All of Me

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Close your eyes and try hard to imagine what you were doing one year ago today.  I know it can be hard when a monumental thing may have not occurred at this time 365 days ago, but for me it did.

One year ago, I had just quit dream job, something that I had literally worked my whole life for.  Being a publicist for a national company, writing recognized magazine articles, public speaking, social media marketing, making great money,  it was everything I hoped I would become.  In that moment in time, I was living my life purpose…so I thought.

If it was so great then why would I quit this so called “dream” job you ask.  An office with a view came with a price.  A title with a grand business card was slowly stealing my soul as I reported each and every day to a boss that chose to belittle me yet praise me.  One who knew no boundaries and promised to equip me with fear yet accolades.  I just never knew which antidote I was going to receive.  He yelled, found joy in me, belittled, laughed, changed his mind, then back again, and finally pushed me too far.  For I had made a promise I was destined to keep, that I would never let a job ruin me again.

Two years prior that very occurrence came to pass.  I was loyal, obedient, and taken advantage of.  I had many chances to stand up for myself, yet, I stayed quiet and allowed the lashings to keep on coming.  My health deteriorated, my mind was dizzy with anxiety, and my self-worth demolished.  All because of a jealous and horrible boss who had it out for me in the worst of ways.  I took the bait and became her scapegoat.  Eventually, to save myself, and my family, I walked away.  I left.  Exited the building with my head held high in pursuit of my greatest dream, to become a published author.

I accomplished this goal, but my head wasn’t as upright as I wanted people to think.  I was beaten down, and the worst possible thing I could have done,  I isolated myself.  I wrote constantly, marketed my name, my purpose, sleeping little, and drinking a lot.  I mean a lot.  I clung to a numbing mechanism that took what I thought to be my demise away.  Got drunk on the good life, while the past slowly ate away at my bones making me weaker every second I continued such a life.

I ended up at Rogers Memorial Hospital because I chose to.  Dual diagnosis.  Depression and alcohol abuse.  Now that’s a tough card to read for a perfectionistic person who really wants the people around her to think she’s super great.  Humbled, I spent seven days detoxing, in counseling and meeting some amazing people who years earlier I would have dubbed as “losers.”  Titles cause pain because the back story isn’t taken into account, the seeming drug addict who is unable of quitting has a story.  I had a story.  They all had a story.  And in that our tales mingled in the midst of all the demons we were fighting.

After finding my way out of the darkest hole of my life the light started to shine again.  I published my first book February 20, 2015.  A romance novel about overcoming the most impossible of odds to find a destiny in the midsts of pain.  Sunset Vibrations, my first go at fiction was a great success, and I hadn’t touched a drink in months.  I was finding my way back, forward, and all around the turmoil,  my life had brought me thus far.  After the painful burial of my infant babies, childhood trauma, poor adult choices, I was finally choosing to cocoon myself in a wonderful sense of peace.

Four months later I published a little memoir titled, The Return to Happiness.  Accounting my experience of losing two infant baby boys within the span of eighteen months.  I never held back, shared my soul, my despair, flooded a bucket of my tears, yet eventual hope.  After I hit the icon on Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes and Nobel that says “publish” I ran into my bedroom and hid under my covers.  Terrified of all I had bleed over the pages of my book I was afraid that the people of this world who saw my big smile, and wonderful children, and husband…what would they think when they found out the truth?  That I sucked at turmoil, and I gave into methods to numb myself ; what would the world think of this imperfect girl?  An agonizing hour later my husband pulled the covers off telling me I had to come downstairs right now!

Looking at the sales analysis as an author and seeing you are in the top 100 best sellers list is a moment we all dream of.  The Return to Happiness was sitting at number sixty nine and I dropped to my knees and sobbed.  Joy, pain, exhilaration and pure gratitude flowed through each and every tear that hit the floor.  I was a best-selling author because I dared to share my darkest voyage through grief.  I had made my greatest dream come true in the midsts of vulnerability and courage of my deepest weakness and pain through loss.

Slowly, I was finding my way back to the top of the water not drowning underneath it.  In my youth, I had a fervor for God that could shake the mountains.  I praised Him wherever I went, loving and breathing the breath of salvation with every passing air.  Yet, I turned away in my mid-twenties.  That is for another blog, but indeed I said goodbye to God, I’d figure it out on my own.  I’m good.

One year ago today I took my turn at reconciling the black color of the past decade plus five of my life.  After leaving the dream job of my life I told my husband, “this time we are doing it right.  I’m not isolating myself.  I’m not drinking myself into a stupor.  We are going to church with the boys.  We are going to make this work.”

My older sons were deeply embedded in Journey Church near our home and I felt the calling to attend after not being part of a church since I was twenty-three.  

It was a Saturday night, much like tonight.  We sat towards the back and the message was about “The Prodigal Son”, a child who had left and returned after so much time and pain.   At the end, I told my husband that I need a minute.

Standing on weak legs, I found my way to the stage…alone.  

My head bowed.  I pleaded, “God, I’m back.  I want you.  All of you.  Take me back.”

I exhaled pain, regret, sin, anguish, and then inhaled…love.

Forgiveness.

Acceptance.

A home.

That was me one year ago tonight.  365 days have passed and my world has exploded in a way I could have ever imagined.  I have matured as a wife, mother, friend, author, and woman more than I knew possible.  God instantly healed me from one of my biggest nemesis’…anger.  The rage inside me dissipated that night I stood at the altar of my church.

I’ve given up vices that I thought I needed to get me through.

God has given me a renewed relationship with my mother.  Also, I’ve been able to forgive my father which I never saw possible.

The beautiful love of a couple who were called to take me into their hearts and lives acting as a surrogate mother and father came to me almost instantly after prayer for such.  Grandparents for my kids, unity for my family.

I’ve been called into a job where I serve people with debilitating pain on a daily basis and have the opportunity to bring a smile to their faces.

One year ago I came home.  After loss of a career that I thought was my everything.  But was my everything.  Because if I hadn’t left I may have not found my greater purpose, my chance at rebirth, growth and righting all the wrong that I had done and that was done to me.

God has a way of doing that.  He takes us in, no matter how far we’ve traveled away, or what may transpire in our beautiful and angry minds.  One year ago, my life changed.  My struggle continues deep into the night, to not rely on things that promise me hope yet bring me darkness.  I’m still drawn to the mystery of wanting to take control, take the wheel.  The thick liquid that numbs it all still calls my name and at times I answer it knowing of its false healing powers.  Yet, the grace that grabs my hand over and over again tells me that no matter how much I fail…no matter how much I succeed…that  I am His.  And He is Mine.

 I am running fast forward toward all the purpose He has.   For me tomorrow and all the healing He will do for my yesterday.  The all of me that He is healing and creating because of the all of me that was, and is to come.

The Passion of My Creator

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My wonderful readers, this is in fact, the shortest blog post I will ever publish.  I’m fully aware  I am that person who rambles on and on. I often lose people with the words that flood me like a tidal wave, yet prayerfully, am used to captivate you with even one sentence you may recall.  If you have the uncanny gift to follow a conversation with me, you deserve an award!  I say this with light humor because I feel it is important to sometimes slow down in life…To:

Not say as much.

Listen more.

Care deeply.

When I was sixteen years old, I faced an extremely intense dilemma for someone of my young life.  It consisted of a choice.  Do I leave a deeply toxic and damaging situation and run into the arms of God’s purpose for my life?  Or do I stay stuck in the barrel of the gun that was shot in my face each and every day, because as we all know eventually a bullseye can happen when we are living outside of God’s purpose?  Therefore putting ourselves in the fire of total destruction.

During my lunch hour today, in the midst of a rather stressful day at work, I sat next to a big pine tree enjoying the unseasonal warm Wisconsin weather.  Jamming out to my Spotify playlists, God brought me a memory of a poem I wrote in the throws of past turmoil.  One that propelled me to eventually chose Him, and take the risk of a lifetime, leaving severe dysfunction to heal from abuse no one should ever have to face.

I sat on the murky grass and took in the sunshine that will soon turn to a gray cold that will blanket my state for months on end, and found myself, at forty-two faced with a similar dilemma I did when I was a teenager.

What choice do I make, one that God is showing me will transpire, one of healing, peace, acceptance, and unconditional love?  Or will I stay intoxicated by a habit that I now give myself?  Sadly children who have suffered severe abuse at a young age, deliver the same level of destruction that was placed upon them as children into adulthood.  When abusive behavior was forced upon a child in the delicate formation of emotional budding the consequences can be dire.

God gave me the provision through the sun beaming down on the fall trees in all of their red and gold glory today…To…

Chose Him.

Choose Life.

Choose the Passion of My Creator.

This poem was one of the first pieces of literature that I wrote that helped give me confidence as an author.  It won awards, scholarships, and His words that flowed through me helped me cling to His love through my suffering.  It was later published in a book of a New York Times Bestseller’s collection of poetry and prose, filled with stories of overcoming odds and fulfilling…my  very own destiny!

My life has always been, during the peaks and valleys about turning to the Love that won’t be undone.  I promise you, at forty-two it will be no different than in the adolescence of a very young version of…me.

Here is my short yet deeply powerful poem I wrote in the fall of 1989, and my friends, no matter how difficult your situation may seem, follow the Passion of your Creator.

The Passion of my Creator  ~Ami George 1989
I search for security
In the essence of a risk.
Slipping into the hollow chamber of change
My hands in torment can no longer hold on.
Feeling faced with the impossible
Expectations of strength,
His blood trickles down my arm,
As I scream out,
“Declare the passion of my Creator”

My identity is captured
In the culmination of my morality,
Through the ambivalence of my existence
the journey of my poignant youth is discovered.

Perplexed as how to quench the desire
His blood flows into the tears of my wounds.
I look beyond the fears ahead
and once again
the dichotomy is reborn.

Suddenly, the blood on my hands,
And the tears proving the sorrow of life
become transparent.
I reach out to the power of Salvation
Touching, feeling, and holding the love with no pain.

His resilient hand, I cling
And His Passion is Declared Through My Life.

 

 

 

My Chasm of Grace

Beyond blessed , I wrote a poem 26 years ago that was asked to be in an anthology of poetry that hit New York Times Bestseller Lists. Little did I know when I wrote this blog blog the other day that this had occurred. I wanted to reveal my real self, my struggle and my accomplishments to show how great our God is in in the midst of both.

When incarcerated, isolation is often used as one of the worst possible forms of punishment a criminal can receive.  Torture techniques include placing people in holes of darkness completely alone, depleted of any interaction with another person for extended periods of time to break the spirit of humanity.

Being alone can be more dreadful more than death.

When I became a full-time author two years ago I was on the precipice my greatest dream coming true.  When I was six years old I began writing anything and everything coming to my heart a rapid pace I would grab my pencil to put into expression my conflicted painstaking experiences.  Through the darkness of my tormented and lonely childhood, God gave me a precious gift, and a means to navigate unthinkable situations.

 

Needless to say having the ability to publish two books in fourteen months is something that I am very proud of.  My memoir ‘The Return to Happiness’ hit bestseller lists on Amazon, ibooks and Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.  MORE importantly miraculously,  my words have helped thousands and thousands of women all over the world giving a voice to the devastating grief of pregnancy and infant loss.  God once again used my torrent of torture to flow vastly into the form of words, yet this time healing others, not just myself.  What a magnificent God we serve.

But it wasn’t all celebration cakes and congratulations on Facebook, I faced the darkest time in my adult life while birthing my dream.

The first six months of pursuing my most coveted aspiration came with a lofty price that has the ability to haunt me until I meet Jesus.  I (unknowingly at the time) sentenced myself the most horrid punishment of maltreatment…isolation.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am the infante definition of an extrovert and a complete and total spaz. I thrive off of people, I love (most) everything about God’s people. The joy or sorrow in their eyes is my goal to discover the reason of either.  Two is always greater than one in times of celebration or despair.

As you can see isolation isn’t beneficially for anyone, especially for a person like myself.  Alone, sheltered, and wrapped up in my own fictional and nonfictional world I fell into the darkest depression and dependence on alcohol and prescription medication that I ever had faced.  Anxiety and depression have always taunted me as I have dealt with abandonment, abuse of the worst kind, a son diagnosed with a chronic illness at four and two back to back second-trimester pregnancy losses.  In prefacing that I have dealt with some mental health issues goes without strong merit.

I’ll never forget my first glass of wine.  A magnificent feeling overtook my mind and body, but mostly the pivotal escape from inner darkness and the child that always felt left behind is what continued to call my name to the lies of the bottle.  The girl who saw too much, the forsaken and tormented version of my inner child was sedated and finally left numbed.  It was the most intensely wonderful thing that I had ever injected into my body.  And I didn’t care if it was wrong.  I simply loved that I could not feel.

Labels kill the over achiever as floods wipe out the innocent.  I never wanted to admit my poison because I wanted so desperately to be loved.

I never became a raging alcoholic in those years of young adulthood.  Thankfully I never received a DUI, or put my kids or myself in danger, or lost a job.  People drink and it is widely acceptable even marketed as a way to overcome a really bad day.  I was successful in many of my areas that in enabled me to somewhat cover up my guilt with my many outlandish accomplishments (yup I’m that selfish).  A definite result of my distorted childhood was the need to please and to receive love, therefore, I was 110% or nothing.  If I was triumphant than I was loveable.

In that, it is pertinent I add a few of the prodigious things I did in my life before I drop the biggest bombshell to you all that I’ve managed to keep hidden for two years:

  • I wrote an award-winning poem at 16 and was published and hit New York Times Best Selling List in her collection of poetry, thus becoming a New York Time Bestselling author without even knowing it at fifteen.
  • I am the National Prepared Public Speaking winner for the state of Nevada and competed at a national convention in St. Louis, MO.  I can still recall the energy in my body as the electricity jolted me on the stage to shout to the world my words and voice.
  • I was a gifted runner with Olympic potential until I had a career ending injury at 16.
  • I was selected for a national band and played for 30,000 people including President George Bush
  • I learned how to figure skate at the age of thirty advancing so quickly I skated in an ice show 9 months later being the first adult to land a jump higher than a waltz.  Then I went on to perform in seven other ice shows in front of thousands of people. 
  • I am a bestselling author of a memoir that will eventually be in the United Hospital System going home with grieving mothers who suffers miscarriage or stillbirth.
  •  I am the proud mother of six babies.  (Two in heaven) whose accomplishments mean more to me than an Olympic gold medal, and a husband who is my heart light.
  • I have a divorce that is healthy.  My ex-husband, his beautiful wife, her kids, and ours are blended.  We have Christmas, birthdays, and Easter, together.  We shield one another in the dark times and celebrate the joys in life.  They are my husband and my two children together godparents.  If anything happens to Alan and I, all my babies will be together in the best care I could ever imagine.

All of those things I didn’t accomplish on my own. I once had a deeply rooted relationship with Jesus and loved my Lord more than myself.  When I left Him I still continued to soar, yet slowly crumbled deeper than the sky could lift me up.On the cliff of greatness in 2014 looking off into the sunset of finally becoming a published author I knew this would top anything else I had done in my life.  Yet I was only touching the surface of my journey back to God, deeply I was falling vastly into depression and drinking.  I was alone.  Because I chose isolation.  From church  from God, from friends. I was too busy building my business, writing my books, and well for lack of better words trying to drown my sorrows.

 

I ended up drinking myself into a horrible mess, dipping deeper and darker into depression.  I called a suicide help line one night.  I felt so lost, my dad had left…again….my past was ruining me, haunting me, nightmares made my turmoil happen over and over every night so I’d stay up all night working and numbing myself into a place where my sleep wouldn’t hit the stage of dreams.  The police came to my house at three am to make sure I wasn’t going to hurt myself, waking my husband up to attest to the fact that I wouldn’t kill myself was one of my darkest moments.  The fear in his eyes was enough.  Enough to find the inner will to fight the greatest storm of my life.

A week after I called the suicide hotline I hit it.  The cement wall holding the ability to crack my skull open and leave misery-drenched in the form of red, fluid that holds the breath of death, with no hope of reconciliation.

I decided to quit drinking cold turkey soon after a dreaded night to my realization that I wouldn’t have reacted that way if I had been sober.  I mean really, me in a screaming match?  Nope,  not reality, not truth, not the grace God has instilled in me.

The whole next day, horribly hung over, I laid in my bed alone, I covered the windows with the darkest of blankets and cried.  I shook with withdrawal symptoms and when my older boys got home from school I instructed them to come up as I had to tell them something.

They entered my room sorrowful from the sheer greeting of a black room and a clearly sick mom.  They had no idea my drinking had gotten out of control as I was  the master of deception.  Remember, if I fail I’m not loved.  It’s what my parents taught me.  What else would I know?

I told my boys that I had an altercation with our neighbors and some changes were on the horizon.  My oldest son Caleb said, “Mom you need to get involved in church.  You need community, I’m worried about you because I know you and this isn’t you.”  Caleb looked around the dark sullen room and my listless body still in bed at 4 pm with compassion and concern.

My oldest son Caleb said, “Mom you need to get involved in church.  You need community, I’m worried about you because I know you and this isn’t you.”  He peered upon the dark sullen room and my listless body still in bed at 4 pm with compassion and concern.

Yet the only thing that was was in me was anger.

Church?

God!?

A God who only took from me, who wrecked me taking my two infant boys, Caleb’s health, my innocence, my father?   The love I yearned for but never received from my mother.  NO WAY would I ever serve Him again.  I was so faithful in my youth and He still gave me nothing but adult years of suffering.

 My children left heartbroken seeing their mother who was usually strong lying on a bed that had the stench of death.  The woman who they watched make dreams turn into reality was truly giving up.  I can’t even imagine the pain I placed on their young hearts.  

Twenty-four hours after my last drink I went into delirium tremens (DT’s) which is a possible, fatal condition caused by severe alcohol withdrawal.  I write in more detail in my upcoming book about how this felt, but I can paraphrase and say it was like a nightmarish light show that was evil instead of in celebration. Streamers fell from the sky in a brilliance of color, but it didn’t feel like the fourth of July it felt like the end of life. I reached up to grab what seemed real only to see it dissipate in the confines of my pale  hands.  Rock bottom never looked so colorful and felt so regretful.

The next morning being the hypochondriac I am, I googled ‘hallucinations after ceasing alcohol’.  Of course,  every site said get yourself to an emergency room because you could die

Deep inside me,  I knew I didn’t actually want to go to be with the Jesus yet, so I had my husband Alan take me to the local ER.  Staff became serious extremely fast as I was admitted,  and I was placed on a “seizure” watch in fear that I could seize and die.

My initial fleeting moment of wanting to die weeks earlier could become a reality and in the grips of such deafening possibility of truth I held on like I had never fought in my life before.

I saw Alan.

Caleb.

Cameron.  

Trasen.  

Lilia.

Mostly I saw me.

My potential.  What I meant to people.

My smile.

My love, soul, gifts, and deep torment that can be used to gift those going through the same.

I fought so hard I felt like my hero Rocky Balboa after his fight with the Russian.  Beaten, yet ultimately blanketed with a title belt around my waist.

The doctors at that point recommended rehab for dual diagnosis depression and alcoholism, with  my pride fighting to hold me back…I went.

Being in a facility akin to the darkest of places a person can go was a creation within my being I wasn’t accustomed to.  Giving in to failure, not clinging to my success. I heard stories much more tortuous than mine.  I saw heroin addicts, suicide attempts, schizophrenics, deeply depressed people and severe eating disorders.

And in that my chains were broken, for we are all at the throne.  We all struggle no matter our life path.

All of the unlovely sat at the table we ate our meals at and we loved one another, while Jesus sat at the head of the table I actually felt Him and knew through His stripes we were healed.

Eight painfully beneficial days later I left and something on the last day during one of our group meetings we were told that seventy percent of us will relapse.  \

Seventy percent of you will fail.

In essence, that means thirty percent win this battle.  And I’m really good at winning, my prideful self self-declared.

 

But instead of victory, this time,I became a statistic. One month later I was back.

I had become the seventy percent.

In the months that followed my second visit to Rogers Memorial Hospital, I rewrote both of my books that were crafted in a non-authentic clear-minded way.  I completely stopped drinking and went on this amazing adventure that a year later brought me back to my best friend, Jesus.

 

My son was insightful in giving me powerful words from the throne of God that we thrive when we have people rallying around us not trying to cope on our own. Two are always better than one.

 

We need each other to thrive, grow prosper, and be kept accountable.

 

In this increasingly hard time in my life with my Caleb going to college and feeling like a quarter of my heart is in Minneapolis for the first time in a while I’ve been struggling.  

 

God has called me to greatness, He has predestined me to write my story of addiction and childhood/adult abandonment and how I overcame impossible odds to find my destiny  Yet, first I have to arrive.

Again I stand at the brinks of a multitude of choices to deal with transition and the pulling question of which direction will I take?  Will I allow evil to spit the ugliness of sin on my face  or will I shower myself with the grace of a Savior filed with ultimate possibility?

In my young life abandonment meant if I wasn’t the picture of perfection I wasn’t loved.  In my mid-life my parents exude the same standard.  For I’ve been shown that if I mess up, or am less than righteous, love simply leaves.  It is gone, sometimes forever. That is why sharing this with you all is so hard for me.  For I am flawed, and so blessed to have you all hugging me and praying for me in a church that is anointed and blessed, yet if you know my darkness will you still offer me light?  This hasn’t been my history so it is hard to grasp that it could be my future.

 

And I do know that my bullet point of my greatest accomplishments mean nothing, yet I needed to state them for fear of loss.  Of love, fellowship, and YOU.  Each and everyone of you who meet my eyes on a weekly basis and pray with me when I leave the service to grab a tissue because I miss my oldest boy.  I love each and everyone of you.  And I pray you still love me, even though I’m flawed, gravitated toward forgetting, and a broken child of God.

 

My shame in the perils of escape through drugs and alcohol have defined me for many years.  Success that many will never see has also defined me for many years.  And the God in my soul says NO!  None of it matters, success or failure He accepts me and hugs me like the father I long for.

 

Jesus is the King and through it is well.  Simply put… it is well with my soul.

 

Friends, I will NEVER be perfect, but I will forever need love. In my life my idea of my perfections have been rewarded with love, and mistakes that are punished with the very worst form of torture;  isolation. And sadly, as this was done to me by my parents as a child and still as an adult, it was what I gave myself in 2014.

 

If I’m writing books or in rehab,  I’m flawed, ugly with shame and still have the ability to fall.  So many thanks to you to my new family at Journey Church. I even obtained the mentor I have been praying for through her testimony one Sunday at church, of her struggle of parental abandonment and addiction.  Since then we meet regularly, she keeps me accountable and Alan and I are attending our first life group with her on Thursday…

 That is community!!  The essence of where two or more are gathered greatness is imminent.  Isolation provokes death for your soul and body, yet communion invites prosperity and more joy than we can conjure up in our minds.
The chasm of greatness brings me to the soaring cliff of stamina where we all have the ability to jump to the other side of healing.  That we are forever free, falling into the hands of grace and eternal forgiveness.

The Everything​ that Holds Me Back From Your everything.

When God tells us to let go we hold on tighter. Is that the root inside us saying that we are afraid of excellence or is the enemy burning us of our greatness as he only has a last ditch effort-or both? Follow me as I find out…

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Your Grace Abounds in Deepest Waters~ Hillsong United

Last night I had the privilege of seeing one of the greatest worship bands of all time on the last leg of their US tour.  As I danced, sang, and worshiped my heart out at Hillsong United’s Chicago finale concert I was brought to a place I haven’t been in a long time.  A place of complete and total surrender.  Because grace is not deserving  of  the abundance  God gives and can be perplexing, so we shun it because it simply doesn’t make sense.  Yet I’ve had the privilege of  receiving God’s grace first-hand several times in my life.  First, as a wandering young adult who could have chosen loss yet somehow someway chose a life  changing life.  (Through that, Grace brought me one of the greatest joys of my life to this day.)  Second, as a young adult who could have vanished at the hand of my own hand with an eating disorder that left me thin, depleted, and not as in control as I thought I was.  Third, as a middle aged woman still longing for love and seeking it in all the wrong avenues, through a mind-numbing state.  Doing so after a life of abandonment and loss of two infant baby boys in the span of 18 months.  This time a clear liquid found in a bottle saying it was my friend and my escape, I clung to.  Sure felt like grace at the time, yet it brought me nothing but sorrow, emotion of the evil kind, and so much devastation.  That is where the true forgiveness came.  When I was at my deepest darkest lowest cavern, Grace was with me when I wasn’t with it.

“As it is written: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.'”  ~Romans 9:33:

Shame.  It comes it waves and it can wash over me faster and swifter than any tsunami that claims the land.  The sun sets and that is when it seeks me out the most.  When smiles fade and eyes list off to slumber is when it wakes me up from my hope of rest.  Shame speaks mountains yet God overshadows all with earth shadowing lights that blind our view of what we believe.  That is what I saw last night at the concert of a lifetime. With my teenage son, my eight-year-old son, and my husband by my side.  Lights come, rains pour down, and prophets sit and wait.  But if we cannot reckon our shame we are lost…in a sea of excellence made yet not received and that makes us simply a facade.  

This is me.

When I am sober, I am a force to be questioned by the enemy.  A force that God uses to move mountains and build bridges of struggle yet knowledge and peace of salvation.  I know the gift He has given me.

Yet I struggle so deep and far  into the past…

To numb the loss.

And my fear.

The pain I’ve suffered in this life.

I know what promise lies ahead for me, yet I fight them internally in a deep battle greater than all that has come before and will go into the sun.  Because that is what happens when the darkness is threatened.  I’ve overcome so much in my life.  Why is this addiction the most difficult so far?

I’ve overcome so much in my life.  Why is this addiction the most difficult so far?

Grace, what have You done?
Murdered for me on that cross
Accused in absence of wrong
My sin washed away in Your blood  ~Hillsong United

The cross has taught me to live.  At church this morning my pastor delivered a grace-filled message that ripped me open and left me tearful and broken.  I feel the enemy has been working my whole life to tear apart the very things Jesus can use, the gifts I have despite the struggle, or more so because of the struggle to serve Him better.  My pastor spoke of the fact that “I’m not judging you, that you should judge yourself.”  And that, “The enemy is going to barricade you inside your hell to hold you back when you have come to know Him.”

Yes.  And Yes.

Judging myself alone, I know the idol I need to leave at the altar.

Alcohol.  My bitter enemy and most pretty war that calls me king: and gives me false joy.

The enemy haunts me down: even though I rededicated my life to Jesus six months ago and was baptized in the warm waters of Wisconsin last week… indeed I’m being attacked.

Can I overcome, yes!~

Am I predestined for greatness?

Indeed, I am.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

As the showcase of lights danced on and the bombard of music sold my soul and the cadence of song continued in my heart to call me home, I clung to the cross that has declared that I let go of the one last lie.

The last everything that holds me back from everything God has planned for me.

So tonight as I write to God, to you, to me.  I say this, that  I want more.

God has given me a promise of forever.  I want this to be it, a mercy seeking greatness that has been promised to me by my King.

Tonight my husband said something to me that moved barriers, “I need to hold onto the love that has been sung to me last night in the form of a voice so beautiful.  A voice that said to me this morning in the form of a splendor of a speaker that God is using on this earth in the form of the leader of our church.  Through the example our church used in a woman who bore her deepest soul on a stage that shown her every dark moment, yet draped in me all that I am and all that I fear and hurt so deeply.

As an author, many of you know God has called me to tell my story of childhood/adulthood parental abandonment, divorce, success, love, progress, and addiction.  After an extremely convicting Saturday night spent with one of the greatest worship bands of all time, and a Sunday morning spent with a Journey Forward pastor who calls out and loves the people of his church as God has called him to do, I am left feeling challenged.  To pierce through the dark and become all I am meant to become in spite of the enemy in the prime of my greatness.  Not the pain, abandonment, fear, and anguish that makes me want to numb my future greatness.

So, I encourage you all to fight hard and find your greatest purpose God has for you no matter the challenge you may deem impossible.  Join me in my journey as I say, my God,

I am Yours and You are Mine.

Enjoy the song that inspired this blog: