There is hope for you.
I was saved from lifelong addiction that started in 3rd grade when I found a collection of hidden pornography magazines, and led me down a dark and lonely path trapped in fantasy land and bondage to my thought life. I had few friends, hidden struggles, and it warped everything about me. It left me confused over who I was for years, unable to make sense out of life, unable to make sense out of relationships, and unable to handle life when the going got tough, as I would get going deeper in my sin. I was stuck wondering why I could never get life to work or to satisfy and didn’t see any way out of it apart from full total destruction.
I was saved in 2001, and had a very vibrant Christian life with hours in the bible and church and services every waking moment besides work for the first few years I was saved. The power over the addictions were gone but I would still have relapses and I struggled with insecurity, isolation, bipolar mood swings, anger, and resentment. It was confusing because the pendulum swung hard, and falls were closely near by, but it was difficult to see what caused what.
Things haven’t been perfect by any means, but I would say since February especially, God has delivered me through some big hurdles and kept me out of potential pitfalls that I fell down even after being saved and having a strong biblical foundation. I have found smoother sailing of recent, and maybe here are some lessons to help others through this.
Being saved doesn’t guarantee no struggles again or no falls. It does break the total grip the sin has but you can still end up in the same ruts when you start to get overwhelmed with life. Sin is formed and carried out in the limbic auto-pilot part of your brain – and addictions happen when repeated patterns get lodged in the brain and then when stress overwhelms it, you run back to the sin that the brain sees as the only way out. Sometimes victory is enduring a lot of the lies — and starting to battle the lies with truth. When your brain is convincing everything in you that what you need to get you through this is TRUE, and you only have bible promises to tell you it’s a LIE, it does take faith. It does not happen overnight, but it’s not will power. It’s really a critical component to realize that a lot of what you feel, see, or believe can be an absolute lie at the moment. Only when you see the Lord pull you out of it can you see, yes, I was believing a LIE. And then the next time you might be able to recognize it quicker.
God has transformed things a lot, and I don’t know if we have ever been through as much as we have this past year. To start, here are some of our recent events — closing on our dream home in December – having my full time job end in January — have a business i was trying to get going from home (where I designed it w/ a new built in office to do this particular business) fail completely at about the same time my one job ended and I finally could launch my business idea — and then find 2 part time jobs that ended in August!
I was in a very low place weeks ago. I had reached out a lot for counsel and prayer, seen God ride it out in our family, and now I have a good full time job and a few more options opening up, and am seeing God work on my continued mood swings, anger out bursts, self hatred, lack of identity and being a people pleaser and more.
I can relate if you are struggling. I can pray if you need prayer -just ask! I also can say if you know God you have already had some amazing blessings and victories already. Keep going but write down those victories and blessings and lessons.
For some lessons I want to pass on for getting victory – one thing I have learned is how the brain works — science is now catching up with it. I have always been a big bible reader once I was saved with devotions in the morning and I have been consistent with it. But I also now have for years been on FB late at night and social media at night. Even when not falling into sin, that was still my habit.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Notice how it says I beseech you brethren ……be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.
God has wired us, designed us that our brains begin to heal overnight, but it’s not overnight. Meaning God heals during the night, but it will take time night in and night out for that to happen and the brain to rewire. An important healing aspect takes place when we turn off social media (no idea if you do that) and more 1/2 hour before bedtime and meditate on scripture.
Not late night with David Letterman, or Jay Leno or Conan. Late night with JESUS.
It will filter your mind as you sleep.
Try that, I would say, and call me in the morning for prayer if you need it. I am busy reading at night!
And speaking of night, monsters live in the dark. Stay accountable and have someone who knows your struggles that can ask you hard, honest questions. I have a good filter called Covenant eyes so my pastor sees where I have been on line.
It’s good to reach out to people on a regular basis, and have people you can encourage and have ones who encourage you. When you start going down that path toward darkness, that is when you need to be reaching out to more than one person for prayer and someone to talk you down off that bridge you are about to jump off. My friend Owen will say, “Mike, you are going the wrong direction. Just stop. See you are going the wrong way, right now, and just turn. Turn back to Jesus. He hasn’t gone anywhere. You are the one who has walked away from Him.” Jesus is waiting there for you. Usually after a fall you can look back and see where and when you started to derail and take steps next time when you start to see yourself going down the first few steps. You don’t have to get to the bottom when you already know what is there to meet you.
Finally, Isiah 58:6 says, Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Jesus said in Matthew 17:21, Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
FASTING can put your focus much stronger on the LORD. I know monsters live in the dark, but if BEARS don’t lurk where you live, if you are interested in fasting, and get the liberty to get out and fast, just grab a jug of water or two, a tent, and a bible and go off in the woods/ mountains or wild blue yonder until you get the touch of God and this kind goeth out for good.