As I write this today, all I can say about myself is… guilty. But merely saying I am guilty does not exonerate me from it. I do not get to walk away with a smile on my face and say, “Good job, Wendy… you admitted you are guilty. Enough said!” Nope, there is one more thing to be done.
I may not have a real job, but I do definitely have a job. In fact, I have several. The jobs of wife and mother are up towards the top of the list, and they take up quite a bit of my time. Another big job I have is that of the mission God has instilled in me with the life of recovery. It is so very obvious to me that He has given me my issues so that I may help others learn to overcome theirs with the help of God. I take this very seriously, and I believe this to be my God-given purpose in life. I wish I could say I always have my priorities in line but, I don’t. Admittedly, I put my mission in front of my husband and child at times. I am very grateful to have an understanding husband who doesn’t get too upset with me when this happens. He is so incredible… I don’t think God could have done a better job at matching two people together.
But more than being a wife or mother or a missionary for God’s grace… I am called to simply be a daughter of the King. That is my number one job in life. To be an obedient, open, connected and humble daughter. Sometimes, I get so busy talking about the awesomeness of God, sharing His ways with others, talking about how He gives us freedom from the bondage of ourselves that I forget to stay connected to Him. In other words, I get so busy trying to help others build a relationship with God that I neglect to have a relationship with Him myself. I forget to stop and be His daughter.
Recently, someone I love relapsed into their addiction. It is painful to stand by and watch denial and tragedy wreak havoc on their life but that is really all I can do. Apparently there were warning signs that it was coming, but the warnings were not shared with me. I’m not sure if it was hidden from me out of shame or perhaps fear of what I would say… maybe they just didn’t want to have someone tell them no. In the end, I know I can’t take any responsibility for someone else’s step backwards. All I can do is be there for them when they are ready to step forward again. And to this person I say… my arms are open… I love you no matter what. I am angry… but not at you. I am angry at the addiction… at the devil… I am PISSED OFF to see how a beautifully created, incredible person can be turned into a shriveling pile of deceit. I’ve been there, I was that pile (and it was big and heavy)… but hear this… it is NEVER too late to turn around. God will NEVER give up on you. God loves you more than you can fathom. If you can’t believe that yourself, just believe that I believe it… because I do.
Relapse can happen to any of us. It can happen at any time, on any given day. It can happen to the over-eater, the drug addict, the co-dependant, the depressed, those addicted to love and lust, those overcome with grief, the over-spender, the person who just loves to hate themself, the workaholic, the child abuser, the boozer, the worrier, the control freak... any of us, all of us. Relapse is what happens when we don’t put God first on our list and remember to take time to be His son or daughter for too long a period of time. Relapse is what happens when we become disconnected from our life source. It’s so easy to do, so hard to maintain yet so simple… take… a… moment… and… pray.
Back to what I said at the beginning, I am guilty for being disconnected. I haven’t devoted undivided prayer time to my Father in many days but I don’t get to walk away scott-free right now, proud to have admitted a failure to the world. Nope… I must also leap into action to correct the problem. Without action, my confession really doesn’t mean much. Without correction, perhaps a confessed sin loses its redemption. I am going to take a moment and pray… right now… on my knees. I am going to reconnect with my life source so that I may fulfill my number one job in life; to point my undivided attention toward the great, powerful, wonderful, grace-filled, ever-loving, ever-forgiving God who I am thankful calls me daughter. Join me in some time with God and John 15…. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me…”