Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Golden Calf

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, traveling way back when I first started it, you know that I went through a lengthy description of seeing Jesus in the midst of financial and marital struggles.  I wrote the entries AFTER I had survived the season, so it was drenched in understanding and completion.  I feel like I am being led to share my current struggle, and to swallow some pride as I do so. O.k. ... maybe a LOT of pride.

I am praying for two different friends right now who are struggling through addiction.  While I love both of these girls dearly, one of them has been a lifelong friend and I have seen her fight and struggle her entire adult life with this thorn.  I realized a few weeks ago, that I myself was in bondage and while I am shelling out advice such as "be strong", "you can do this", "pray that God will change your thought process", and so on...I was not taking my own advice and was really being a hypocrite if you get right down to the nitty gritty.

Slavery comes disguised in many different packages and I assure you satan has carefully wrapped each and every one of them and finished them off with a bow in our favorite colors.  Some of the obvious ones that are more frowned upon by society is alcoholism and drug addiction, pornography, homosexuality, thievery, are just to name a few.  But are these any worse than someone who cannot give up smoking?  What about the man who turns to food as his comfort or the woman who shops to cover a deep seeded depression.  What about the mom who was put on medication for postpartum depression and has never gotten off for fear of the way she really feels?

I am that mom.  Let's back it up a bit and let yet another skeleton slide from the bottom of my closet.  During my early 20's I found myself in a full blown struggle with an eating disorder...one that I was nearly hospitalized for...one that even today tries to rear it's ugly head but thanks to the grace of God I am no longer a captive of the disease.  That is another blog entry, or complete blog, all in itself.  I share this because I have long struggled with who I am, what others think of me, low self-worth and almost self hatred at times.  Stress doesn't fair well on top of these other issues.  Fast forward to the birth of my second "baby" almost 10 years ago.  I suffered pretty severe postpartum depression, and was put on the lowest possible dosage of Lexapro.  Because the medicine made me feel better than I had felt in YEARS, I continued to take it until we decided to have another baby 3 years later.  During that pregnancy my oldest sister passed away and all of the marriage and financial stress I referred to in the Mostly Fingerprints series was actively battering my life.  So, after the birth my doctor once again put me on the drug...and I have taken it ever since.  Well, up until a couple of months ago.

A couple of months ago.  My pastor and leader of our home group shared with us that we would be reading and discussing the book Radical Together.  The book suggests "putting everything out on the table" and determining what can be done away with in order to better serve him and live out his commands for us.  Whether that was the way we were spending our time, our money, our thoughts...where could we make changes?  Every month I relinquished $160 for the bottle of my golden calf.  Let's be honest...it might of well had been.  At the time, I was being radical in order to free up the money to be better spent and was honestly thinking naively that I would just lean on Jesus and it would all be o.k.  Honestly, I guess I didn't give it a ton of thought.  But then, a few days later...it hit me.  I had turned to that bottle of pills everyday for YEARS and depended upon it's contents in order to keep myself sane and avoid feeling all of the things I hated to feel.  I had made that tiny little, low dose morsel of pharmaceutical a god in my life.  OUCH!  It was no different than either of my friends turning to their addictions to escape their feelings.  I was no different, my vice was simply better accepted by society and one that was easily hidden.

So I am in the throws of the battle.  Satan is determined to scream his lies at me...I'll never feel good unless I take the medicine again, this withdrawal will never end, this isn't fair to my kids to see their mom just surviving, blah blah blah.  I am not going to sugar coat this...it stinks!  I have wanted to refill that prescription SO many days, but PRAISE GOD I have a husband who supports me and I have been blessed way beyond I deserve with him.  I also have a God who is bigger than my need for a fix, a God who loves me fiercely and wants my freedom in Him and is waiting patiently to release me into that freedom.  But first, I must suffer so that I know exactly what He is freeing me from because only then will I be truly grateful.  And maybe someday I will be worthy of helping another to walk through letting go of their addiction, whatever that may look like...because I, too, have traveled This Road.

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