As I woke up today, I felt the crispness of the cool fall air and I couldn't help but remember. I remembered this season in my life five years ago when I began to make the decision to get clean. I didn't realize that my shallow thoughts of abstaining from drugs were just the tip of the mountain in the plans that God had in store for me. I remembered a phone conversation with my sister who just got out of prison and gave her life to Jesus. She prayed for me and had insurmountable faith that I would surrender my life as well. Although I couldn't see past my own selfish desires, God had already begun His pursuit for me and my life.
I remembered the man who's house I was taking up space in. How he gave me a safe haven from abandoned houses and abandoned hopes. He picked me up like a stray cat and showed me where the litter box was so I could stop defecating in the streets. I remember how the instant coffee and cigarettes tasted while trying to sober up in my own strength. I sat on the porch and longed to get high but instead I went and switched his laundry from the washer to the dryer. I remember circling the words to the crossword in the paper like my mom used to just try and find a sense of feeling other than pain and drug use. I was searching for belonging and pondering a normal life other than needles and chaos. Could this man be my new normal? Could I fall in love and marry him and find normalcy in what started out as a trick? I remember the words he told me as I cried out that I just wanted to get high one more time. I remember the feeling when I decided this would be the last time.
As I remember I look back at my life and how God used every moment as an opportunity to change my future. I remember how He was using even the least of these to thrust me into my destiny. I remember how He used a place where rejected people went to serve punishment, like a light post on my path for righteousness. I remember how He used my pain in this season to help me find healing. I remember how cold the walls were and how stiff the so-called bed that allowed me to find broken rest was. All these things when I look back were unexpected blessings in disguise that helped carve my path of new beginnings.
This season was strange and quite terrifying as I walked into unknown territory. I had to find a new way. The old way had become so worn it couldn't carry my weight anymore. Disease and death were lurking around every needle I tried to find hope in. Waiting for the right moment to pierce my skin and take my life. I never imagined that the God of the universe would reach into such a filthy heart and find beauty in the ashes I made of my life. I will forever be thankful that as I look back I can see the places where I felt the farthest away from God, He was the closest. I will never forget the days where my tears where the only thing sustaining me and yet God held me in His mighty hands. I will remember this time in my life forever and always. It was the time that God thought I was worth saving. The time that God saw past my blackened brokenness and washed me white with Jesus' blood. This fall season means something a little different for me than for others and I will never feel the cool air the same. It will always remind me of the death of my flesh and the birth of my new life in Christ and for that I will always see this time as beyond a moment to remember.