The Next Step

Somehow, I thought I would get to a point where doing a full inventory would be easy. I’m in my fourth step study now, and I am beginning to realize how much my previous studies have just scratched the surface of my pain. I know, because I’ve done this a few times now, that I needed to deal with the more surface-level stuff in order to build capacity to process through the deeper things. A lot has been gained from working through those hurts. In finding freedom from those, I have realized that freedom is possible, that Father is more than willing to meet me here in my pain and heal it, and I have found Him to be utterly trustworthy. There is not a pain He has taken me through the process of healing that He has not given abundant freedom and wholeness through the journey. And yet, here I stand at the brink of digging a little deeper into my pain and realizing I am still balking at taking the next step. I know from past experience that I won’t go through it alone. I know that there is abundant healing on the other side. I know that once I take a look at it, it will cease to hold the same fear it holds right now. And yet…I still hesitate.

My life looks very different now than those first days of recovery back in 2018. At that time, I could barely make myself get off my couch to wash a load of clothes or cook dinner. The weight of my pain was so burdensome, I could barely function. But I was desperate, so I took those first few steps. I opened up the heart I had shut long ago to avoid the pain and started letting it out, little by little. What I found was freedom. I was afraid I would drown in pain, but I actually experienced a lightening of the load. I have felt that buoyancy two other times since then. When I started my previous step study, I stood at the brink of inventory with the same fear, that I would drown. I didn’t. Three times now I have done this. So, why am I struggling again to embrace the process, knowing what the end result will be? Part of it IS the change in my life. When I worked my first two step studies, that was all I had to do. I had no other work but me. I have often said I do not know how people go through recovery and work a full-time job at the same time. The emotional work is exhausting. I guess that sounds discouraging, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it to. I’m just committed to being honest. Recovery takes WORK! It is hard! But it is so worth it because the benefits are innumerable. During my last step study I was a leader in CR and in the step study, so there was a little more responsibility. I made it through then, so there is no reason to think I won’t this time, even though my responsibilities have magnified. I am realizing there is still a huge part of me that feels unequal to what I feel called to do. There are still some core beliefs down deep that believe that I am worthless and that I can’t possibly think that God has called ME to do any of this. The fear of failure still has a foothold, even though I’ve won some skirmishes against it.

I am also finding little pockets of pride this time of which I was unaware. As my codependency has become my main focus of recovery the past few months, I have realized how deeply entrenched these traits, these “character defects”, are. The more out of control I feel over what’s going on around me, the more I am noticing the tendency to try to control others. I guess the fact that I can see it now should be seen as a positive, and I should celebrate the awareness. No more denial! However, the more I notice it popping up, the more frustrated I get with myself. It’s like I feel I should be past this by now, as if there is a part of me that feels I should have arrived at some recovery checkpoint where I don’t need to keep working this thing. And shame follows, because here I am facing my perfectionism, and my awareness of the fact that I am struggling with this codependency like I’m a newbie. But Jesus doesn’t condemn me (Romans 8:1). He just keeps inviting me to acknowledge that I am powerless over this, that it is unmanageable, and to trust that He loves me and cares enough to help me recover. Again, I find myself at steps 1 and 2, and I remember, this will be a lifelong process. I did not get to this state overnight. It has taken a lifetime of hurts to get here, and I have a choice to continue on the path that wasn’t working for me, that was hurting me and those I love, or I can choose again to embrace the process, work the steps, and allow Jesus to be who He is in my life: my Healer, my Redeemer, my Restorer, my Safe Refuge.

Just take the next step…

Growing Pains

When children are little, the days seem consumed by cooking, cleaning, playing, snuggling, managing, redirecting attention, and discipline. They are exhausting, and the parent wonders if they will ever end. But, the joy of watching that little person grow and mature, try new things, embrace new hobbies and passions, even test the waters and limits of what they are allowed to do…though it was hard to see in the midst of it, those were great times. I missed some of it because of deep depression. I contributed to some of the angst and pain because I was too harsh in his early years. But Father was so very faithful. He showed me the mistakes I was making and gave me the courage and the determination to do whatever it took to change, even face the pain of my own past. We’ve weathered some pretty hard storms, my boy and me. And we have come out the other side with a relationship that is priceless, and that I would not trade all the money in the world for.

When my son was 16, Father laid on my heart that I needed to start letting him go, needed to start letting him make some of his own important decisions, so he could learn to do so while still under our care and support. As hard as it was as a control-freak who was not yet in recovery, I began to slowly loosen my hold and let him go. To be a Hannah and let her Samuel go (there’s a story behind that reference that is for another time). He made some mistakes, but for the most part, he was incredibly mature. It is hard to not be mature having gone through all he had at such a young age. He has made so many wise decisions. And I have rejoiced as he learned the very hard lessons of being consistent to take his anti-seizure medication without reminders, especially as the day came this year for him to finally be able to drive, three years after his peers. We were overjoyed in his success.

Then came the inevitable. The term “empty nest” is such a trite thing to me. I mean, birds have such a short time, and they push their children out of the nest. I know that what is best for him is to encourage him to take those hard steps, to risk pursuing those big dreams, to strike out on his own adventure, and I am trying to do that consistently while also grieving the fact that those choices are taking him further and further away from me. I know that is a good thing. I know it is important, necessary even. But knowing those things to be true does not make my sadness at his absence any easier. I stayed home with him. I homeschooled him. I have spent the majority of every day of his almost 20 years with him. His absence now leaves a big hole. I am thankful that when Father led me to start giving him some independence when he was 16, He also led me to start pursuing my own interests outside of him. I am so glad He did. I don’t know how I would be now if I hadn’t started recovery, if my entire world still revolved solely around my boy. Thankfully, it doesn’t. I have grown, just as he has. I am embracing new challenges and experiences. I have grown and matured and healed in so many ways. I have discovered new hobbies and passions. I am growing. And this is just another part of that. It is GOOD! And it hurts.

So, I am allowing myself to grieve the changes. I am allowing myself to feel sad as my husband and I eat dinner without our son sitting there at the table with us. I am allowing myself to feel the loss as I am in the house alone working on the new things I am learning to do as he heads off to learn new things. And I am also being intentional about being grateful. Grateful for the time I’ve had with him. Grateful for the man he is becoming who is chasing hard after God’s heart. Grateful that he is still walking this earth, even with a disability because he has a medicine that works well. Grateful that he has been able to overcome SO MUCH and is finding healing at such a young age. Grateful that I get to watch this beautiful young man stretch and grow and become everything I’ve always known he could be. Grateful that I got chosen to be his mom, and I always will be. Grateful that we are both growing, even as we grow in different directions.


Transition: (noun)

  1. a) a change or shift from one state, subject, place, etc. to another
  1. b) a period or phase in which such a change or shift is happening

Change is inevitable. Everything changes. Some changes are easier to weather than others. We change when we age but most years just blend one into another. There are only a few that are truly significant and impact our lives in important ways. Change is a constant fact of life. If we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing, and if we aren’t growing, we’re dying.

The process of change is the difficult part. It isn’t a quick progression from point A to point B. That transition period is affected by many factors. How easily I embrace the process. How quickly I am willing to trust that this season of change is for my good. I have been finding my ability to do both of those to be easier the past few years, which speaks tremendously to the work I’ve done in learning how to trust Father in small things so that the big things become less daunting. However, I still have not reached the point where I don’t initially balk at the prospect. He knows me. And I can’t count the number of times He has graciously given me a heads up about change coming so that I would be prepared when I stared it in the face. I wish I could say that I embraced those warnings and bravely launched into the transition. That would be a lie. I still balk when it is before me, just for a (slightly) shorter time than I once did.

When my boy was 16, Father spoke to my heart and told me it was time to begin transitioning from parent/teacher to counselor/advisor. I needed to let him start making some of his own, more serious, decisions and allow him to do so while still safe under our care. As a codependent, that was hard enough, but I did recognize from my own experience how important it was for him to have the freedom to make mistakes while he was still within the shelter of home. With a plan in place of how I would manage this, I proceeded to do exactly that. I stepped back and let him begin to make big decisions. If he asked for my advice (and even sometimes when he didn’t), I would give it, but other than that, I was learning to let him be responsible for himself. That was especially hardest to do when I knew his decision would cause him pain, but I also knew my head-strong boy needed to learn some lessons on his own. This was the hardest when it came to letting him learn the hard way about not taking his anti-seizure meds. It took a few years, and a couple of seizures, for him to learn those lessons but learn them he did. In our state, the law is that an epileptic must be seizure-free for an entire year before they can get their driver’s license. That year was over the end of 2022, and after jumping through some bureaucratic hoops, he finally got his license last week. I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified by this prospect. I am so happy he will finally be able to experience some of the freedom and independence he has longed for (for three years longer than his peers). He has gained a great deal of wisdom, and he has some very wise people speaking into his life, so I am not overly concerned about really bad decisions being made. My main concern will always be the specter of epilepsy. This is the hardest to let go of. Will he remember to take his medicine? What if he has a seizure, and I’m not there? What if he has a seizure while driving? So many things I cannot control. Things I have already been letting him manage for quite some time, but it was easier to do that when I was his sole source of transportation. Even when he was with his friends, they knew and were extra cautious. Now, it is time to cut the strings and let my baby fly. And though I have been preparing for this season for almost four years, now that it is here, I am having a really hard time just letting go. I know what this means. I know the changes that are immediately before my family. He will get a job. Eventually, he will move out. And I know these are all good things and necessary for HIS continued growth (and mine, I know). But I’m struggling with the fact that this will change our family dynamic. He won’t be there at home with me for much longer. With very brief exceptions, he has been with me every day for the last almost 20 years. Soon, all those things I’ve been so used to, that time I was able to spend with him, will fade as he pursues the future Father has for him. And I know this is good, and I am thankful he has such a good relationship with the One who made him. At the same time, I am left trying to figure out what this means for me moving forward.

Which brings me to the next big change. I have spent the past few years preparing for this time. I’ve learned to pursue my own interests and have sought the path Father has laid before me. I’ve had some stops and starts along the way. Fear of failure is a beast to overcome. But He has been patient with me and has lovingly pushed me to take small steps of faith, one at a time. My first sponsor once told me that it is normal to be afraid to embark on something new, but that the more I grow in competence, the more I will grow in confidence. I have found this to be a true statement. I am still overcoming the damaging core beliefs of unworthiness and incapability, and most things I’m faced with trying, those are the leading beliefs, and I have to allow Father to talk me through each one, to speak truth to me in the moment so that I can keep replacing those lies I’ve believed with TRUTH. Unlearning is probably the hardest part of recovery, and I have a lot to relearn. He led me to take a step of faith in accepting a position with more responsibility than I have ever had before. I confess, I am terrified of messing up, of failing at this. I recognize that it is a great opportunity to learn more in preparation for the next big change coming later this year, and I also know I’m not alone. There are others I can rely on and turn to for help. And I am thankful, both for the opportunity to learn and also for the faith others have put in me. It’s just a lot of change all at once.

Maya Angelou once said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” I think of the caterpillar, ensconced in its cocoon, its body dissolving into slime and wonder that somehow, that formless goo comes back together to become something truly beautiful. I guess I feel like I’m in the cocoon again. I wonder if the caterpillar knows what it will become? I am so thankful that the One who designed it to form that chrysalis knew exactly what that larva was destined to become and built into it the insatiable desire to fulfill its destiny. No fear of change for the butterfly. I seek to trust the One who created me for a unique purpose, one that He alone sees, and continue to work on surrendering completely to that vision.

Keep Walking

“You ever feel pressure to be perfect? Like, once you start in your steps you can never fail again? We all have the ability to become robotic in our recoveries and avoid feeling. Nobody likes to be tense, uptight, or stressed. Celebrate Recovery can help people recover from perfectionism or control. We all make mistakes and will continue to make them. We need to have grace for ourselves and others… just like God has grace for us. You are not a robot.” (quote from February 1, 2022, post on Celebrate Recovery Facebook page)

This year, I volunteered to co-lead a Journey Begins step study in my local CR. I was honest with my other co-leaders that I had come to realize that my first step study really dealt with my own self-hatred and the issues I was dealing with when I first entered recovery. As I have dug deeper into my heart and sought to bring ALL my hurts, hang-ups, and habits to Father, I realized that there was a lot of pain I had still been suppressing. Those have been rising to the surface in a desire to find the same freedom and healing that I initially experienced, and I have been hard-pressed to continue to ignore them. In fact, I did try for quite awhile, but there is still a hurting little girl inside me who demands to be seen and taken care of, and I have learned I am not loving myself well if I neglect those hurting parts of myself. I feel like I am clinging with all ten of my toes to a precipice overlooking deep pain, and I have no idea how I am going to react once I step off that ledge. There is a part of me that fears that possible reaction. I am afraid that it will be more than I can handle, and that I will shut down or even have an emotional breakdown. I wanted to be upfront with them, even though a dear mentor and one of the leaders of my very first step study assured me that would not happen. It’s so easy to fear the unknown, even when that is one’s self.

As I have gone further into our first Participant’s Guide answering each question honestly, I have seen my anxiety, my co-dependency, and what I am calling my control-freakiness explode. It took me awhile to realize that a lot of this is due to the fact that I was caught unaware by all the pain that I still have lurking, including, to my dismay, things I thought I had already worked through. My sponsor has encouraged me that I HAD worked through some of those things, but as I access deeper pain I also am bringing to surface the coping mechanisms that I developed in order to be able to survive that pain when I was not ready to deal with it. One of those things, I am finding, is perfectionism. I’ve always known I had perfectionist tendencies. That tends to go along with having a critical parent whose love seemed to be conditional upon my performance. Failures were always noticed and criticized. Achievements were rarely acknowledged. I have lived my life with a debilitating fear of failure. If I was uncertain if I would be able to learn to do something quickly and proficiently, I would not even try. Failure was not an option. It was too great a risk to try something I might not be good at, or even worse, FAIL in doing. And I have come to realize that my fear of failure is rooted in an intense fear of rejection and abandonment. The whys of that are for another time. What is relevant to me right now is that taking a step to lead this step study has been a huge risk. What if I FAIL? I have spent my life perfectly content to be in the background, on the sidelines, out of notice but also out of responsibility. Now, there are women looking to me to lead, to be an example for them to follow and learn from my experience, strength, and hope. Becoming a sponsor was terrifying. This is on a whole other level. What happens if I lose it? What happens if I fall apart? What kind of an example am I then?

The truth is, which I would tell any sponsee if she asked me the same questions, I WILL fail…in some things. I am NOT perfect… and that’s okay. In fact, I am incapable of being perfect. In recovery, relapse is not the end. All I need to do IF I relapse is go back to that first step. Choose again to admit that “I am powerless over my addictions and compulsive behaviors and that my life has become unmanageable”. The great news is that I have travelled this road before. The steps are familiar, and I know the way. I just need to release the control, “consciously choose to commit my life and my will over to Christ’s care and control”, and work the steps again…one at a time. I don’t know what the future of this step study holds for me. I don’t know what my next inventory will dig up. I do know a few things. There are a whole lot more positives on my inventory this time around. I have experienced healing and freedom from the pain of addiction before, and there is HOPE that I will do so again. Father hasn’t changed. He is the same God who took me through the pain of my sexual abuse and equipped me to truly forgive my perpetrator. He is the same God now who can heal the wounds of emotional abuse and neglect and be the constant and unconditionally loving parent that I lacked. And IF I fail, as long as I don’t give up, as long as I start with that first step again and keep taking one step at a time, I am not a FAILURE. The road to recovery is full of starts, stops, rabbit trails, resting, sitting down by the road, going back to the beginning, but still moving in a forward direction. Recovery is “Progress, not perfection”. And no matter which way this goes, I know my experience will still be able to help and encourage others along the road.

Keep walking.

Recovery During a Season of Grief

Recovery is hard. I’m not going to sugar coat it as anything other than hard work and tenacity. There are seasons of rest and joy and celebration when the work pays off, but there’s also a need to be honest with myself about the pain that has driven me to do the things I do and make the choices I make and a willingness to work through the pain I’ve spent decades avoiding because the only real way out is through. But those times I get that victory, and those hurts get healed…it makes every step of the journey worth it.

And then, I suddenly find myself an orphan. And the one person who had been there from my first memory isn’t there anymore. Suddenly, recovery becomes like trying to drag a 50-lb. boulder tied around my waist up a steep mountain on a path I can barely see anymore. It takes concerted effort just to put one foot in front of another. It takes a lot of setting aside time just to sob uncontrollably in a safe environment so I don’t lose it in a public place. It takes relapsing and running back to food to find some comfort when there’s none to be had. And then it’s shame because I feel like I failed, and I’m right back to step one…again and again and again. Recovery is hard. Recovery in the midst of grief is a battle. I lost a few skirmishes along the way. But I kept fighting. I’ve been bloody and bone-weary and felt like giving up. But I kept fighting. I’m still so very sad, and I miss my mom so much sometimes it is a palpable pain. But I keep fighting. I keep taking one step at a time, even if it is just an inch, because I know the fight is worth it. I know there is still hope and healing in honesty. I keep trusting the process. And I put my hand into the hand of the only Parent I have left because I KNOW He cares for me, and He will never leave me. And the journey continues.

Recovery is hard. Grief is hard. But I do not walk through either one alone. I have a team. I have encouragers. I have those who just sit with me and let me cry. I have people who pray. I have a coach who tells me the truth even when I don’t want to hear it and never gets upset when I say I’m not ready to talk about something. I have mentors who have walked the path before me. I have those who reach out when they haven’t heard from me in awhile because they know my tendency to isolate and shut down when I’m hurting. And I have a few friends that stick closer than sisters. I am not alone. Because I know I’m not alone, I know I can keep fighting. I can do the hard, “one day at a time, one moment at a time”.


Firsts. There are happy firsts and difficult firsts. My son’s first smile, the first time my husband told me he loved me, the first time I realized I was no longer depressed; those were all great firsts that brought an immensity of joy. The first time my son had a seizure, the first time I was rejected by someone I loved dearly, the first time I realized I was repeating unhealthy parenting patterns; those are incredibly painful memories. Those firsts, the ones I wish had never occurred, those are embedded. The pain associated with them makes their memory rise to the surface so much easier than the happy ones, as if they are permanently tattooed on my brain so I can NEVER forget, no matter how much I might want to.

Grief is a little different. I remember that first Christmas, just three weeks after Daddy died. It was hard, but there’s a film over it, like I’m looking at the memory through a clouded window. I was still numb. I feel the same way about the dinner we had for Mom’s birthday just one month after she’d gone. I remember it, but it’s hazy. And maybe that’s a blessing of grief. It causes the one experiencing the loss to be numb enough to not feel the full weight of all those firsts. They are hard enough.

This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom. In looking through some pictures to share with a family member, I found a Mother’s Day card from Mom and realized I would never receive another one. I would never again receive a card from her telling me all the things she found it hard to verbalize. So, there are also lasts. But we don’t recognize the importance of those until after they have passed and those firsts bring them to our awareness.

I am thinking anew of what it means to live each moment as if it were my last.

1,095 Days – One Day at a Time

Three years ago, I could not have imagined where I am today. I walked through those double doors on a Friday night, absolutely petrified. I didn’t like crowds. I felt uncomfortable around strangers. And I had no familiar person to hide behind, which was my preferred place to be. It had been a long year to get to that point. A year of Father prompting and nudging that these were the steps (HA!) that I needed to take. Even after I decided I was desperate enough to seek help and shared with my best friends I was finally going to start this journey, it still took three weeks of loving (annoying) prompting from one of them (“Are you going this week?”) before I finally surrendered. And truth be told, I went that first week just to shut her up. (I did not realize yet how much of a people pleaser I am.)

Walking through those doors into that cavernous room filled with a cacophony of voices, I made a beeline for the outskirts, my favorite place to be. All the way to the left, as close to the wall as I could get, buried in the middle row so I wouldn’t be too far forward or visible from behind. A wallflower; invisible. My comfort zone.

Once worship started, I was able to set aside my fear briefly (for the most part). People around me weren’t paying attention to me. They were worshiping! It was glorious! I was able to lose myself in the singing for awhile, but soon the music was over and the lesson began. I don’t even remember what the lesson was that night. All I recall was sitting in that seat completely certain that no woman there in that “Fellowship Hall” was struggling with what I had been battling for three decades. I felt alone, hopeless, and fairly sure this place couldn’t help me.

Anyone’s first night at Celebrate Recovery, they are encouraged to go to a one-time group called CR 101. This is a group that educates newcomers on the small group format, what group options there are, and answers any questions. After large group, I dutifully filed into the room where CR 101 was held and sat down in the very back. I don’t remember processing consciously that it was so I could make a quick getaway, but having come to know myself a bit better, I’m pretty sure that was definitely a consideration. CR 101 has both a male and a female leader, and the group starts with each leader giving a short 2-3 minute testimony of their recovery. The woman that was leading that night began to share her story, and all I could do was sit there in shock, tears coursing down my face, as she told my story. In fact, her story was more horrific than mine, but there she was, boldly proclaiming that she had sought recovery for much of the same that finally drove me through those double doors. And I began, just a little bit, to have hope that maybe, just maybe, this WAS where Father wanted me to be.

The next week I returned, a little more hopeful, a little less afraid. I went to a small group I thought might fit (it didn’t). After small group, I went to Solid Rock, a gathering for meeting new people and developing relationships. I had skipped it my first week because I was so overwhelmed, but this time I was determined to track down that lady leader from the week before. When I found her, I expressed to her how much it meant to me that she had shared her testimony, that I had been convinced I was the only one. She listened to me then shared how she hadn’t even been on the roster to lead CR 101 that night. The woman that had been scheduled to lead had to cancel that afternoon, and she was the one asked to fill in. I don’t think I will ever forget the immense awareness of Father’s love for me in that moment.

I could not have imagined the amount of healing I would experience over the next three years. After decades of being depressed, I had no concept of what it would feel like to NOT be. I didn’t have a clue of the number of tools I would gain to help me learn new strategies for processing my pain, or that one day I would be sponsoring other women and helping them learn those tools. All I knew that night was that, for the first time ever, I had a sense that there was hope, and that I had taken that first step.

And I’ve never looked back.

Who Am I?

It never ceases to amaze me the contemplation that often arises for me from the fanfiction I read. Maybe it is because I am drawn to fiction about the broken characters with whom I relate in entertainment media, whether it be literary, television, or film. After a long stint in Star Wars (Reylo stan, that I am), I have returned to Sherlock and my beloved Sherlolly ship. I have been reading a two-parter by LaMorenaReina on AO3 entitled, “Molly Hooper, The Reigning Queen” (I want to give her the credit she is due), a post-TFP fic where Molly spent time finding herself after she realized that she had completely lost who she was in loving Sherlock. After their friendship is restored, Sherlock expressed how he felt like he had reached a “crisis of identity” where he is struggling to figure out what is truly him, and what is the persona he had put on for self-protection. Molly acknowledged that she understood, and that it was “scary and frustrating”. I have been processing a conversation I had with my sponsor the other day about how IMPERATIVE (she usually emphasizes that word) it is for me to find out what I like and who I am, and it suddenly dawned on me that this is exactly where I am.

I keep thinking back to a conversation I had with a family member who told me that I was starting to “rediscover” that strong, independent, happy child she remembered as a toddler, and I was dumbfounded because she was describing me as a person I do not remember. I still struggle so much to see myself as someone who is not weak, scared, and unwanted. Yet, if the perfect storm of situations in which I have found myself the past few months have proven anything to me, it is definitely that I am NOT weak. I have discovered many things about myself over the past three months; I am stronger, wiser, and more capable than I ever thought I could be. So, what do I do with this influx of new information about myself? How do I let go of this view of me I have had for almost four decades in the face of such contradictory evidence? I have this real fear I do not know myself at all. To what level, in my desire to be known and accepted and loved by others, did I give up my own personhood?

To be continued …

Recovery During Covid-19 – Part One

How do I recover in isolation? The purpose of joining a recovery program is to realize that I’m not alone. That there is a community of others with similar experiences, hurts, and habits who help me have the courage and hope to keep pressing on. How do I do that during a pandemic? 

Celebrate Recovery has been fantastic! We have daily videos from the national team available on YouTube. Our local CR group posts a large group video every week. Now, even small groups have the ability to meet online in a way that still protects anonymity and confidentiality. We are blessed to live in a time where we have such unfettered access through media to things that are helpful. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities and connections that we do have available.

If I am completely honest, however, even the abundance of resources we do have doesn’t feel like enough. In our first small group meeting online, I could not contain the tears that overflowed from just being able to see the faces of these sisters who have come to mean so much to me. And I am struggling with the lack of physical connection. I am a hugger. I thought that was just part of my personality, but I am finding it to be an emotional need. This physical isolation feels like I am wasting away and something vital to my health and state of mind is missing. I took for granted the number of hugs I received on a weekly basis, and now I am aching at their absence.

I am also struggling to find the drive to do anything other than just hide until this all goes away. By hide, I literally mean retreat back into denial and try to pretend that none of this is happening. Is this a great time to grow closer to Father and focus on growing in my knowledge and capacity? Sure, I see that. But I am at a loss as to what steps to take in order to actually do that when I feel completely lost and empty. Two years this month I have been in recovery, and I have not felt the temptation to go back as strong in all that time as I have the last two weeks. I was hoping to be celebrating this month. Instead,I find myself hanging on with everything I have because I don’t want to lose all I have worked so hard for.

Just Be

Find rest, my soul, in God alone. His love never fails. 
When the darkness closes in, His light, alone, prevails.
There is no other refuge When the storm is raging strong.
Only God can calm the wind, Lift my troubled heart in song.
When I am lost and broken, and I cannot find my way, 
He is the One who rescues me and drives the dark away.
When I wander from the fold, get lost and feel alone,
He never fails to seek me out and carry me back home.
I have not known another love so faithful and so true. 
I’ve tried to have my heart be known by everyone but You.
The more I seek to find someone to see some worth in me,
The more I find in You, alone, is everything I need.

Nicole A. Bartell 2-25-2020