My Story: Overcoming the Drunken Monster Within

I’ve spent some time in the dungeon of self-hatred. The term was only a few short years but let me tell you, it was hell down there. A prison-of-sorts where my worth was beaten repeatedly. My image so bruised that it even hurt to look in the mirror. It was sorrowful time, a contemplative pit of disgust and shame. A time when the choices I’d made with my own free will caused me to trip and fall, the long way down.

prison

Some of you know bits of my story. The pre-Me was a girl who’d enjoy any excuse for good time. Drinking was my desired gateway to fun. Oh, it was all in good spirit, I told myself. Most of the time (but not always) I was able to juggle the drink and the façade of self-control pretty darn good. Just a carefree girl with a forecast for fun, I told myself.

But the untold truth was like bubbling magma. What many did not know is that the beer swallowed cold was feeding a monster. A monster of generational alcoholism, a monster with haughty eyes and a lying tongue.

Oh, in those early years the monster’s voice was so affirming. It’d tell me such grand things about myself. It’d tell me how beautiful I was and how deserving I was of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I wanted. I only needed to relentlessly pursue and I could have it all – the whole world, yes! As the consummation ensued, the voice would coil itself around my spirit and make me feel like a twelve story building.

Come morning, I hated that damn monster. And myself.

True enough, as the years carried on I began to chase after another baby Love. It was the heart of God. As I sought, I learned. Until oh-so-softly another voice began to emerge. This Gentle one, it wasn’t pushy. Heck, though, it spoke truth to me that sometimes stung.

“You are my ambassador,” the Gentle voice would say. “This (drink) is not good for you. When will you let it go?” The question always circled like a white dove returning home, into the palm of my hand. It was always up to me as to what I’d do with it.

Even still, despite the Gentle voice and despite my personal academy of seeking, from time to time I’d feed that monster. Without fail it pushed and bullied its way into chambers of my heart, attempting to conquer its foe, the Spirit of God.

I discovered that the monster had an uncontrollable appetite to devour the other Living occupant of my heart. And so it began, this epic battle for dominance. Back and forth like a sword-drawn Tarzan swinging from a vine. Back and forth, with each pass the Spirit hacked away at the choking weed – monster. Back and forth, with each pass the monster attempting to spew poisonous lies.

“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. “ – Galatians 5: 17

It takes time; the sanctification, the cleansing, the killing of monsters. The death of it all was a process. The finality, grotesque. The most severe pain I’ve ever felt in my whole life. The grief – a dark tomb. For me, this self-death of drinking was my plummet into the dungeon of self-hatred.

Thanks be to God who rescued me from the pit with His right hand. Though that place was dark, the Voice was with me saying things like,

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” -1Peter 2:9

You see, when the monster died, my body felt like ash. But let me tell you, in that good-long-hard-season the Lord God made me whole again, this time, into a new creation. Yes, He did that. I can’t believe it’s been nearly eight years since He destroyed that monster within but He did, and I’ve never known such freedom. Praise be!

And do you know what? He can do that for you too. You’re never beyond His reach. Never. I believe that some of you have been living under the monster’s thumb for far too long. You’re tired. You’re lying in the pit of self-hatred, perhaps.

Dear brother or sister, listen, God’s unfailing love for you is so vast that there is nothing you can do (or nothing you’ve done) that can remove this Love. All you need to “do” is turn your head, look to Him, repent, and let Him lead you into a new (better) life. No regrets.

Amen.
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Intoxicated- Discovering Your Core Lies

I woke up around midnight on Saturday sicker than a dog. Vertigo. The room had turned itself upside down by the wild spinning in my head. Thus, for a good hour or so produced some nauseating porcelain prayers.

My first bout with the dreaded vertigo came 6 years ago. Again in the middle of the night. That time however; I ended up in the ER with hurried nurses scrambling to diagnose my condition. After a CAT scan, MRI, and full battery of tests they concluded nothing. I was released in perfect form the following day. Still, the jolting affect of that violent episode left me wondering why that happened to me? After I thoroughly analyzed the events from the previous day I was able to self-diagnose the root cause of my sickness.

I had been poisoned.

The said event was stupid, really. I was simply mowing our lawn when it suddenly quit working. Out of gas. So, I filled up the tank and pulled, pulled, pulled on that rip cord thing. Nothing. Hmm. Next, I checked the oil level {well, first I called my husband and thats what he told me to do. Since I’m a fair person I must give credit where due}. Yep, that was the problem! I glugged a quart of oil into the spout, spilling a little {okay, a lot}. Pulled, pulled, pulled and walla I was back in the mowing business.

Except, now, due to the excess oil spillage I had a crazy amount of burn off. You know, black rolling plumes of smoke. I’m not talking a little bit here folks. I’m talking Hiroshima. But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do and I had to finish mowing the lawn. So thats what I did. Inhaled, ingested, consumed, and digested all those toxic fumes so I could get the job done. In the process I poisoned myself. Later that night, still trapped within the cells of my body, they fought their way to expulsion. Bam, vertigo!

A few weeks ago I began diving into a study written by Sarah Mae aimed at discovering and dealing with lies. Core lies. Those other toxins imbedded into the fiber of our being. Lies that we believe are true about ourself. Lies we don’t even know that we believe.

“Below the flesh, creeping behind bone, in secret places of the spirit,               lie wounds.” – Sarah Mae 
We all have wounds. Taking an in depth look at my own has brought about this radical realization that the way I respond to situations, the manner of how I speak, and how I behave has often times been an overflow of the lies hidden within.  
What’s the big deal anyways? They don’t really have that big of an effect. I’ll just push {mow} through it.
The truth. It’s about living a cleaner, more authentic life. Cleared of debri from the past. Cleaning up the toxic waste and throwing out messy lies. 
Why? To fulfill the ultimate commandment. 
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”             – Matthew 22: 37-39
When we confront those lies and see them as the poison they really are we can be empowered to choose to see and believe the truth. This will make us free. Freedom from lies will give us a greater capacity to love God and love others more fully.

Sometimes it takes a dark night to fully realize that we are indeed sick. Just like my trip to the ER caused me to look back at past events, so can discovering the root of our lies help to diagnose a sin sick condition or ways the enemy has been slithering in and around our wounds whispering tales of deception. 
The Core Lies guide is a free, download that you can obtain here. 
Press on. The truth will set you free.