Sunday, December 30, 2012

Negative Progression

This post isn't easy to write.  In fact, these words won't be easy to say.  But I'm going to write them and I'm going to say them anyway. 

They need to be said.  Here.  To you.

Mark and I got married in October 2007.  We went on our honeymoon, came home and then the next day he left for a 18 day hunt in the midwest.  I don't remember being mad at him for going.  He had gone every year prior so it was expected.  Except this time, we were just married living in a house that was in the middle of renovation...subfloor, dust, paint, was a mess.  And I couldn't sleep at night. 

Looking back, maybe I was actually mad.

So I opened up a bottle of red wine left over from our wedding and had two glasses.  No big deal.

Slept like a baby.

Then I did the same thing the next night.  No big deal.

It helped me sleep and it was actually delicious.  So win-win.

In January 2010, I lost a baby.  It was quite upsetting to say the least.  It rocked me to my core. 

Again...with the not sleeping and wanting to feel numb.  So I opened up a bottle of wine.  And I drank it to help me rest and forget.  Ironically, I thought it would help me keep it together.  No big deal.

Then I got pregnant with Reese and life was great. 

Until it wasn't. 

Because Reese Ann is handful.  Non-stop crying.  Non-stop motion.  Non-stop climbing, and opening and getting into stuff and wow.

Polar opposite of Kelsey...who is chilled, laid-back and easy.

Reese is so awesome but she is hard.  Full of life and energy....I had a hard time keeping up so I opened up a bottle of wine.  And it helped me relax and cope with the craziness.

No big deal, right?

I didn't drink and drive.  I wasn't getting drunk.  I was just relaxing.

Until the amount that I had to drink to relax kept increasing.  One glass, two glasses...a bottle.  I mean my wine glasses are big, okay?  And then it got to where I couldn't sleep without having wine at night.

It's socially acceptable.  Wine is classy. 

Until it's not.

Until you feel like you have to hide empty wine bottles.  I think that was the actual minute I knew that maybe it was more than just a "glass at night to relax."

As a side note, I'm saying wine here...but really, I like beer, too.  Maybe even more. 

Mark asked me a question a few months ago.  He said, "Don't you think anything you HAVE to have every day is bad for you?"

I told him that he was being silly.  I didn't NEED it everyday.  I just liked it. 

But I knew.

And to his credit, he didn't hound me about it or argue his point.  It was just a seed that he planted.

About ten days ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and felt God talking to me.  Clear as a bell.  He said, "Give it up. For Me."

It was profound.  I mean, God spoke to me.  The God who created the universe and breathed planets and threw stars in the sky...spoke to me.  Not audibly but He put those words in my heart and in my head.  So you know what I did?

I ignored it.

The very next day, I went to the grocery store and at first, I walked past that aisle.  But then I turned around and went right down that aisle and replenished my supply.  Something inside of me felt it in the pitt of my stomach.  That tug.  You know what I'm talking about and it ain't good.

To knowingly ignore something that God has asked you to do isn't very wise.  I've done it before and He always has a way of getting my attention.  I actually thought about what He would do to get my attention if I continued to ignore Him.

He kept waking me up at night, telling me the same thing.

"Do this for Me."

So I casually mentioned it to one of my friends.  I chose a friend who enjoyed it the same as me.  I wanted validation.  You know what she said?   "If God cares enough to wake you up at night to tell you something, you better listen."

Ouch.  Not what I expected to hear.

So I ignore her, too.

For a few more days.

Then, on my way to church this morning, I just surrendered it.  Gave it to Him.  I kinda got tired of fighting it.  Fighting is exhausting.  And it takes you further away from God.

I've been far away from God and that is a bad place to be. 

An amazing thing happened when I made that decision today.  I felt The Holy Spirit renew in me.  He was always there but I felt it bigger and deeper than I had in a long time.

Tonight, I am having sweet tea (decaf) and bottled water.  I am honoring God.  And I'm not going to lie...I feel like I am leaving a friend behind.  This is going to be good for me.  It might not be fun and there will be times I want to go back. 

But for now, I'm listening.

This isn't a New Year's Resolution.  It's answering God.  Obeying Him.  Even when you don't want to.

I didn't share the entire background of my drinking to put blame on any person or situation.  It's not like at that all.  It's just that I can see the progression over the years.  Even baby steps in the wrong direction will eventually get you totally off-course.

I don't know where this is headed; but He does.  And I'm not saying that one day I can't go back to having a glass here and there.  "Never" and "always" are words I try to avoid.  I just need to clear my head, clear my heart and be ready for whatever work God is trying to complete in me.

And maybe I'll sleep tonight.
My Alabaster Jar


  1. Sleepy in that peace that passes understanding! God is good!

  2. Seriously, so brave of you to share. I honestly feel like my mom is where you were. And yes, I said "were", because I'm going to encourage your decision to listen to God. Even if it happened today. ;) It started as a glass at night, but I swear they always have empty bottles in their recycling bin. Praying for the Lord to tug on her heart as well.
    I definitely don't think alcohol is sinful, and there's nothing wrong with having a glass every once in a while (although, to be honest, both my hubby and I hate the taste. lol). But I understand and admire you for following the Holy Spirit's lead.

    Hope you get some rest tonight!

  3. I have a "feeling" that you'll sleep better than you have in years.

    Thank you for sharing from your heart.

  4. Very brave of you to open up about what God is doing in your life. Almost 3 years ago I quit smoking cold turkey after 15 years of heavy smoking because God spoke to my heart as well. I have never regretted following his prompting and will be praying that He strengthens you for your walk as He did me for mine.

  5. Oh Erin, this is so brave and wise of you to post here. First of all many many hugs to you when the days get long and the want is big. Secondly, I have one of those kids... It IS exhausting, just know you're not alone. and Thirdly, this reminds me of an Ebenezer.

    Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—"the stone of help"—for he said, "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" —1 Samuel 7:12, NLT

    Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
    hither by thy help I'm come;
    and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
    safely to arrive at home.
    Jesus sought me when a stranger,
    wandering from the fold of God;
    he, to rescue me from danger,
    interposed his precious blood. —Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

    You are loved dear.


  6. I went to bed praying for you, after you texted me, and I woke up praying for you on my way into work.

    With every prayer FOR you; i'm also praising Him for giving me, you, to be my bf. I'm blessed to get to travel this life with you; all roads-good and "bad." ....You are amazing, EYB. i loves you more than you know.

  7. That was such a lovely post, Erin. Really really really well done and brave of you.