April 20, 2014, Easter.
After all my work for the past few months, reading my devotionals daily, praying every day and trying to become a better person, I fell….hard.
I just came back from Vegas after celebrating my 28th birthday with friends and my boyfriend of the past 10 years. Once again, no proposal from him and needless to say I drank all weekend to excess. My boyfriend and I got in a huge fight over something stupid and the weekend did not end well. Alcohol had gotten me again and I was devastated.
My boyfriend and I were already having problems though before Vegas as he lived in Chicago and I had applied for nurse anesthesia school in Rhode Island. I quote him: “If you get into school I’m not going to RI and you don’t want to do long distance anymore so I guess if you get into school this is over…”
Here I was in the same pit of despair after allowing alcohol to dictate and control my weekend when I said I was not going to allow it to. When I told God and myself I would have self-control. All this work I did for nothing!? So there I was, sitting in my apartment, alone with my dog, wondering how and why I sank all the way down to the bottom again and what was in store for my relationship.
I went to my journal and wrote to God: “I come to you tonight full of thankfulness of the people you’ve placed in my life and for keeping us all safe this weekend in Vegas. I also thank you for today, the day you finished your work ensuring my health, wholeness and forgiveness so we can live in your love and light. But as you know, I am stuck again. What do I do? Do I stay with him [my boyfriend]? Have we grown apart? Can I not be the person I want to be with him? Will he leave Chicago? Can I be happy with him for the rest of my life? I feel sad and confused right now but I know to have faith, you are leading me through a season. Help me to listen and see what you want for me. Keep me on the course Lord. Amen.”
A few hours later I was still feeling sick to my stomach, literally and figuratively, about drinking so much alcohol and losing control. I finally reached for my devotional before falling asleep and read April 20th where the title was: Handling Temptation. Wow God was about to speak to me!
The voices that entice us are near, the voices that encourage us are distant. The world rams at my door, Jesus taps. The world offers pleasure of flesh and Jesus promises us a quiet dinner with Him. Which voice will I obey?
Hmm…I took the bait. I chose the immediate temptation and pleasure of the lights, the party and the alcohol for a good time which left me empty and frustrated. But God was reminding me that need all we do is look to Jesus, keep our eyes on Him and never look away. “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces never covered in shame.” Psalm 34:5
What are you looking at today? Sin? What is tempting you away from God? Are you going to allow temptation to dictate your life or allow Jesus to? He’s in you, with you always, you need only seek Him.