Last night I had a long phone call with my sister. It was real, deep and one of those calls you have with a dear friend. I sipped on my tea and didn’t even realize when over an hour had passed. Perhaps that’s normal for some sisters but this is just a reflection of how far I’ve come in my journey.
My sister and I have always loved one another but were worlds apart in our behaviors. I lived a fast lifestyle and she didn’t to put it simply. I always wanted a closer relationship but had no idea how to do the work if you get me?
I had the opportunity during our convo to communicate on something which wasn’t easy for me. I have realized this week that it’s uncomfortable for me to know that people had been praying for me and talking about my addiction before I sought help.
I know how bloody illogical this is, I appreciate the love and caring that was the motivation for these conversations and prayers. I speak openly about how God and his peeps were working on my program before I was ….but still there’s this feeling of shame. That deep dark sinking feeling that something bad is about to happen. It’s a lesser version of the shame that I felt during the days of my drinking career but it’s still there.
Through speaking with my sister I realized I had work to do. She was awesome about it by the way.
I will now be looking at this character defect, one that is an issue of privacy but skewed. A normal person would want privacy but be open to help from others. I was not. I honestly thought it disloyal if anyone who was close to me shared my business. There are still remnants of these feelings within me obviously.
I refuse to live my life with shame for my past actions and as my sister pointed out to me, God has forgiven me but perhaps I have not. hmmmm that’s bloody deep and worthy of consideration and investigation.
Guess what? I couldn’t find any scripture which quotes “self forgiveness”, there is lots dealing with forgiveness in a relationship sense between 2 parties but none on the singular level. Interesting…
Maybe self forgiveness isn’t what I’m really having an issue with?
So I am beginning in Romans 3:21-26 NIV
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Well there it is. What this says to me is basically that through Jesus I have been granted righteousness! His purity is mine, his perfection. When I give up my need for self perfection and truly give my life to Him my need for self-reliance shall disappear. I cannot achieve righteousness any other way. Jesus already paid the price for me, now I live for Him alone.
My freedom from guilt and shame is not now nor ever will be dependent upon my forgiving myself. My freedom is dependent upon my knowledge of and belief in God’s deep, deep forgiveness of all my sins.
So now how do I get there? To this place of understanding?
By surrendering to God’s grace, which to me means prayer, confession, awareness and listening to God….all things I’ve learned in AA and have been applying to my life.
By taking action when awareness strikes I will continue on this journey with God trusting in Him alone to guide me in His purpose for my life.
I am speaking tonight my friends so wish me luck!!
I would wish you good luck if I thought you needed it, but if you speak like you write you will be fabulous. You are a gifted writer. I loved the "fugcliner" blog. Self-forgiveness is a tough thing to do, Alcoholics are really tough on themselves, but I love your solution. The total surrender is something I have to do daily, and sometime a dozen or more times a day. I have also had those same feelings that you had when others wanted to help you. My husband wanted to help me for years, and when I told my 16 yr. old that I was going to tell my parents that I was an alcoholic and going to AA and he looked at me and said, "like you think they don't already know?" I was stunned! You mean I hadn't fooled everyone? All my slurring and acting like an ass made people think I was an alcoholic? No way! I think I was the last to know that I needed help. Denial is such a powerful tool. I didn't want help from anyone because in truth I didn't think I had a problem. You make such an excellent point, total surrender. I'll be over tomorrow to wish you a Happy 1 year anniversary!