All a part of the journey
Relapses, struggles, and backsliding are real. I am having a moment of struggle right now. I have experienced plenty on this journey, more than I care to share. Why is that?
I believe we tend to associate struggle, relapse, and backsliding with the belief that we have failed or are failing God. We feel shame.
Our emotions begin to express some of the same feelings that we had when we were in our problem, in our addiction. We know that being in the addiction is real and fear strikes us. We remember the helplessness that we felt. We may be experiencing some of that same helplessness.
We ask ourselves:
1. Am I going to back to addiction?
2. Where have I gone wrong?
3. Why do I keep doing this?
Our emotions follow our thoughts and grief ensues. We begin to spiral.
We do not want to go back to Egypt (place of bondage), but we are not sure how to live fully in the Promised Land either.
God has already set us free once! Does He have to do it again?
I wish I could tell you that there is a recipe for this, but there is not.
This is all a part of our journey. The answer is simple because it is God. However, it is also complex because we live here on earth. If anyone tries to make it seem simple or easy, well then, they just really don’t know, do they?
Instead of seeing this through the lens of shame, see it as an opportunity to partner with God for victory.
What is God trying to show us anyway?
We may be surrendering to our flesh.
We could be giving into temptation
It could be a device of the world.
The enemy could be bringing charges against us, bringing a fight from the spiritual realm.
It could be all of this. It could be something that we need to stop (in Christ), or nothing.
Regardless, it is real. Sometimes it is very frustrating and can be confusing. If you are like me, you want it all to just be over, you may feel like a fraud and a failure.
Something we need to know is that shame tries to tell us who we are, BUT shame does not define us.
Only our Creator God can define for us who we are!
This is what I do:
I remember my God.
I remember Scripture.
I remember who I am.
Then, I go to God in the quiet place as soon as I can get there and begin to ask the questions. I sit, I am still and know that He is God.
I pour my heart out, I am honest with God. I cry. I sit quietly, not knowing what to say. I linger. Eventually, God brings what is needed.
Going to God and seeking Him is vital. We can use this time that feels so much like loss, like failure and identify the cause with God. Once we do, we partner with God for the solution.
Only God knows for each of us.
One thing I do know, the God who set us free, keeps us free.
Remember Who and Whose You ARE:
I am forgiven- 1 John 1:9
I am not guilty- Romans 8:1
I am chosen- Ephesians 1:4
I am loved- Jeremiah 31:3
I am God’s own child- Ephesians 1:5
I am a royal priest- 1 Peter 2:9
I am a friend of Jesus- John 15:15
I am victorious- Romans 8:37
Let us all know each other in our struggles.
We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. -Revelation 12:11
Come back next time
Part B: Respecting our Conscience
We will discuss the freedom of being who God created us to be, embracing our personal journeys and respecting that someone else’s journey may look different from ours.
P.S. You may be thinking, I would love to relapse. That would mean, I have had some freedom. I am still trying to get free over here. I am still bound, and I feel hopeless.
If this, is you? I hear you. My heart goes out to you. I know where you are. We will be discussing the stories of freedom soon. I am praying for you. Know that Jesus came to set you free. It is for freedom that Christ died. At the right time, He will do it. I have hope for you. I believe in you. Jesus loves you. I love you.