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Overcoming Addictions 07/20/18

Never Give Up on Beating Your Addiction

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I'm sharing this testimony about my addiction because we are told that God uses our testimonies to encourage others. All in all, my journey to have my desires line up with God’s desires about this addiction took seven years. I’m glad I never stopped seeking God through it all. Seven years is a long journey. So, wherever you are on your journey, take heart – keep seeking God and he’ll lead you in the way you should go!

The Beginning

A few years after choosing to follow Jesus, just one shameful addiction remained – pot. I reasoned with God about pot. I really liked it and it didn’t lead to other sins like alcohol had. I used it to “switch gears” from work to home – get mellow to be a more relaxed and attentive parent. I didn’t ask God to take it away. I asked Him to go along with it as it wasn’t hurting anyone. It had been my companion for over 20 years.

A Baby Step

During my comfortable position with my Savior and my weed, God posed a question to me: “What effect would it have if your pot-smoking were exposed?” The answer was clear – it would do damage to others. I felt faced with a choice about a church leadership position I held:  quit smoking pot immediately or step down from teaching these kindergarten children. On the way home from a meeting where I stepped down from teaching, I wept bitterly and faced an ugly truth – something was really wrong with me if I’d choose pot over pouring Jesus into children’s lives. God used that truth and the sorrow I felt to begin my journey for help. I wasn’t able to quit right away. For me, it was a baby step.

The Next Step

I started going to Christian Recovery meetings and was very open about my love for pot and my love for Jesus. I was given the tools and the truth about how God would help set me free from my addiction. But, I left the program without reaching my goal. However, I didn’t leave God and He didn’t leave me. I continued to go to church, read my Bible with a hunger for God, and pray to the Lord for all matters in my life.

The Final Step

Then one day in 2004, God revealed a simple truth to my soul that was the turning point for me: pot was an idol in my life. I had put pot in a place where only God belonged. He wanted me to turn to Him to change gears between work and home – to get mellow and relaxed through the supernatural peace He offers. He wanted me to turn to Him when I was anxious, angry, sad, overwhelmed, and any other emotion that I sought pot to help me endure. God had been in second place to my marijuana buzz. Wow! When God revealed that to my soul and mind, I wept long and hard. How could I treat Jesus as second to pot? At that point, I wanted to get rid of it desperately. I didn’t want anything to take God’s place in my life. How insulting to my Lord to consider him second best. When I saw my addiction as God saw it, it wasn’t long before I was free. I used the tools I had learned in Recovery along with a sincere desire to have God FIRST in my life to surrender that addiction to Almighty God.

It’s been almost seven years now since I smoked pot. God was patient with me as He carried me through the steps I personally needed to take with Him to desire the life-changing freedom He wanted for me. I praise Him for His gentle guidance to a piercing truth. He alone is my God and I’ve never been more content in my life.

Copyright © 2011 Beth Livingston, used with permission.

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