I took this photo today, saw it, then laughed with friends & said “This is definitely an ‘I choose Jesus’ photo.” Hahaha laughing and not even realizing the weight of truth in my own words. Today is my 1 year anniversary of sobriety. This time last year the conviction I felt regarding some of my choices finally outweighed any excuse I could tell myself to justify them. My vice...smoking weed. You guys, I loved it. Loved everything about. 🤷🏾♀️ that is until I found myself prioritizing when I could smoke over my loved ones and my actual responsibilities. I wrestled with the idea of giving up smoking for a full year before but would find myself back where I started. God (not so gently hahaha) started to show me all the aspects in my life that had been altered by my habit. He showed me I wasn’t being the person I teach others to be and my heart sunk. I have a strong aversion toward hypocrites and He showed me I was being the biggest one. The irony right? I realized that if a whole year has passed and I’m still feeling convicted, I’m now choosing this over what God is telling me because there’s no need for God to convict me if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Yikes....🥴
So I asked God if He was truly asking me to give it up and if so, why? His response...each blessing comes with specific instruction. How we handle the instruction gives Him insight as to how we’ll handle the blessing. Blessing comes with sacrifice and is ripened through obedience.
Knowing this, if I continued doing what I was doing I was choosing weed over God and the thought of that made me cringe. How dare I? How did I get here? How long have I been here? And how many times did I miss the opportunity to be a blessing to someone else because I cared more about being high? I cried. Hard, and spiraled through the emotions...guilt, shame, disappointment. Then realized even that was a distraction! I could sit in self pity or just be better. So I said “Lord, take it. I’m giving you the year.” I looked at my calendar and it was a few moments before midnight of September 1st. I got up and threw out all that I had in my house and made the choice to start my year then. Told my best friends to help hold me accountable. I ended up losing some of them because of it. #sacrifice
It’s a year later, and I like the person I’ve become. I strive to make sure my actions back up my words. I have clarity like never before and have watched my relationships flourish. I’m still a work in progress but I see the growth in just a year and that excites and motivates me to continue down this road.
So to bring this full circle, yes. This is deeefinitely an I chose/choose Jesus photo and that puts the biggest smile on my face. ☺️ I chose him and choose him everyday. 365 days of choosing Jesus/365 days sober feels amazing.
To anyone struggling with any sort of vice, to learn the art of letting go is a painful and yet beautiful process. Whatever has a hold on you, the sacrifice and obedience that is being asked of you, please know that joy and life is waiting for you on the other side...and it’s more than worth it. Ask for help and then receive it when it’s given. 3 things got me here and keep me here, God, community, and my love for both. Thank you Lord for your mercy towards me. And thank you to everyone who holds me down. I love you guys and it’s a honor to share life with you. ♥️👊🏾