“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
My devotional for sobriety, healing, and spiritual prosperity is in part guided by Sarah Young’s Devotions for Everyday of the Year, Jesus Calling. The theme for January 1st is letting God change the way we think. It’s about letting go of our old ways and allowing God to teach us and guide us. Sarah refers to it as having a “teachable spirit”. I think having a teachable spirit requires a lot of humility, especially as we grow older. To put it bluntly, its having the guts to say hey, I don’t have this all figured out! Many of us, including myself, like to believe that we can do everything on our own. Well I tried that, and take it from me, it doesn’t work. How many times have I tried moderation. How many times have I told myself I can just stop drinking by my own will. Yeah, thats called white-knuckling it. But I don’t want to white-knuckle it anymore! I want to finally be able to breathe, to live, and to love without abandon. No, it’s not going to be easy. I’m going to be tempted, challenged, possibly even defeated, but I’m determined to keep fighting the good fight no matter how many times I fail. I truly believe God has a plan for my life, but I can’t see God’s plan without His light. Without His unmeasurable love, mercy, and strength I will remain in the dark unable to see the woman He created me to be.
As I read through the devotion, I started thinking about Romans 12:2 and what it means for my life. I started to think about how I feel when I can’t drink, especially when everyone else is drinking. Sometimes I feel rage, sometimes sadness, and at times longing. To be completely honest, it pisses me off. It pisses me off that I have this problem. It pisses me off that I can’t drink like a normal person. It pisses me off that everyone else gets to feel the feeling of getting drunk. It pisses me off that I’ll never get to feel that feeling again. How will I escape reality now? You mean now I actually have to face the world for what it is—no filter? But you see, this is exactly what God wants to change. He wants to change the way I think and feel about my disease. God didn’t make me an alcoholic to punish me, or because he hates me. No, God created me for a purpose. I still don’t know what that purpose is, but I know what its not. God didn’t create me to live in darkness. He didn’t create me to meander through life in a drunken blur. What pisses me off about not drinking is that I’m trying to be like everyone else. I’m trying to “copy the behavior and customs of this world”. But whats wrong with not mimicking these behaviors, whats wrong with being different? The answer is nothing, nothing is wrong. God is calling me to let go of the past. He is calling me to escape, but not to escape in the bottle, to escape in Him. To lose myself in His unfailing love.
Lord, please continue to guide me through my path of sobriety. Show me your will for my life in an attainable way, a way so obvious it can’t be missed. Help my eyes to see and my ears to listen. Like a swan, reveal to me the power and the beauty that lies within me. And thank you, thank for this moment of clarity, for however brief or however long you wish to sustain this gift of sobriety. In your Son’s name, Amen.