The Loudmouth Protestant

February 11, 2009

A Mighty Long Way

Filed under: God,life — nickisym @ 11:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Lately on Facebook there have been a barrage of “surveys.” From the very viral “25 Things” to “One Word” and now to the latest one to be passed among virtual friends, “Memories.” So like I got sucked into “25 Things” at my best friend’s behest, I put “Memories” up… 

Well no sooner than I hit the publish button, the first memory for a friend to share with my other hundreds of friends who could see it was a memory involving an overproof bottle of alcohol my sophomore year of college. Geez. A few passed before another friend posted a memory about me and my episode after a night of poor drinking choices. (Now by no means was I an alcoholic during my college years, as I tell it to anyone, my indiscretions as it involved alcohol was limited to one drunken mishap a year.)

Nevertheless with not one but two friends posting their memories of me being while I was inibriated I felt sort of strange. Immediately I wondered if I was supposed to delete the note altogether so that no one would come upon it and question me or gawk at my former self. I thought on it for a second, pondering the repercussions of having a colleague or a church companion find out about my dark past and after speaking with another friend who saw it, I was encouraged to leave it up. I sat on that word for a moment and then resolved in myself to leave it up because for me, it was evidence of God’s saving grace.

You see, without those past indiscretions and many more, I couldn’t be half of the woman I am today. I wouldn’t have a testimony about how one night when I took many shots of overproof rum God somehow saw fit to keep me alive in my ignorance when I very well could have passed out in my own puke in my friend’s apartment. Without that other moment where after downing cheap licquor store vodka with Red Bull–which at the time was considered a deadly combination–and then setting it off with a miniature bottle of Smirnoff and all I did was throw up on my new pair of jeans and had friends that took me back to their house to hang my head over a garbage can and I didn’t die in my sleep from choking on my own vomit…That’s God. Without other moments where I’ve jumped in the car of perfect strangers when I first came to NY without knowing more than their first name and my body wasn’t discovered in a ditch, that’s God. Without moments where I cried myself silly because I thought my heart was broken beyond repair and yet and still it wasn’t bad enough for me to take my own life, that is God. 

There is a long list of things that could have taken me out a long time ago if it weren’t for the grace of God and for the fact that He thought it not robbery in His own kingdom to keep me here for a higher purpose. And because of that, I have to be grateful that he saved me from myself, my biggest danger. There was no one else causing as much harm to me as I was causing to myself. 

So that note where my friends brought up some of my sordid pass, that isn’t hurting anything. As the Rev. Carolyn Showell told us during a sermon for our Women’s Season, “If you’re going to tell it, tell it all.” (Meaning, if you are going to tell about my business back in the day or in this day, tell how I was a mess and how Iwas redeemed.) Taking it one step further, right before I heard that word from Rev. Showell–on the same night, my Bible Study teacher told us that the best way to re-ignite your attitude of gratitude is by reviewing your past. ((((God, I didn’t even know that it was going to connect the way it is right now, but I thank you for connecting those dots.))))) He directed us to Psalm 103:2-4, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.”

I don’t regret, for even a moment, the things that I did. Without the fumbles, trials and tragedies, there can be no testimony. I only thank God that I lived through it and that I have a story to tell, a testimony if you will, or how he brought me through. One that has brought me to this moment of extreme gratefulness.

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