Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Witnessing Transformation & Redemption

"Oh what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven. Whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived incomplete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body was wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord' and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone." Psalm 32:16This picture of us was taken of us in February of 2006, at a Third Day Concert. Why such an old picture, well this one has a lot of meaning to me. See this picture reminds me that you can bring people to church, christian concerts, bible studies, and every other kind of event, but only God can transform them and call them to Him. That was me. In this picture I was completely unaware that my husband Brett, was addicted to vicodin, smoking cigarettes, binging and purging food and adult Internet sites. He went to church with me, and would go on church activities, but he couldn't see what I saw the unending love, grace, and forgiveness of my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, no matter how much I wanted him too.

So fast forward to August 21, 2006 I'm home sick and I get a call from a friend and she tells me she's convinced that Brett had stolen her pain medication. She told me exactly why, and part of me screamed no this can't be, but deep in my heart I knew she was right. See it wasn't that he didn't have a history with drugs, I knew that, but I also knew over the last few months that things were definitely wrong. Our family was living in the same house, but Brett was always isolated from us. He was moody, and quick to anger, always up late at night, but I couldn't figure it out. Money was disappearing but not lots at one time. What could it be. Brett was always seem to be in some kind of pain, and a few days before that he'd gotten a prescription of 100 vicodin from the doctor, when my friend called I checked the bottle in the cabinet and there were only about 10 left. I fell to my knees and said God save my husband, save my family, only you can turn this around. God answered my prayers.

That night with Pastor Chris from our church we sat at the table and I listened to Brett tell us that there was no hope for him, that he was worthless, my heart broke. You see I know that even through all this that Brett loved Brinn and I, but he hated himself, and the deeper he got the more shame and hate he felt for himself. Brett's addictions came out in a way that there was no avoiding our employers and fellow employees not to know. It was like God said I'm going to show it all so you can't hide anymore. Ever merciful though God has given us a boss that gave Brett great support and encouraged him to get help and his job would be waiting for him. Brett entered treatment for his chemical addiction, a program that in total lasted 15 months.

Our friends, and family supported us too, and Brinn spent the first 3 weekends with friends and family as we needed time to get through some pretty emotional stuff. For me the drugs, and food was not as hard to get through as the Internet stuff. That truth came out the first Saturday, and it was like a hot sword pierced my heart and sole. My battle with that I will share another time, but with much prayer and a some good friends (I love you Wendy & Kendle) our marriage has been strengthened and my relationship with Jesus is even deeper as he showed me pain buried deep inside of me that I had never really looked at before.

So by the 12 step recovery world Brett sobriety birthday would be August 22nd. But today, is the day we Celebrate because today September 2 is Brett's 2 year re-birthday. It was two years ago today that while at a recovery church event called The Bridge at Abundant Life Church where God used a pastor name Darryl Pearson, to show Brett that he loves him with all the his filth and shame, it was that night where I actually watched the light of Jesus and the Holy Spirit fill Brett up. It had been such a draining 2 weeks, withdrawal pain, emotional pain, embarrassment, you name it we went through it. Right there that night Brett was saved and the transformation began. It's been one of the most amazing things that God has ever blessed me to watch. We came out of there that night singing and praising God truly together for the first time.

I use to pray that Brett might find some interest in the Bible, Darryl talked about the Life Recovery Bible that night, and the next day after I picked up Brett from his program he said I want that Bible. I called the book store they had it, and I drove and picked it up for him. He started reading, and he's never stopped. Then it was sermons, instead of surfing the net for the nasties (as we refer to it) he started searching for pastors that he'd heard on the radio, he started a purity group and studied Every Mans Battle. He loved to talk about the scriptures, and wanted to share so much. His heart was not only on his forgiveness, but he wanted to learn how to be a husband and God had designed it, and what it meant to be the spiritual leader of the family. Memorizing scriptures for when he'd feel temptations, and praying openly in church. He now sits with a concordance studies a book of the bible, and has two teaching sermons that he listens too. He works most of the day either with his Ipod playing a sermon or the bible on cd. With a few soundtrack scores mixed in. He's always in the word.

So tonight we reflected on the last 2 years, and Brett led the two of us in Communion. It was amazing, and another first in our marriage. We both feel so extremely blessed by the work the Lord has done in our family. Brett's adoption of Brinn this year was a special blessing from the Lord sealing us into one family. Just as he seals us into his kingdom when we accept his mercy, love and salvation that He gave us when He died on the cross.

We have so much to learn, and thankfully God is soooooo patient. Because believe me we still are dealing with these fleshly sinful bodies, but we are transformed in to the likeness of Jesus, and everyday we want to be more like him and less like we use to be.

So this is Brett now, well this past Saturday, he's becoming the husband and father God told me he'd be. I just had to get out of the way, and wait on God's timing. "Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing loves surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hears are pure." Psalm 32:10-11

If you read this and your hurting from addictions and betrayal from someone you love I will share my story with you. God brings us through trials so that He can strengthen us, and help strengthen others. My husband shares his story openly, he believes that it's important no to hide behind his faith, but to share what his God can do when you turn your life over to him. Be blessed and know that there is hope his name is JESUS!



Paula said...

Testimonies are so important! You just don't know who might be listening and who can be changed. God doesn't make mistakes, only we do! He forgives us of our mistakes and then uses us for His glory. We must share where we've gone wrong and how our wonderful God lifted us from where we once were. A pastor at my church said earlier this year that "we are today exactly where we should be." We think that we're not, we think that our past shouldn't have happened, but that isn't the case. Brett, and yourself, will be able to touch many lives with your testimony. Love In Him, Paula :-)

Regina said...

I really should be commenting on the Yes to God Tuesday post. But I read this and well . . . that's about as real as you can get.

I'm not sure exactly how you meant that you would share your story, but I would love for you to share your story with me. You can get my email from my profile page.

I am looking forward to this study. I need it so much.

Anonymous said...

My name is Marcy Barnes and i would like to show you my personal experience with Vicodin.

I am 23 years old. Have been on Vicodin for 3 months now. Is very relaxing, is the perfect medice for pain and eit calms you and mellows you down the best

I have experienced some of these side effects -
constipation, dependecy, nausea and stomach pain at morning.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Marcy Barnes