The sky was clear, such a beautiful day, a good day for a bike ride with Joshua. We will ride and be happy, we will ride and be happy, we will ride and be happy! I remember those days, how good I felt just to see the happy face of my boy.

Those days I could find contentment in so many simple things of life. There is an emptiness somewhere. If I can’t fill the void with the joys of living, I once felt, I think I will die in my addiction. I struggle for the joy of living. The great simple joys of life have been torn from me by the thief of addiction. I will not ride and be happy; not for a long time.

Some doctors would tell me I didn't have enough chemical “stuff” in my brain to make me feel good about myself and that was the reason I did what I did, the reasons don't always matter, what is Important is to survive today without filling the brain void with any mood altering substance.

How I look back and think of the simplicity of stopping. I hear the voice, ”Please just stop!” The truth is, when I can’t experience the joy for life I once had, simplicity would be to start using immediately. I have a brain that knows the joy of living. I have a brain that will destroy me with a consuming lust for deceptive pleasure.

Victory, for me, rested in the knowledge that I once loved living without cocaine. I will survive only one way, by seeing and experiencing the beauty of God’s creation in the natural and the spiritual. I will learn now, more than ever before, how much I really need to depend on God.

A dark cloud would slowly engulf me. My mind would have to be slowly persuaded into submitting to my own destruction. I wanted this experience to remain a secret, after all I had been free of alcohol and drugs for eight years. My secret couldn’t last too long, because in the basement of my house I was losing too much weight too fast. I had knowledge and experience about addiction, I even knew when I was believing the old lies. I knew I was losing myself. I was brokenhearted and in great misery, even near death.

The power of addiction is greater than anything on earth. The restoration of my body, soul and spirit is so very difficult this time. I suffered in recovery because I lost the ability to enjoy things I once found pleasure in. It would seem as if all natural pleasures were subtracted from my mind, I had them once but not any more. I couldn’t walk by my emotions, if I did I would fail. I was dependent upon the supernatural power of God’s guidance. God heard my cries from the darkness. I knew I needed Him and He alone would restore me to sanity.

The love lesson that I would learn is that God will not give up on me. He will not be subject to any man made formulation, He is much greater than that. His Grace travels far beyond my thoughts. I am sure of His love, because when I was telling Him to leave me to my sin, the Holy Spirit was busy watching over me and He knew the Father would wait for the return of his beloved son.

I serve the Lord through the music ministry, giving testimony and witnessing for the cause of Christ. I have been used by the Lord to bring people into His Kingdom. I was taken captive by my own desires. I didn’t resist the temptation placed before me. I was hammered by Satan, yet Satan was a tool in the Master’s hand.

I am grateful to God for lifting me out of the darkness. The scars of sin go deep, the healing process is underway. My sin is ever before me, however God’s forgiveness is greater than my own condemnation. I know my Lord wants me completely. God has many ways of getting my attention and He is not powerless against my disobedience love the Lord because He is the Potter, with tears in His eyes, breaking and remaking a better vessel for His use.

My spiritual condition is of far greater importance to God than any physical suffering I will experience.I would rather suffer righteousness for the cause of Christ than to suffer because of my own willingness to disobey, but then I know the Father’s cause is that I be more like His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

I will always remember that day back in 1984 when I stopped drinking. I was serving the Lord, proudly doing good things. I thought of how good I was and how pleased God must be with me. I was looking in the mirror, God interrupted me as I was admiring myself, He said He could do more with me when I was hiding in the dumpster and drinking mouth wash than in my own self righteousness. I have learned to be humble through the fire of free will. It may seem strange, however I have lost a portion of my own will to do His will.

I never wished that I wasn’t born again. I realized a long time ago I was not good enough to stand before God. God provided a substitute in His Son, Jesus. Jesus took upon Himself my Punishment. I can stand before God in righteousness, not because of anything I did or didn't do, but because of what Jesus did for me.

I love my son Joshua and sometimes he disobeys me. It never entered my mind to cast my wonderful son out the front door of my house and disown him as member of the family, of course not; how strange! My son when he was conceived became part of myself. In Christ I am part of Him and God says His love for me is much greater than my love for my son, I can’t comprehend the depth of His love for me!

When I lie my head down in the night, I am alone with my thoughts. I think of the past and it begins to tell me how worthless I am. When these dark thoughts attack me the Holy Spirit brings to my memory, The Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on my heart. 1 Sam. 16: 7. His divine truth. God cannot lie. His love is everlasting.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right, persevering and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalms 51: 10-12 [Amplified Bible]

Author, Steve Gregory
December 23, 1997

*The opinions expressed in this testimonial are those of the author, who is solely responsible for content.* Editor, THE EDIFIER

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© 1998, The Elijah Fellowship International
Updated: May 23, 2011
Created: 1/2/98