Sovereignty was a word that before coming to Through the Gate, I had never heard before, at least in relation to God. I started hearing this word in correlation to God and I could understand it logically but not applicably in my Christian walk. I couldn’t internalize it at all. I could say that I understood God has been sovereign over all the events of my past and that no matter what good or bad has come, He has been over all of it. Nothing happens outside of God. When reflecting on this word I couldn’t think of a single specific time in my life where I had witnessed God’s sovereignty. I could accept it and understand it but it didn’t feel applicable in my life at all, until I started to follow the Lord’s commands concerning study and meditation of the Word. I am to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. If I am obeying God by meditating on His Word, then He will give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The Lord is changing my heart and my mind into the likeness of Himself. I can clearly see God’s sovereignty in my life today and it is by nothing I do, except to obey. Where I used to expect big grandiose events to remind me of God and His hand in my life, I now see all the little things as significant. God is sovereign over my every moment of life, over the big attention getting events as well as the small, seemingly insignificant events. God can allow big “wow” moments, but He can also give you new eyes and a new heart to see the “wow” in all moments. I thank our Heavenly Father for His sovereignty and for loving even an ungrateful wretch as me.
In His Love,
Hello again dear friends! Welcome back to my blog and thanks for hanging in there with me!
As I write this I’ve been here at TTG for almost three months now and let me tell you about the ways God has been blessing me! I’m very excited to share this with you, faithful reader and wretched sinner, but do not despair we have a lot more in common than you think! God is working in your life too in ways that you might not even understand.
I’ve been blessed in many ways and I’ll share those with you because good news travels fast but don’t be alarmed when I also share with you some other ways God is blessing me with trials and tribulations, struggles and pain. It is all a part of God’s plan and necessary to mold me into the person I was meant to be!
As we approach this Christmas season I’ve been blessed with seeing not one but all four of my children! Those who know me, know that it has been a very long time since I’ve been reunited with my babies. My oldest will be turning eighteen in the middle of this upcoming year and aside from a few far off glimpses at his Varsity football games, we haven’t spoken to one another in over two years. This sad fact is a direct result of my sin and the consequences of it. In my drug addiction and constant turmoil of depression anxiety and insolence I was unable to visit my child. I was either too high to function or too embarrassed to contact him. When I would get sober for a while all those old melancholy feelings and depression about missing out on my children’s lives would settle back into their usual places, in my wicked heart and my creeping conscious. The vicious cycle of depression and defeat would overcome me once again and back out onto the streets I would go, searching and finding drugs to numb the pain of the lives I had left behind. This cycle of getting clean for a few days or weeks followed by depression and then finally defeat as I used again would result in the breaking down of my soul. It had been almost eight months since I had seen my two youngest daughters and to protect them their father had eliminated all contact from me to them which only further broke my heart. My oldest daughter and I have had one brief visit in the last year in which I was high when I went to see her. For her safety her grandmother stopped answering phone calls and denied me visits with her which was something new for me. They had always been so good to me about seeing her whenever I could. Now I had blown that too.
Well over this past weekend I finally saw my gorgeous son at his Varsity wrestling match. Gone away was the feeling of shame of what other people might think of me as a mother and I cheered and screamed for him louder than any other parent there. I didn’t even care or notice. I recall not too long ago at his homecoming football game that I shrunk down in my seat on the bleachers ashamed and embarrassed to have people know that the local drug addicted loser was this beautiful child’s mother. I am blessed to say God has not only provided me with another chance to mother my children but even granted me a picture with my son who is now taller than I and his father both! The tears were pouring with joy as I saw a younger male version of myself and I beamed with pride as he accepted me welcoming in a hugging and tender embrace. Oh how I have missed him! To top it off his father didn’t even run down the bleachers to stop our communication which is a new experience all together for me. Thank you My God for this gift of love! I shared the picture of us on facebook and I’ve received the most likes ever for any picture I’ve ever posted. The out poor of congratulations and support have been very much appreciated. I’ve hid behind the mask of shame for far too long.
Two weeks ago I was blessed with seeing my two youngest daughters in the town Christmas parade for their girl scout troop. They passed by too quickly for a photo then, so I squeezed them each tightly and sent them on their way with my love. I must admit I was more than a little sad to not have been able to get a picture with them as we were walking away afterwards and I had no more than spoken my prayer aloud to please just have the chance to get a picture when lo and behold, there were my babies! Standing close together, protecting and loving one another and watching the final floats of the parade pass by. I ran up to them thanking God for this opportunity and managed a quick picture before their attention was directed away by the nearest float. I wasn’t upset but overjoyed at the blessing of getting a picture of me sober with my precious gifts from God. Thank you God for these gifts!
And finally, just last week I was blessed with a two hour visit with my oldest daughter, the one who no doubt remembered our last visit together and how I could barely keep my eyes open. Would she accept me so willingly? Her father and I have been in and out of prison and jail her whole life. She has been put through a lot in her delicate twelve years on this earth. The answer is yes! We danced and laughed and took pictures. I played with her hair and we talked about clothes her siblings and of course Jesus Christ. She even allowed me to put her on my lap and rock her like a little baby singing the little nursery rhyme that I first wrote for her brother almost eighteen years ago and that I would sing to each subsequent child in their infancy. I cried the entire time and she didn’t shrug away or tell me to stop. She looked at me with love and understanding. Thank you God for this miracle of a new heart!
So you see, my friend, with pain and suffering comes the greatest rewards of our life. Don’t give up before the miracle happens. I pray for each one of you to be blessed with your hearts desires as you come to know the Father. God bless you all and Merry Christmas!
Looking back I can now see that I have spent my 34 years on this Earth searching for something to fill the void I have inside myself. I sought to find my whole-ness in drugs, men, my child, material possessions, shopping, money, working and anything else you can imagine. For as far back as I can remember I have felt this emptiness inside that nothing can fill. I’ve been addicted to prescription medication for the past 13 years and have been in and out of jail, inpatient and outpatient recovery programs. I have participated in a 2 year Drug Court program and have graduated all of these programs successfully every single time. However, none of it stuck around for long after completion, and I went right back to the lifestyle I have lived my entire adult life. I started losing all hope, believing I could never conquer this addiction, or change my life into the image I have always wanted it to be.
I was ordered to go somewhere by the courts, but I got to decide where that somewhere was going to be. Initially I rebelled against the idea of coming to Through the Gate. It would mean giving up my safe little pocket of freedom and security that I had etched out in the recovery program I was familiar with. But amongst all the fear and doubt I had and decisions that had to be made, there was this inner director telling me what I did not want to hear. That this program was faith-based, that I have never tried anything like it before and that it was what I needed. Boy, how I did NOT want it though I, and everyone around me, knew it was right where I needed to be. I remember telling myself, “Lindsay, if you want different, you must DO different.”
I arrived in September, full of that same fear and doubt. Full of the same attitude of hopelessness and indifference. Full of the mindset to just do my time and get it done. But something started to change all that about 3 weeks into the program and it had nothing to do with me at all. Left to my own devices and thoughts, I have, at best, just coasted through life. Left to the power of the Holy Spirit working inside me, and the grace and love of my merciful Heavenly Father I am beginning to LIVE!
With the help of the class schedule here at TTG, from addiction classes to theology classes to Kingdom living classes, and the love of all of those who teach, guide, volunteer, and minister here every single day, I am finally seeing for the first time in my life that the void I have been trying all my life to fill can only be filled with my loving Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, who loved me beyond my circumstances.
In His Love,