I believe we all know someone struggling to overcome addiction.
According to the Addiction Center:
Addiction is more common than many realize. There were approximately 20.6 million people in the United States over the age of 12 with an addiction in 2011.
- Over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction (excluding tobacco).
- 100 people die every day from drug overdoses. This rate has tripled in the past 20 years.
- Over 5 million emergency room visits in 2011 were drug-related.
- 2.6 million people with addictions have a dependence on both alcohol and illicit drugs.
- 9.4 million people in 2011 reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs.
- Over 90% of those with an addiction began drinking, smoking or using illicit drugs before the age of 18.
When Paige Taylor wanted to tell her story about the ways faith in Jesus helped her overcome addiction, I thought it might be something that could touch your life or the life of someone you know and love.
So, please welcome Paige! I’ve been so very blessed by her and I’m quite certain she will bless you, too!
6 Ways Faith in Jesus Helped Me Overcome Addiction
I have been addicted to drugs and alcohol for nearly a decade.
I have abused nearly every substance you can think of. I tried over and over again to get sober. I went to rehab, I went to 12-step meetings, I went to therapy. Some of these things helped me to get sober for a little while, but I would always relapse.
Five years ago, a friend invited me to her church.
I had never been much of a church person, and I’d never heard much about God aside from a few things at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The worship band at the church was amazing, though, and I suddenly had a whole new perspective on God and church.
That day, I began to have faith in Jesus Christ and I have been sober ever since. Recovering hasn’t been easy, but my faith in Jesus Christ has helped me in so many ways:
1. I No Longer Felt Alone
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
One of the hardest parts of fighting addiction is the thinking that you are fighting it alone. That no one can really help you. This is because there is no medicine to cure you. There is nothing doctors can really do for you. You have to do it yourself.
But you do not have to do it alone. Jesus was always there with me. All I had to do was look for Him. He is everywhere. He is listening. He loves both you and me. By sharing my pain with Him I was able to find the strength to get better.
2. I Knew I Was Forgiven
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
My addictions led me to do horrible things. Unforgivable things. The guilt I felt because of this only drove me deeper into my addictions. I felt hopeless. I felt there was no escape.
But there was hope. Jesus was my hope. Through Him, everything is forgivable, including the unforgivable. By forgiving me, He gave me hope, and hope is a powerful thing. It can overcome anything.
3. I Was Reborn
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Forgiveness of my sins was only the first step to salvation. Far more important was the ability to be reborn. The ability to become someone new. Someone I did not hate.
Through Jesus, I was able to believe that I can become the person I really want to be because through Him I can be anyone I want to be. I can rise above my pain and misery. I can rise just as He rose from the Cross.
4. I Had a New Focus
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
When my addictions controlled me, they controlled my every thought. They consumed every waking moment in satisfying them. I thought of nothing but this. I didn’t even know if there was anything but this.
But Christ gave me a focus. He gave me something more powerful than any substance. Instead of thinking about my addictions, I thought of Him and His unconditional love for me. My body may have been shaking, but my mind was steady and unfailing.
5. I Had an Alternative to Substances
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
I developed multiple addictions to substances because I was in pain, and I was looking for something to take it away. But substances did not take the pain away. They only masked it and made the pain worse.
In Jesus, I was able to find what I had been looking for all along and overcome addiction. He was the cure for my pain and misery. He alone was able to me what I had been looking for: a pathway toward being truly happy. Happy with who I was and what I was and why I was put on this earth.
6. I Found Humility
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11
Reaching bottom was actually a good thing because it showed me that I was powerless. That I alone could not conquer my demons.
Jesus gave me humility, which let me know that I needed help. That I needed Him. Instead of continuing to do it my way — a way that led nowhere — I knew I had to do it His way. The only way.
To sum it all up…
Jesus may not have miraculously cured me of my addictions.
But He gave me something even better…
Jesus gave me everything I needed to overcome them myself through His love, His kindness, and for His glory
About Paige Taylor:
Paige Taylor is a faith-based life coach from Orlando, Florida, specializing in addiction. She strives to help those who battle with substance use disorder, and she occasionally writes for The Recovery Village.
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