Life as a Christian
Growing up I was raised Catholic, but I never went to church consistently, only on the holidays. I never understood faith growing up, I didn’t read the Bible, and I wasn’t one who could recall scripture from memory. That said, I prayed every night and once my addiction began, I was very consistent with my prayers.
During my addiction, I was introduced to another aspect of the spiritual world – demons. If you are a Christian, you fundamentally know there is good (God) and evil (Satan). Initially, I thought the spirit in my house was my grandfather as I had bought my grandparents’ house after they passed. This “spirit” initially was friendly, but soon after things changed. I need to be clear as I explain this, when something of a non-human form can say your name out of thin air, when it can move things in the house, when it can choke you, and literally put fear in you like never-before, my concept of reality and faith instantly changed.
Not long after this began I met my pastor and quickly learned about everything that was happening. I soon realized that the “spirit” wasn’t my grandfather, but that of a demon. Every night for over a year, I dealt with this demon and my addiction was at its peak. It was a Sunday morning when my pastor and his wife came to my house. They laid hands on me, prayed and anointed the rooms in my house. That night I surrendered as I had done so for the past 4,000+ days (literally) of my addiction.
The thoughts that run through an addict's mind is similar to the thoughts of hunger, you can’t control them. When you eat however, your thoughts of hunger go away. With addiction, the thought of taking pills (or whatever substance you are addicted to) is always there, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That next morning when I awoke it was as if my mind was wiped clean. I did a self-detox and to this day, I’ve been free of my addiction to pain medication. And yes, the demons never came back. So, what does all of this mean? For starters, I am not naive to think I can go out and take pills. Second, I believe God let all of this happen (addiction & demons) so He could step in and show me who’s in charge.
My perspective on Faith and life in general instantly changed that day. I witnessed the power of God. I don’t take this lightly. Often, I ask myself, why didn’t I die that day when I overdosed? Why didn’t I lose brain functionality considering I was dead for a period of time? Why have I lost friends to car accidents, health issues, drug overdoses? Why did God save me when I had sinned, year after year via my addiction? Why did I deserve this gift of Faith when I put my family through hell for so many years? To this day, I don’t have the answers to those questions.
What I can tell all of you with certainty, never once during my addiction did I give up on my belief in God. Never once did I denounce Him, or believe that He didn’t exist. I believed in my heart that He wouldn’t give up on me, and I didn’t give up on Him – and He delivered. “You can do all things through Christ our Lord” is not a statement of faith for me, it is a statement of reality.
The good news, you too can receive the same gift of Faith that I received.