Be sober… be vigilant… thoughts that surface as I reflect on the day… and weigh my life, my decisions, my salvation, my relationships, my dwelling place, my heart, my past, my future… presently… liberty has been afforded me… The freedom to serve whom I will… Christ’s call to deliverance, or the flesh… my sinful nature… turning back.. or ignoring the call of Christ, is immensely exhausting… being a believer… being a believer in, NOT, a state/condition/lifestyle that is easily taken up or easily revoked by oneself. It is one miserable existence to have once communed with the living God and then to turn your back in denial of His call/claim to your life. today I experienced a type of freedom afforded through confession of some of my hidden shortcomings, resentments, actions of the past…this was incredibly difficult for me to do… to reveal a few of those details pertaining to my past… I still have more to discuss with my counselor, but what we did discuss I received priceless feedback on. It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done… I almost “copped out” being that I was feeling horrible when I woke up… throat, nose, etc. but by the help of the Spirit– we pressed on through the day… today was also the first day I was able to go to “Celebrate Recovery” along with some other guys that’ve moved up before me. I thank God for all that He is performing in my life… I don’t always understand His ways, but I’m learning to trust them.
Lying on my bed, listening to my roommate talk, waiting on the canteen to open up… need some bubbles for my throat… it’s (throat) seriously aggravated… congestion-allergies-“mold”- whatever it is- is super uncomfortable… whatever it is ‘sucks!’ Today was interesting… during class, my classmates (bout 20 guys) all had a chance to tell me about myself… listing a few of my character defects… along with some things I need to work on… the main defect was anger… people pretty much jumped on that wagon and rode it until the wheels fell off… the experience wasn’t quite as bad as I imaged it could be, but it did take a little bit of the edge off for tomorrow… I’m scheduled to do a ‘fifth step’… [walked to kitchen with roommate… in attempt to be at the front of the line, so I can get a soda… throat is seriously bugging me.] At one point in time I was ‘hyped’ up to do my fifth step, but not so much anymore (before this morning)… this morning did take some of the edge off.. like I said… the goal of this fifth step is to let go of the past and by guided counsel, letting go… forgiving myself.. to some degree… I don’t want to let go of this stuff– revealing stuff I haven’t spoken with anyone about… stuff I have never dealt with… most of the things I am uncomfortable discussing are things I don’t/ haven’t dealt with… just stuffing those ideas further and further within myself because I don’t know how to deal with the crap… I want it to just go away… apparently the stuff doesn’t just go away… and it is far less than healthy to not deal with these personal issues… if I attempt to coexist with these issues… they will, at my own will or against it, consume me on a later date.
Visited a new church today… no complaints there… it was good, getting out of the ‘norm’… experiencing something new, surroundings, people, etc. Got to speak with mom and all together, things could not have gone better… and not so surprisingly comes that subtle turning and twisting and tugging and longing… to know for sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have to ride with someone for accountability tomorrow and my flesh wants to do nothing more than get high as a kite…. go get drunk and go have unhindered, unadulterated sex… all over Greenville… until I can no longer… due to incapacitation, jail, or death… if any one were to tell me today that this was all ‘a mind-thing’ I would probably feel slightly disrespected in them just having told me a lie. This is not a mind thing… it’s a design thing. I have been designed to function at a certain level/degree with Christ… with God… but I’ve been cursed as all of mankind has… now, the decision each day has to be made in our hearts that we will serve the Lord, in spite of the enemy… in spite of our fallibility, incapabilities, and sinful nature… as soon as I stop pursuing the Lord, I will be within the reach of idleness (spiritual complacency). The Lord isn’t going to take me where He can not keep me… He can and will deliver me from my hands if I will look to Him… humbling myself in His sight and clinging to His robe.
Closing my eyes…still… quiet… welcoming images of various scenes from today… welcoming emotions felt today… opening my mind to God’s (Holy Spirits’) thoughts, regarding everything, asking Him to reveal to me any hidden sin, anything I need to work on… had a great peaceful, relaxing day… good-time playing basketball, took a nap, had *room-mate* come back from visiting his family… had some negative emotions/feelings associated with him coming back and what he said to me upon his return… The rest of the day went fine…. had someone who has completed the program suggest to me that I should think about becoming an “MT”, minister in training. Tim said something to me about me seeing a recruiter… I have no idea what God’s plans are for me but that they are to help me and not harm me. Laying here in my bed, I’m thinking maybe I should have called my mom today. Let her know I am okay… mostly just me and the a/c again tonight… quiet… roommates are sleeping. Thinking little of evil… the day went very well. I got a few ‘dings’ from playing basketball, and I’ll be pretty sore tomorrow, but for the most part I am fine. Going to visit a new church in the morning, and that is pretty cool. I’m finally level three, and I’m required to visit at least three churches during the next six weeks. It will be a good experience, I believe, and I am very much looking forward to going.
Friday nights, we (community) are allotted time to stay up later… which means– Journal entries get done later…. it is amazing how serious I take completing these journal entries.. each and every last entry I have made within the past (almost 5 months) I’ve been sober… and seeking god; seeking god and remaining sober…
The main lights are off in the room, i’m lying down under a sheet… it stays cool in the room and I like it that way… everything is amazingly quiet minus our a/c unit… my roommate whose bed is opposite mine, is sleeping… he has done nothing since I’ve entered the room… I’m very proud of his devotion today.. it took a good amount of humility to get up and go speak, sharing some personal insights god has revealed to him. He did a great job… I’ve struggled with leaving many a time… but seeing my roommate and hearing him share some of his personal struggles was encouraging and refreshing. My other roommate who has been in the program considerably longer, is not here tonight… he went to visit with his family… I trust God to keep him in the way, tonight. I asked him to call the center when he could and let me know how things were going, but it was obvious he did not want to… so I ‘dropped’ the subject… I’m not taking it personal… just working on trusting God that He would deliver my roommate and the other gentleman who went out on pass/visits this evening, and that God would bring them back to us safely.
Some days, most days, I finish up grabbing my notebook from my locker, going to my bed- cutting my lamp on, and lying down to reflect on the day I have had and documenting at least one incident (good or bad) and framing that memory for the very purpose of capturing experiences. some time around 25-30 minutes ago, I was sitting in a metal chair ( I think they were fold-ups). in the gym of the greenville Rescue Mission. There was a graduation ceremony. The ceremony was in honor of those who were graduating from the discipleship program, I am in now. Currently I am sitting on my bed… it’s a bunk bed. Neither of my tw roommates are here in the room with me. The main light is on… there are footsteps in the hallway of men still dressed in their formal attire, men are discussing experiences of the night, those experiences long passed , and experiences yet to come, some guys singing the ‘leaving on a jet plane’ song, and *guest name here* stopped by my door to ask me if i want to accompany him to the computer lab… wwe have to be accountable for one another… being that these things can be documented along with me being in the computer room, I’ve made the transition. Grabbing my Bible, I rose from my bed, accidentally kicking a shoe out of line (under my bed), walked to my room’s entrance, cut off my light after– halfway looking back– conscious of my shoes being out of place… making a left from my door, a right, another right, and then a left . (After walking down the halls together) we enter the computer lab, I cut on the light, and *guest name here* asks me, “how long can we be in heeuh?” I tell him… “I think until about 9″… After we figure his password out for his computer access I return to the business of this memory and after taking note of the quickly dimming night-sky– I welcome thoughts of appreciation… I know where I am, I know who I am… I know who I am with… for the most part I am aware of the goings on between now and when I will be laying my head down to sleep… I am safe… we are safe… it’s been raining… I am dry… I have eaten… we have eaten… there are voices (multiple voices) of laughter, hearty laughter– with substance, voices asking favors, voices of concen…all of them voices of those who are on ja journey like unto my own… in this moment I have peace… in this moment I have purpose…in this moment I have direction… more than all these things– I know where my help came from… my life is guarded today… I look forward to a life of serving others… a life of fellowship. A life filled with wonderful moments like this one… of arriving but not having yet attained…a life of subtle victories… a life of looking “forward to’s” and not “regretting thats”— a life of fulfillment and abundance. Not shame, fear, or disappointment…a life that I will share with others… and age well, where on particularly quiet nights I will take opportunity to remember these pages and the nights, where, men void of character became peculiar individuals… individuals who knew only falsehood, came to know truth. Nights spent with “strangers” who learned to rest easy in one another’s company as brothers and… dwelling in a secret place abiding under the shadow of the Almighty.
Sitting here (laying down) on my bed, talking with my roommate about how we, the entire community, don’t ever have to go to jail AGAIN! No one here who desires to live a new life has to go back to jail… Reaching out to God and drawing near to Him will deliver us not only from Hell, but eternal damnation. It’s a good feeling. I have a new book to read. Ready to start it once I get some of the Word in me. Probably read at least the introduction… maybe the first chapter. Spoke with my counselor today, concerning joining the military.. we determined that the best thing to do would be to evaluate if I am even eligible to join the military… I have put some amount of work into getting to where I am and god sustained me… I wonder… I wonder if I could, indeed, get in. Not sure… school… maybe… seminary or military–college… maybe Westpoint… Citadel??? I don’t know… to think of going to one of those schools… I don’t know… probably would be an art school if anything– perfecting the art of graphic design… fine-tuning the mind god gave me and using it to bring god glory… God answers prayer… I’m not really sure what to pray for but at this point; I really just want to continue growing spiritually, continue to have the Spirit grow in me and around me… and have my dad and I be able to sort some things out.