I took my last drink of alcohol Thanksgiving Day 2001. Thirteen Thanksgiving Days later and it’s surreal to think about that Eileen. It almost feels like I was living some one else’s life. Other than the season when I lost my mom, that getting sober season was the hardest, most painful time of I’ve ever walked through. I learned a valuable lesson during that time. God doesn’t promise us that the path to beautiful is going to be easy…no…sometimes it hurts like hell. But, He does promise to carry us when we can’t walk, lead us when can’t see, and hold us tight when we are making our way through a valley that feels as if it will never come to an end.
This is why I give thanks today.
This is why I give thanks every day.
I am thankful for a Creator who refuses to give up on me, on us. I am thankful that His pursuit of us and His love for us is relentless.
This week, my family and I are visiting the same town in North Carolina where this pursuing Love finally captured my hurting and forever wandering heart thirteen years ago. I am grateful to be celebrating back here this year, back here where the love story became real to me.
This morning, I thought back to those first few weeks without a drink. I thought about the walk I took one afternoon down by the waterfront with my dogs. I remember it dawning on me how the road ahead of me was still filled with so much uncertainty and yet I was overflowing with joy. The questions didn’t matter. All I knew, for sure, was that I wasn’t walking through them all alone. I remember having my own Thanksgiving celebration while out on that walk. I thanked God for bringing me through so much and I told Him how I knew there might be times in my life when I would feel lonely but that I knew, with complete certainty, I would never be alone again. Never.
13 years later and that Truth remains.
Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that this truth will fill your hearts and homes with joy today.