After I thought I'd healed properly, I adjusted to life without.
Without what, you wonder. That is precisely my point. I had gotten so used to living without hope and without a husband and without a really good job with benefits that I had adjusted to hopeless living all the while putting on the "Joy Face" at church and with friends.
Joy Face is a mask of great deception to one's self. Often the person wearing the mask has no clue that it is, in fact, a mask. When it slips, all the cracked pieces fall to the floor again and there's the shattering, clanging cymbol sound which drowns out God's voice. Once the echos of the sound fade away, I found God's soothing voice of comfort in my heart. He was talking to me like a mother soothing a crying baby, all the while He was putting my heart back together. I have found out that if you do not help God put the pieces back together, then they go back together without scar tissue and the heart bears no grudge, no anger, no bitterness and no baggage. If you help God put the pieces back together, you hinder the process and scars do develop encasing some anger, some bitterness and a bit of baggage within the tough, hard fibers of healing. Those are difficult to remove once the scar tissue is formed.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow because He loved me through that period. I was in constant state of prayer. I prayed about everything and frequently prayed myself to sleep. I studied my Bible in-depth, pouring myself into study to make up for the lack of any social life except church. And I was at church every time the doors were opened. So my pouring out of myself before God accomplished something that I had no idea I needed at the time.
Except, I kept trying to heal. I knew I had to heal in order to be a healthy, productive Christian living for Jesus and ministering, doing the works He had planned for me before the formation of the world. I could do this because I had Jesus in my heart. Hmmmm
I poured myself into a Christian forum and studied my Bible, positive this was what I was supposed to do to get myself back together. But, I had closed off a section of my heart to all people, children and God. I see that now, but didn't know I was doing it then. This was where I poured all the alcohol. God was nagging me all along about this habit, much more so than the smoking. He nagged so insistently and consistently that I finally was able to go a day without drinking. Then another day and soon (about a month after I'd moved out from my husband of twenty years) I was sober and it felt wonderful! I could actually hear God's voice.
I realized I had used that numbing tool to keep from feeling all the pain and betrayal. It was exhilarating for those chains to drop from my hand and those shackles to be taken from my feet so I could dance with my Savior and Lord!
Satan woos... The Christian is seduced... Sin creeps in... And we have a witch's brew for web entanglement. Then comes the justifying of sin, the reasoning of it, the excusing of it and the finger pointing when all along we must look to God to do the house cleaning. Without His cleansing power, we are powerless to resist Satan and his plots and ploys.
Flesh + Satan = Failure.
Submission + Spirit + Jesus = Successful Christian Living.
All too often we Christians will try to substitute worldly things to fill in the God-sized hole in our spirit. We shop till we drop, we drink socially, we complain to our friends, we vacation, we beach it, we surf it, we ship it, we dance it, we smoke it, we pretend we're fine with a Joy Face when all the time our heart is full of scar tissue which we've patched together with one hand while holding the Bible in the other hand. Hopeless living while pretending to be full of Hope, Faith and Charity. It is time to pull off the mask and let God pick up all the shattered pieces. Only He has the blueprint because He is the Creator after all.