Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
TITLE: Sherry & Me
By Zuanne Joubert
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“Seldom or never does marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain” Cambell wrote in 1971
The battle began, as I invited Jesus into my life as my Lord and savior. In my diary I wrote: “If it wasn’t for a Higher, Heavenly love, your lifeless love would have plunged me in the depths of despair”
For years after I come to know the Lord, I continued to drink but very seldom had more than 3 glasses of anything. Even when I realized he wasn’t like me, he could not stop, I self righteously entitled myself to this habitual indulgence. I felt cheated and resented him and all that has happened, my life had been dedicated to work and no play. Why should I give it up? Alcohol is his problem not mine!
Alcohol took immediate effect on my body, provided quick relief and worked every time. Altering my perceptions and emotions, it made me more careless, blocking emotional pain and discomfort, while I often allowed my mind to gallop on dangerous fields that were not without potholes. It was going to get me no where. It intoxicated my senses and pleasantly let me drift away into oblivion or turn me into an animal, blood thirsty and never-ending. Resentment has ruined more homes than drink and killed more people than war, I heard this somewhere, but I didn’t realize - no amount of resentment could ever change our history.
A drink filled the spaces between our silences, often it was a way to make amends from not talking the night before. During the first drink, we’d almost be friends, after all we shared a common pal - Liquid Alcohol. Asking me if I’d like something to drink was many times the only conversation we had, the only decent words uttered every day. The second drink always emptied in an argument as we gained courage and confronted the issues harbored in deep dark waters. By the third drink, we weren’t talking – again. For years the pattern never failed. We would temporarily stop the destruction to mind and body – hoping there are rewards in abstinence and that improved communication can in turn improve our failing relationship. Needless to say, abstinence never ‘fixed’ the relationship, if any, it brought more troubles. Today I must admit that his problem was as much mine as his.
These days I’m singing a new song, and it is great. I’d like to say that when we are fighting bad spirits and bad genes- and bad habits, we have no hope of making any relationship work, unless it is safely centered in Christ Jesus. We have to be willing to grow into self-loving people and it begins with our minds. We must learn to control our thinking. Happiness must be earned by absolute emotional control.
It took time alone to nurture myself. Being alone can be a time for finding meaning in one’s life. A woman shared this: “When in solitude, you can discover what you love most, what makes you feel alive, relaxed and complete” (Reclaiming Intimacy in your marriage – Bethany House Publishers 1996) Every spare moment, reading the Bible became important to me. It was a habit I had to cultivate, it did not come naturally. I found creative writing and poetry, and inspirational books written by anyone a blessing and spend many hours quieting my mind with these activities when I couldn’t sleep. Venting my grievances in a journal, I captured my deepest thoughts and fears. After a little personal reflection I’d always count my blessings and shared my hopes and dreams with God. In the stern silence of the night, I often felt the soft presence of His Beautiful Force, and although He did not always talk back to me, I was comforted by the mere fact that He showed up to be with me for a while.
Maybe my love will quit drinking forever, tomorrow, maybe he won’t. I’d like to keep a considerable distance between Sherry & me, for my sake and his. In the gentleness of God who loves me, I found pure joy, finally I’m able to hear the sweetest laughter of a million Angels, and now I can dance like nobody’s watching! It is a Great force. But this power does not lie in magic. It lies in the strength of faith.
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