I came to BCF when I was attending Celebrate Recovery in 2005. I fell in love with the people and became a member. I dove in and started serving in the cookie ministry, Celebrate Recovery, painting murals and planting plants. I am a single Mom of three boys and one girl. I just finished earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the age of 55 and am in the process of becoming a Licensed Drug Counselor. I celebrate 14 years of victory over drug addiction.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
James 4:8a (New International Version)
Afraid: Filled with fear or apprehension. Filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation.
(Merriam Webster dictionary)
In 2003 I was facing five years in prison! I was so afraid. There was a woman in jail with me who killed a man by stabbing him over 20 times with a steak knife. She openly admitted it and talked about it, and didn’t seem to feel badly at all. I also feared that my parents would die before I could show them that I was finished with drugs forever. I missed my kids (16 months, 2-1/2, 12 & 16 years old) so much. My arms felt so empty from not holding them. And, I would miss spending Christmas with them.
I turned to God for comfort and strength by reading my Bible daily and memorizing scripture. I could feel God with me. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8, NIV) The more time I spent with God the closer I felt to Him. His presence and strength became very real when I focused on “...whatever is true...” (Philippians 4:8a, NIV) One of the truths that comforted me the most was that my kids were loved and cared for by my parents.
When the time came for my sentencing, I wrote Isaiah 41:10 on a piece of paper and took it with me. “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” It was a reminder that God was with me and He was in charge, not the judge. God would decide how long I would be in prison.
I was sentenced to four years instead of five and served 21 months. My Dad got to see me drug free for over 10 years before he passed away in 2014. My Mom still witnesses my victory over drug addiction to this day. In hind sight I should have been more afraid of turning away from God by using drugs than I was of standing before a judge in court. God got my attention in prison and He gave me my life back, “I have called you [Lisa] back from the ends of the earth [from my addiction] saying, “‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you [to parent 4 kids].” (Isaiah 41:9-10, NLT) Today’s truth is that God is in charge, his strength and comfort is there through all our trials. And, since 2005, I’ve been able to spend every Christmas with my kids.
1. When you are fearful, who do you turn to?
2. What are some truths you can think about today?