2011 began with my husband losing his second job to his addiction. I quickly became numb, as the nightmare that I thought I would never have to live through again suddenly became our reality.
It was six years prior that we had hit rock bottom, or so I thought. Never again would I ever want to relive that torment. And yet here we were. Like beating cancer, pulling yourself up to live again, believing for something more, something new. And then being told by the doctors that the cancer is back. The addiction has reared its ugly head like a demon’s most vicious attack. Unrelenting. Inescapable.
Initially we were so disoriented, so whipped with the attack of the enemy, that it was hard to get our footing. While I attempted sleep, I would toss and turn restlessly, ever aware that this nightmare was not going away.
Yet having walked this hell before, I knew how to hold onto the glory of God. To look for Him everywhere. To collect every word, every breath, every sign of life, every song, every verse. His glory — the very essence of who He is — is revealed in times like these. God is seen, made known, and revealed in the darkness. If only we will tune our hearts to Him.
This is how we glorify God. This is how we experience who He is and what He does. Willing to walk where He allows us to go, for more of Himself.
Ever faithful, ever true, God gave me a vision of what He was doing.
Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Proverbs 9:9
Relapse in recovery is about going deeper. A new and greater level of healing. Revealing areas that we missed before that need our attention. (I say “we” because all of us need to do this kind of personal work. Recovery and healing and growth has to be claimed by the individual.)
God made it clear to me that this relapse was not about failure. It did not mean that all of the work up to this point was null and void. Instead, He was teaching us even more. He was taking us further still.
We prayed two things: for wisdom and provision. God, we have no idea how to walk this. No idea how to survive but to hold onto You. We need Your wisdom and direction; we need You to provide the way. Lead us through.
That is when He revealed first things first. While the crisis at hand clearly involved the loss of a job, God prioritized healing. The job has to wait. You have to walk deep healing.
Healing would take everything we had. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, and financially. And in that, I found the wisdom of praying specifically for provision. Because God, we don’t have it. On our own, we can’t make it. We are spent. We’ve been knocked over too many times.
We’ve walked decades with God and learned that though His way is often harder, it is best. He has shown us where to go, and we have been blessed to walk faithfully and obediently, even in our human failings and frailty. Strangely, mysteriously, He finds incredible beauty in humanity.
As we close a year unparalleled in our story thus far, God brought another verse that rings again the echoes of where this year began. It is the bookends holding us up, holding us together, giving us vision.
In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul.
If you find it, you will have a bright future,
and your hopes will not be cut short. Proverbs 24:14
God is growing us in wisdom. Because first things of healing are prioritized, our future can be bright. Our hope is not cut short.
Praise God for healing and growth in 2011. Praise God for redeeming us and making us new. Praise God for His wisdom and provision in incredible abundance. Praise God that He knows the better path for us to walk, and sustains us by walking it with us.