Last night I was making tacos for dinner... something I have done many, many times. My son LOVES tacos, as does my husband. Even my little one year old likes the taco meat... me, I could take them or leave them. But last night when I was making the tacos I had a random memory strike me. It was something I hadn't thought about in a very long time... probably haven't even ever specifically thought of it at all. The memory was of me having tacos with a band that I used to do some filming for. We were somewhere in Oklahoma eating tacos at some dive restaurant. I don't remember much else about that particular moment. Not sure if the tacos were good or not, don't remember what I had to drink, don't even remember how I got there... did I drive or did I ride with them? I have no clue. There was no purpose for this memory... none as it was a very unremarkable moment in time. I have no clue why my brain pulled it out of my vault and shoved it in front of me. The brain is a strange little machine.
As we ate dinner, that memory sparked some other memories and my family and I started to discuss some of my crazy times, back when I was a raging alcoholic and a complete wacko nut-case. I found myself laughing hysterically at some of my antics and experiences. My son kept asking for me to tell him more crazy mommy stories... and my husband just sat there shaking his head with a smile on his handsome face. All in all, it was funny. Dinner ended and life moved on.
Shortly after dinner, I was giving my daughter a bath. As I sat there watching her the humor in all those antics began to wear off. All of a sudden, I wasn't laughing anymore. No, my heart was struck with shame and guilt. Is it funny to get in a car with strangers I met skiing and end up in the basement of a drug dealer's house? Is it funny to go inside a brothel and get beat up by a hooker? Is it funny to have life's priorities so screwed up that I left my child and husband for the weekend to go hang out and get drunk with a band? Is it funny to get so wrapped up in trying to succeed that I wasted hundreds of my family's dollars on juice. No... not so funny. I started to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. My heart began pounding in my chest and I started struggling to breath. Anxiety found me, and I tell you, anxiety is not my friend.
I didn't sleep well.
This morning, I reached out to a friend who has 'been there and done that' and told him how I was feeling. I told him of the memories, the laughter and then how it all came to a screeching halt with shame. He knew exactly how I felt... like I said, he has been there and done that. He gave me some good advice. He told me what he does when it happens to him... he bows his head and says to satan...
In the name of Jesus Christ... do not tempt me!
Tempt was the perfect word, even though I wasn't feeling what I would say was standard temptation. I wasn't wishing I could go do those things again or longing for the past. No, my temptation was different... it was the temptation to let the devil make me forget that GOD HAS ALREADY FORGIVEN ME for all of that stuff. I only had to ask once. I do not need to feel guilty or ashamed any longer. He cleansed me with His blood and I am free.
I have repeated the phrase "In the name of Jesus Christ... leave me alone!" many times today and it has helped. But I've had to continue to say it because the devil is really at me.
I'm thankful for my friend's wise words, I am thankful to have a God that saved me and made me new again, I am thankful for the love I have for Jesus but mostly, I am thankful for the love Jesus has for me. I only had to ask once and it was done.