The Shame Game.
Y’all, the holidays are rapidly approaching. Are you ready for this…there are 9 more Saturdays until Christmas. We are being plunged into that time of year when patience is low, demands are high and sleep doesn’t fit on our to-do list.
There’s a reason why multiple case studies show that addiction is the highest during the holiday season. It’s the most difficult time to stay sober. I think in part because we’re surrounded by people who trigger all kinds of emotions. It’s also a time when everything around us says we should be feeling a certain way. For those of us who have always bucked up against conformity, we don’t like for people or things to tell us how to feel.
Yesterday, October 19th, by the grace of God, I reached my 12th year of sobriety. I am now a productive member of society (most days). The road was long and filled with twists, turns and dead ends. There were a lot of tears and pleading with my Higher Power. There was uncertainty among the rubble of my indiscretion. There were times when I felt hopeless.
And then something changed. Have you noticed how everything starts with a decision?
I made a conscious decision to fill my mind with truth and courage. I stopped entertaining deception and falsehood. When I didn’t believe the truth of who I am and that I’m made in the image of God, I would repeat it over and over throughout the day, “God, I belong to you. Thank you that I belong to you. Thank you that darkness has no power over my mind, heart, body and soul. Protect me from evil and all who promote it. Keep me safely in your will.”
Do you know someone exploring the possibility that they may have a problem with alcohol, food, drugs, pornography, sex, money…anything that is hindering them from living out their purpose? Maybe you’re the one struggling? Please know that you’re not alone in your struggle. There are literally thousands of us around you. We are in your congregation, your women’s Bible study, on your tennis team. We are moms and grandmothers. We are leaders. We are wives.
It’s time to stop playing the shame game and lay it down where it belongs…at the foot of the cross, where Jesus himself proclaimed, “It. Is. Finished.”
My prayer, in this moment, is that God will intervene and direct our thinking…that we will find purpose in this coming season of busyness and overspending…that we will seek out someone who needs our help and become so caught up in helping others that we don’t have time to entertain the lies that blind.
A couple of excellent resources involving two of my favorite communicators on the planet, Jud Wilhite and Mike Foster are, People of the Second Chance (@POTSC on Twitter) and CentralOnline. Please direct people here who need a community of hope and healing.