If you’ve ever known anyone who has struggled with a drug or alcohol addiction you’ve probably heard something like “Hi, my name is ____ and I’ve been sober for ____ days.” When I counseled people with addiction, before I learned anything else about them I knew their addiction and how long they had been sober. This weekend I was taught a very harsh lesson and I learned just how important it is to remind yourself of how long you’ve had strength to resist the temptation of sin.
This week was really tough for me. Emotionally, I hit a low I haven’t felt in a while. I could feel myself spiraling down and I could also feel Satan plotting with his minions ready to attack. I felt overwhelmed and after fighting temptation, I gave in to one of my sin struggles and turned to food for comfort. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit covered me, assured me I was not defeated and had the strength to push through. I pushed through only to be continually attacked with ferocious weapons that felt too hard to fight. With every dagger thrown at me I could feel myself becoming weaker. Satan’s attacks began to get a grip on me and it was as if every sin I’ve struggled to overcome was suddenly lurking over me and had me in a daze ready to give in.
I’m ashamed to admit that although I didn’t actually participate in the act of sin I was thinking about, I gave power to temptation by letting the thoughts linger and take control of my mind. I began justifying it in my head and making excuses before anything even happened.
Fortunately for me, the only direction you can head when you are down is up and something incredibly beautiful happened. Engulfed in lingering thoughts of temptation with Satan and his minions encircling me, I could literally feel Jesus covering me, taking all the daggers being thrown at me. As I pictured Jesus enduring the pain that was intended for me, the Holy Spirit began whispering “5 years Brandy, 5 years. You’ve fought this battle with strength and self control for 5 years, don’t throw that away, you can do this.”
God completely broke me in that moment in the most beautiful way. He reminded me of the spiritual growth and transformation He has done in my life in the last few years, and specifically of the growth that happened while I was in Korea. He reminded of the big plans He has to use me in mighty ways and the strides we have made to get closer to that place. And most importantly He reminded me that I have self control! He reminded me of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self control.”
What ever sin you struggle with, alcohol, drugs, lust, anger, over eating, sex, legalism…ect, I want you to know that sin is not too big for you. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” He gets angry when we are distressed, he makes the earth shake and tremble, the heavens quake (2 Samuel 22:7-8) He doesn’t like to see us hurting and will continue to take our pain, and equip us with the strength to fight when we are weak. You can do this! Even if you have only been “sober” for 1 day, it is one day of victory and you should be proud of that!