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The first step

I acknowledge my addiction: I am powerless over alcohol.

So, it's been said. Maybe not out loud, but in my head and heart I have finally become honest with myself. I have an alcohol problem. And for a long time, it was a constant struggle in my life. It stood like a high wall between me, my loved ones, and God.

The first step was recognizing that it couldn't go on like this. That I was not going to win this battle on my own. My body and mind were constantly aching for wine. Every day, from early morning until late at night, my thoughts revolved around this one issue: when and how much can I drink today? It took up so much of my time and energy!

While I was doing my daily things, alcohol was always present in the background. Did I have enough wine? When could I have the first glass? And then there was the guilt: this is so wrong...! A lonely struggle.

I don't want this anymore!

Many times I thought: tomorrow I really will stop! Or at least drink less. Yet the addiction remained stronger, until I reached the point that everything in me cried out: I don't want this anymore!

Nobody knew about my struggle, only yo God I expressed my despair. He carried me, even in the darkest moments. With Him I did not have to keep up appearances and I did not have to be afraid of condemnation. Through the sacrifice of Jesus I have free access to my Heavenly Father. And I may come as I am, with my addiction and with all my questions.

That knowledge made me finally dare to let go of my shame and share my secret with others. After all, my identity lies not in my addiction, or in its recovery, but in Christ. I am God's beloved child. That is all that determines the way I look at myself.

The first step was admitting that I was completely done with my addiction, that I didn't want it anymore! The first step was making the choice to stop drinking. Completely and for good. With the realization that I could not do that alone. And God showed me the way.

No coincidence

Usually there is a clear reason to take the first step. In my case it was a sermon during a Sunday service, about David and Goliath. When asked who my Goliath was, I could only give one answer: wine. That was the moment I decided to give up the fight and leave it to God. And to go find help.

When you put the history of David and Goliath into a bigger picture, you see the battle between Jesus and Satan that was necessary to set us free and give us a new, eternal life. We know Who is the great Winner! That is why I have placed my alcohol addiction and its recovery in His hands. And often the text of a song comes to my mind:

'I know Who goes before me,

And stands behind me.

God of the angel armies,

The battle is Yours!'

It is no coincidence that you are reading this. The Lord God has your preservation in mind! Are you at the bottom of your addiction? Give your burden to Jesus. He wants to quench your thirst with Living Water, from which you will receive strength to get up and take the first step.

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