Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Truth Always Sets Us Free

A tremulous, decade long trial of Alcoholism led me to whole-heartedly believe Rick's addiction was a disease. In 1956, Alcoholism received its disease label by The American Medical Association. This modern theory states that problem drinking is sometimes caused by a disease in the brain, characterized by altered brain structure and function. Many in the medical and science field claim it as such, right up there with Diabetes, a disease without a cure, (or in which case, a cure for Alcoholism was offered by Dr. W. H. Sanders & Co. in 1904),  only treatable and controlled with medication and therapy (and abstinence). 

For 9+ years I have been deceived. For 9+ years I have believed that the sin that stole my childhood and more that half my life, that relentlessly tried to destroy my marriage was a disease

I grew up with drinking. It was all around me. I took my first drink of alcohol when I was 12. By the time I was 16 I was drinking and getting drunk fairly regularly. I was a good student. I was a great artist. I was a kind friend. And I was a partier. 
I was cool. I was popular. 

I was deceived. 
My years in high school and as a young adult were laced with irresponsibility of drinking too much, only to later think, "...boy, I'm getting old--it's becoming harder to recover from a hangover..." 

I was 25 when Rick and I met. I, still drinking, and Rick--a "real" drinker. 
We had lots of fun together--at first. 
We fell in love. Deeply. It truly was love at first sight. 

It wasn't until nearly 5 years into our marriage that I acknowledged we had a "real" problem.
He loved something else, someone else--more than me.

After another horrendous and fearful two years of drinking, fighting, anger, hating, and raging, my heart closed up. 

The evening of March 19th, 2002 I vowed to myself, to God, I would never touch alcohol again. It had become my poisonous enemy! 

After a night of complete blackout drunkenness, Rick chose to get sober--again--for real.

On March 20, 2002, he drove, by himself, to ER, where he was diagnosed with alcohol poisoning. After IV hydration and recovery, he admitted himself into rehab. During his 6 month treatment program we were educated about the disease of alcohol and drug addiction. We soon believed this "brain disease" was only manageable through sobriety, meds and counseling, but incurable.  They called it a "progressive disease". 

So, he began the work of treating his disease, and together, (by the grace of God alone), we began the work of healing our marriage.

Nearly a year passed and Rick remained sober, his mind and body still free of alcohol and drugs with the help and support of family, counselors, medication and sheer will.

On March 8, 2003, Rick was introduced to The real Great Physician.
On March 8, 2003, Rick gave his life to his Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.

Today, Rick has been sober for 9 years and 5 months. I, too, diagnosed not as an addict, but an "abuser", am sober. 

For the last 9 years I have believed and spoke frankly of the addiction that gripped my husband (and I), and many others I know and love, as a disease
Until today.

Today, I publicly claim that the doctors and therapists and AA groups are deceived. 

I heard it said that God's definition of drunkenness is not UNCONTROLLABLE drinking, but UNCONTROLLED drinking.

Yes, alcohol addiction is a disease, but not like Diabetes, or cancer, or Arthritis. Alcoholism is a disease of the soul. Alcoholism is sin. Addiction is sin. Uncontrolled drinking is sin.

In Galatians 5:21, Paul writes,
"Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

That's pretty scary. 

Many believe that God will take their addiction from them when He is ready...
Since when did Jesus say, at the cross, "...when I'm ready...?"
I believe that on that heart-wrenching, life-altering day up on Calvary Hill He was ready, and in a loud voice proclaimed, "Tetelestai"--It is finished. (John 19:30)

If you are a Christian, you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit. {Acts 2:38, Rom. 6:4}
If you are a Christian, you have the supernatural power to control your lusts and sinful behaviors that only desire to steal, kill and destroy you. {Acts 1:8}
If you are a Christian, you are a new creation in Christ, the old man is dead. {2 Cor. 5:17, Eph. 4:24}
If you are a Christian, you have been set free. You have the freedom to say, "No" to sin. {Rom. 6:17-18}

By the grace of God, let not the deception of our minds, hearts, and the Devil be our way any longer. {John 8:44,1 John 1:8, Rom. 8:2}
Children of God, we are called to be sacred vessels filled with His Holy Spirit.

“And be not drunk with wine, in which is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18 
"We were under great pressure,  far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a peril, and  He will deliver us. On Him, we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us."  
2 Corinthians 1:10

Again, could the Bible more clear?

Natural wants are to be answered, but evil appetites must be checked and denied. To ask meat for our necessities, is our duty, we are taught to pray for daily bread; (but to ask meat for our lusts, is provoking God, Ps. 78:18). -Matthew Henry

Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.  John 8:31-32, Gal. 5:1

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