In the spring of 1985, I found myself at the doorstep of moms’ house. She was expecting me but unprepared for the shock of her life. I had called to inform her that I was coming back home. I hopped into my car and drove the four and half hour trip. I was a physical wreck for it took every bit of strength I could muster up to complete the journey. I had the shakes and a severe hangover from the previous night. I cannot remember the last time I had taken a sober breath.
I pulled into the childhood driveway, threw the transmission into park, and walked up to the front door. With my right hand, I reached for the doorknob, twisted it and walk through the threshold. She embraced with a loving hug followed by sobbing. The tears falling down the cheeks of her face were not joyful but terror. She did not recognize her youngest son because she remembered her boy being full of life. Bewilderment radiated through her expression, and she was devastated. I was one hundred and ten pounds and the skin on my face was sunken inward giving the appearance of a sick and frail young man. I was speechless, hopeless and desperate.
I was only away from home for three years. I never thought it would end up like this. I was full of ambition ready to take life by the horns. I had visions of prestige by planning to make a name for myself. I had a lot of good intentions. These should have been achievable goals, but the demons inside myself stripped away anything worthwhile.
I had reached that point where alcohol had its way with me. I could not stop this insidious reoccurring nightmare because everything I tried to stop drinking drove me deeper into the black hole of powerlessness. Bottle after bottle, time and again, I would repeat the same mistakes always expecting a different result. Instead, I was faced with the fact of being an alcoholic. I had turned into the one thing I despised and a spitting image of dad.
I was baffled, ashamed and did not know where to turn. My parents agreed to provide me a place to stay under the agreement of seeking help. I was willing and took them up on their offer. Mom knew of a counselor who specialized in alcoholic addiction. So I contacted him. After the first face to face session with Mr. Barfield and just before leaving his office he handed me a flyer with a list of twelve-step programs. He highly suggested I start attending meetings.
I decided to choose one and did not know what to expect from the twelve-step program. I was scared. I cannot recall the topic at my first meeting. I continued attending and began to identify with the medical description of alcoholism. The way they laid it out made perfect sense because for the first time concerning my drunkenness there was a logical explanation. It spoke volumes, and as I looked back at the past, there was concrete evidence staring me in the eyes.
Then came their hook, line and sinker that would be the only solution to my predicament. God! That presented me with a significant stumbling block because I was agnostic. There could be no God in this world riddled with evilness. I was highly offended by their seemingly shallow outlook. How could God do anything for me?
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.
Well, they said to me, just hang in there a little longer. Don’t give up before the miracle happens was a frequent slogan. Things did change. God began to work on me, and I gradually found faith. As a result of seeking God, a transformation began taking root, and I learned a lot about how He works. I came to understand that through trusting Him everything will be taken care regardless of the current situation.
The power I received from His strength allowed me to make amends for my wrong doings as well as healing my heart. Even though, I found the effect of God I failed to maintain it and became complacent. I was content with the way my spiritual life was and started to slack off in my devotion. I did not realize the danger this type of view would bring. This blindness cost me dearly and after eighteen years of sobriety I got drunk.
I remember the moment I started using alcohol again was not wise. Everything God had done for me was tossed aside because I decided to get drunk. The insanity of alcoholism returned with a fury taking my places of degradation. I was in the grip of wickedness unlike any I had known. I was dying a slow and miserable death.
God did not give up on me and continued calling me back. I finally heard Him after eight years of misery.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
He opened His arms, and I embraced Him. God picked up where He had left off and quickly showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. As I walked down God’s tunnel, He delivered me to His Son Jesus Christ and into salvation. I now know the Light at the end of God’s tunnel is Heaven.