would go a little time without, until I got the feeling to use again. I did not feel like a stereotypical addict. Looking back on it I would never allow myself to go a week without something, the longest being two weeks, and that was when I was having trouble finding it, or I just moved to a new spot and was building relationships with people I knew used.

One of those times I was working for a department store and I was trying to let my spiritual side known. There was a guy that worked with me who didn’t believe in God, and had seen hypocrisies in his families beliefs. This guy was searching for truth, and he felt that he could have spirited talks about religion with me. I started buying from him, and using with him. All the time using religious references and ‘standing fast’ to my beliefs, at times I would think that I was helping him to see God, my own foolish idea that I could do anything of the sort. Instead I saw him later after he left there, he was in a bad shape, I realize now that I helped him to wage a war within himself. He would have done it without my help, but he came into my life, and had true concerns, all along I knew the reason I became friends with him in the first place was to use him. I knew that he was a safe ‘target’, he would not tell anyone or let them know my secret. I never thought of him as a true friend, but a resource to feed my need.

That is what the hunger does. I heard later that he had taken his life, I don’t know if this is true or not, but the thought hangs heavy over me. If it were true, I know that he was a good kid, he had a good heart that because of his choices of tattoos that displayed his anti-God beliefs, was not accepted by a lot of people. My selfish desire ruled over me treating him no different then anyone else. I continued to use, I continued to seek others that could help me. Most of them were not people I would choose to be around, and therefore I made excuses when they needed help with something. After all, I had others in my life, I had no use for such a type in my circle. I hurt now because of my past decisions, these are the same people that I yell about needing acceptance. I feel that now, but how many have I pushed away?

I pray that God will use me, I pray that if I have those decisions now I will jump at it and comfort them and walk with them through the pain. I pray that I would have the strength to do so and not use them to help reacquaint me with something that will quiet that pain.

D.

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How does debating issues get us closer to God? Does what we do alone bring us closer in our worship? If I lead a prayer and tell everyone that because of my prayer it will enhance your worship, am I in the wrong, and if so why can anyone say that they bring something to my worship? Is there a danger of having ego clashes for the people that have the limelight? Were the letters to the churches from Paul just debate and speculation? Did the disciples ever say you should do this because we feel that is what the Lord meant, or was it because they truly walked with God? Did Paul confront Peter because he was feeling left out or because he felt that Peter was not doing God’s will? Was Peter with the Jews because they were the chosen people and everyone else was wrong? Should everyone worship as I worship because my eyes were opened to how to truly please God? Are my arguments about what should and shouldn’t be included in the worship the last word? Because I have studied, worshiped, and looked into various different works from the greatest theologians that have ever walked, does this mean that God accepts my praise over yours?

Have I become so right that you are now so wrong? Why has God opened my eyes and left yours closed? What is praise? What is worship? Is love still the greatest command? Can we walk with our heads held high and still see the fallen? Can we lean on God’s chest with a heart that is still searching? Can God love me though I split the Church with my convictions? Are my thoughts on praise from my journey or from another? Do I seek men’s approval or God’s? Do we seek the lost because they are easier to train to our way of thinking? Will God accept me because I am a liberal? Will God accept me because I am a conservative? Will God accept me because I stopped searching His true will?

D.

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