I am in a season of healing.
The very beginning phases.
Because in order to be healed,
you have to admit that you're broken, don't you?
I wrote those words almost five months ago. Five whole months. Man, time flies. And as the time goes, the change comes. The growth comes. And the healing comes.
I am still in a season of healing. A different one, though. You see, our God is a kind, loving and protective God. He opens our eyes to our brokenness because He sees the big picture. And as we surrender our vision to His, we start to see a teeeensy bit of what He sees. We start to see outside the crooked lines that box in our brokenness. And you know what's outside those lines?
Yesterday marked 60 days since my last alcoholic drink. 60 days. It's incredibly bizarre how this can feel like the biggest life change that I have made in all of my 24 years, and yet also like nothing has changed at all. It oddly feels like I have transported back in time to my 18 year old self, who confidently knew that alcohol was not her thing, but never judged others for it being theirs. I really liked that about her. I'm glad she's back.
I'm starting to dig a little deeper into this complex heart of mine. When I feel myself get angry, I ask why. When I feel myself wanting to share the latest juicy gossip, I ask why. When I feel myself halfheartedly celebrating a friend's victory because I am secretly seething at the fact that it was not my own, I ask why.
So what does this have to do with sobriety? How does analyzing my own issues with anger, gossip and jealousy have anything to do with politely declining that glass of wine offered to me?
Because it all comes down to finding freedom. And that, my friends, is the season of healing that I am in now. I see my brokenness, God. I see that the issue isn't with the friend who inadvertently made me feel like she didn't care. I see that the issue isn't with telling people about the incredibly interesting news that I am so privileged to know. The issue isn't with the friend who accomplished something that I wanted to accomplish. I see, God, that the issue isn't with alcohol.
The issues are with my heart.
And no, from the outside, they may not seem like that big of problems. It's not like I act out on the anger that I feel (very often), and who doesn't gossip these days? Jealousy is something that everyone battles, and at our age, who is going to judge you for having one, two, or four drinks at happy hour?
If you're thinking these are pretty darn normal, then I would say that you're right. They are pretty darn normal in our world, and they aren't a very big deal.
But to God? They are.
It's not because He is a tyrant of a Man upstairs sitting and holding his list of the 10 commandments, slapping them with a ruler each time someone steps out of line. It's not because He created a list a loooong time ago, and simply has too big of an ego to admit "hey, maybe I over did it a bit back then."
God made this list because He knows our human hearts. He understands how they work, and the impact these things have on us.
He knows what it does to my heart each time I act in sin. Whether it's letting those emotions of anger and bitterness fester, instead of acknowledging the real issues going on in my heart. Whether it's giving into the urge to gossip only to give myself an ego boost of how much people confide in me. Perhaps it's competing with someone only to give myself a sense of value and worth. Or maybe it's having one too many alcoholic drinks to feel like a cool kid, and escape whatever else my mind might want to think about.
The fact is, I didn't use to give these things a second thought. But now, I do. Now, I have learned to take the time to think through my actions before I complete them, to filter through my emotions before I let them control me. And that, my friends, is finding freedom.
Finding freedom from myself.
And finding freedom in the Spirit.