He was not coming for me, “The battle belongs to the Lord”.

Apparently my mom had had conversation with my then husband. When the phone was finally pushed through the slot in my cell door, my mom’s voice rang through frantic. 3,200 miles separated us, but I could hear fear in her voice. A mother’s fear, unlike that of no other.

“Honey, she said I can’t help you from here. He is not going to help you, his plan(my then husband) is to make you suffer”. I believe his exact words were, “throw you to the sharks, and let them have their way with you”. As if his life was any better? Which was fine if he himself only lived by the word(Bible) as he spoke it. Instead he manipulated it with great delusions. Nothing he ever said made sense. It was as if he spoke in rhymes, and riddles. No, just no I thought even with my knowings of this man. He would not do that, would he?

Anxiety resonated through the phone. Tears welled up in my eyes, and again the mangling of my heart proceeded more rapidly than before. I should not have been surprised. He did not care if I had not a phone, money, or a way. He would not be there for me. I was 30 miles from Orlando in Sanford Florida. A city in which I knew little of. My mom’s trepidation for me, only brought me to complete terror for what was to come. There was no peace that surpassed all understanding. 

I was feeble in heart, mind, and spirit. I know it was of my own doing that found me in this conundrum. I also knew no matter what he was supposed to be there, to love me like Christ loved the church. I was his wife, his responsibilty. He was not without fault. He too had some huge dark clouds lurking over him. Ones that I knew about, his sky was just as dark as mine. So I came to the crushing reality we both had loves for the world, and were not ready to rid them in rescue of our marriage. Our selfish desires would be our demise. There was no “us”. There really had not been for longer than I wanted to admit. My poor kids, we failed them greatly.

I knew my release from jail was immenent. For this battle now belonged to the Lord. He was the only one whom in my darkest hour still was there for me. I bowed my head that very day, and prayed for God to lead my way. I tried hard in my sober clarity to allow my shattered reality to give me strength where I had none. I was frail, and my heart had grown calloused. Spiritual anorexia, all the while the spiritual battle was rearing its head. For the worst for my soul was just to begin. I was so weary, and my life of the last 18 years seemed so very long. I could barely muster any praise, just a gaze through dreary eyes. It was time to rid my disguise. “Lord I am alone, and I have no idea what I am going to do”. My wings were broken, and I had been so unspoken. “Can you hear my hearts cries, and my trembling soul”? For I felt so very alone. “Lord, Lord, I need you”! Whispers from under my breath, as I knew this was life’s ultimate test. 

And the girl the keeper of the bunk above me she slept away, none the different all the while. So I turned my head away curdled up in my translucent blanket, and cried my very barren heart to the Lord. It had been forever since I suited up with the full armor of the Lord ready for battle. This one was going to be done in my bare naked self. For I did not have it within my broken spirit to pick up my sword, and put on what seemed so heavy the armor of God. 

I knew as soon as I was released the war was already in full force. For what awaited me was divorce, and a death of the life I once lived. Everthing that I had known up until this tragic day was getting ready to take play…

For it was true there would be no one to get me when I was released. So until then I cried, and cried, and cried some more…until the guard came for me unlocking my cell door.

When several surrounding nations gathered against Judah to destroy it, Jehosaphat knew he was no match militarily. So he called the people and leaders of Judah together to pray. The last sentence of his prayer summarizes his heart: “Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon you”(2 Chronicles 20:12). 

Excerpt taken from; Your Daily Journey With God, David Jeremiah. 

It is better to meet God with tears in your eyes than weapons in yours hands. ~Thomas Watson 

So I was more prepared than I knew, no weapons on my person, and many tears I had shed. Lord lead me into battle. For he(my then husband) was not coming for me.

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The fire was in the nights sky, the battle had already begun. The battle for was meant for me, this was a fierce spiritual fight. It was meant to pierce my decomposed heart, that I may again see the light even in the darkest of nights.

 

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For what was to come of me I did not know?

Jail, I forgot to mention I was not in the general population cell. I was on the medical side. I have Eplilesy. So I was stuck in a tiny cell, with no bars. A window(only by definition), and a solid door with a tiny opening for food, and if I was lucky a phone to pass through. I was not alone in this tiny box either. I shared it with a young girl who was pregnant, and sadly detoxing from something pretty hard core. She was very gaunt, and slept alot. A baby was inside her relying on her to provide nutrients, and she was killing herself and her unborn.

Like I was any better, at the time my 17 year old daughter, and in 4 days 15 old year old son, relied on me for emotional nutrients(yet they were severely lacking), and alcohol was most likely killing me. Just different substances of choice to abuse. This gal, I never got her name got the bunk. I got a mat on the concrete floor with so little space to move about. There was a toilet that was visable for use as it was right at my feet where I slept. The food was horrid, and I did not want to eat. I wanted to save face, and not use that cold metal bowl. 

All the while I sat there in shock of all that had taken place. My mom knew a little of what was going on from Washington State as she was one of my last calls. She figured out how to start a charge account so I could when allowed place calls to Her only.

I had no idea the process, and how long I would be in there. I was booked on a disorderly intox.

My anxieties were growing wild within. The box I lay in seemed to grow smaller in size with each passing minute. I needed out, and panic was definitely taking over.

Oddly enough I found myself praying. Praying for the girl who had her back to me, as she slept her sentence away. Praying for what would come of me when I was released with no money, phone, resources, and over 30 miles from home. Praying for what I knew was the end of my marriage. Praying for the Lord to have mercy on me, and in the same thought wishing for my magic serum. My serum that for sure would help me come to answer all these questions so much better. The antidote that would make the walls seem larger, and my fear subside. For I was not trusting in my God so much higher than I. Where was my solace, where was my comfort? All had gone on the way side, and I was forced to feel. Sober literally sucked!! I found myself crying quietly scared sober, and knew once I was released from my box of solidarity I had no idea where to begin. 

Where would I go? Would my family pick me up? Would my life ever be the same? Could I do sober, when my every thought even a prayer had the thought of a drink? What would become of my kids? How did it come to this? Claustrophobic, and sober! My two least favorite of things. Really what would come of me, my life as I had known it was coming to an end.

Clausterphopia and panic from corner to corner, and head to toe

For what was to come of me I did not know?

Riddled with confusion as I begun to have more clarity, sober and scared beginning to care

For what would become of me I did not know?

In the same breath praying, and then between words of save me was thoughts of alcohol. Like when you stare at that mole on someone’s face trying to focus on their words all the while the mole is really all you can think on, ie; “Lord I alcohol want to alcohol pray for grace alcohol and please God alcohol”

For what would become of me I did not know?

Sober was soberring to say the least, and I still wanted to feast from a bottle

For what was to come of me I did not know?

Ukempt, and desolate. Much like my heart. I cried out, “Oh Lord could any one hear me?” My color pallet was so dirty, and pastels did not reside. Jesus oh Jesus were you on my side? The weeds were ever spreading to my very core, and I my ear deaf to his knock at my hearts door.

 

Psalm 18:6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears. 

It just had not reached mine, my ears could not hear…

I was that girl…

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The sky was growing darker, and black was its only hue. The storm was not dorment. It was just not visable to all eyes. As I looked up the sky was as dark as the thoughts that came with every sip. It was as dark as the blood that now ran through me. The storm was raging within my skin. My heart was taking such a beating, as it was gail force winds brewing. Dark, darker, darkest..

I was the girl with a life long invitation to the Masquerade Ball. I was married into the church at 20. I married a P.K.(pastors kid). I was a devout wife, and mother. We had many a hardship financially. My husband seemed to have great difficulty holding down jobs. Financial security, what was that? So in all honesty I don’t think I had known the true me up until my coming claim of alcoholism(August 2013).

I was a mom who was present, but who would slip away into a bathroom to guzzle down as much alcohol without obviously being gone too long. I was the employee who brought alcohol to work in a sports bottle, taking bathroom breaks frequently. I was the wife who longed to go out with her musician husband, because that gave me the freedom to drink off the band’s open bar tab. No one would be none the wiser. I was the girl who had a slit in the very bottom of her purse lining where I could hide my alcohol, because my wallet and such could lay over the top. I had sat in church pews buzzed. I always had alcohol on my person. It was like a security blanket for me.

We always had alcohol in our home once we moved from Washington to Florida(2002). It was as if that spiritual identity of the P.K’s family was gone. No one knew us. We could do whatever we wished. I could not of course. There came a time my then husband had told me I could not drink, and in the same breath he declared God told him he could drink. My kids got their eye full of gross behaviour. I was so confused at his wisdom it seemed foolish, and made me angry. Who was he to tell me, and yet sit there as we watch a family movie and drink? Calling me an alcoholic, yet stumbling me along the way. So as he always had a box of open wine by the side of his bed, I would wait with great anticipation for him to fall asleep. Usually pretty blitzed himself, he was none the wiser as I slowy crept to drink from it myslef. Always scared of him waking, but I was skillful in my ploy. I usually could manage 3 glasses. He never knew how much he drank, so I was so careful to not drink too much to make the box too light. In all of this I actually had myself fooled that no one knew. I am sure even with all the breath freshners, perfumes, and rinsing of my mouth I always had that stintch of alcohol coming from my pours. Especially in the humidity of Orlando. Also I was a horrible drunk. I was not the girl who drank bringing the house down with laughter, and comic relief. I was the girl who drank, and walked in with a huge brick in my hands. Waiting to begrudgeingly throw it at the first person to open a fresh, or old wound. I was like the incredible hulk, but a small woman whom wanted to make others feel my pain. Pain is what I bathed in, and my bath was full. My marriage was far from happy. My husband was far from the man, I had always hoped him to be. I began looking at him with very different eyes than I did when we were younger. I knew he did me, as it seemed every other woman caught his fancy.

I was the girl who would drink anything as long as it was alcohol. I did not have a preferred taste, or special drink. If it could make me dumb to my life, give it to me. From the time I woke, until I went to bed. Constant feeding of sober. I could not do sober. I did not know how to do it.

I mentioned we were always in a bad way financially. So I was also the girl who managed how to walk into a store, and walk out past the registers without paying with a purse full of “my” candy. This was repeated multiple times in a day. Yeah I was that girl(very sad), and humbling to admit.

I was always a happy go-lucky, sarcastic girl. Could have won an award for class clown. I had so many gnawing pains, being serious was just not my thing. I became very good at a very young age at pushing everything so far down inside. I painted a beautiful fasaud for all to see. I was a mess on the inside, yet for a time managed to look the beautiful part on the outside. I did say for a time. For as you could see by the mugshot of me I was far cry from beautiful.

I was the girl who had a monster unleashed the day I was put in jail. I was the girl who lived for her next drink, and God was trying to wake for her sake. I was the girl who did not care about anything, but the next sip. I was decieved by alcohol, and was I deceiving because of it. Or another way to put it I drank to live, and lived to drink.

Desperate hands searched the bottom of her purse

Breathing fast, to drink fast and hard

Pound it down, hurry the feelings are coming

Desperate hands clamering the back of the car for a look to see if she had truly run out

Desperate hands finding new hiding places so no one could take her most prized possesion 

Desperate to feel the warmth in the buzz, desperate oh so deserpate she was that girl…

Desperate was killing her, but desperate was what she felt she needed to live. Catch 22. 

She was the girl with a drawer full of different masks for she had a lifelong invitation to the Masquerade Ball 

I was that girl…

Exodus 20:3

You must not have any God but Me.

I was that girl that made alcohol her idol 

The bars I was behind did not have drinks, I was forced sober. 

By nature over the past several years I had become riddled with anxiety. My life was filled with chaotic compromise in every area. Anxieties that held me in captivity much like my jail cell.

I was sobering up. I had no alcohol to feed the uneasiness, pain, cries, anger, confusion, and loneliness. Anxiety made its way through the multitude of emotions, and I was wrecked with fear. My whole being given over to darkness. I saw no light, hope, or sanity. I was losing all sense of self. My head felt as if it hung lower than it had ever hung before. Locked behind closed bars. I did not have the key. I did not even begin to lift my weary head. If anything, I believe I sank lower in my cell than I had ever been before. I just wanted to stop breathing, to put an end to the waives of treacherous thoughts stomping on my heart.

My heart was racing, and I was panicked. I could see no way out. I did not look to my God. I played the woe is me card better in my crisis, so I thought. Self consumed, self loathing, foolishness, and a total disregard for the fact that I had a life outside the imprisoned self/cell.

I was enraptured by self. I shut down for a time. Everything that was taking place felt as if I was not part in it. I watched the process of the guards, saw others get booked, and I believe had some social interactions even. I had no idea what my life was to become, or what would become of me. I was as lost as lost gets. Might as well have put my mugshot with last seen date on the side of a milk jug. For I saw no hope, and I had no desire to keep on going. I was forced sober, and how could I do life sober? There was no drink behind these bars, and all my scars were becoming transparent to my own eyes, and I desperately wanted my heart to fail.

God was there as I was exposed, I was naked in heart without a drink. I wanted to shut down. There was no on, and off switch anymore. I was forced sober!!! How could I do sober? I couldn’t not yet!

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If I could only have seen what was to become of me. His purpsose, and magnificient plan for my life. If I could only have seen me with His eyes! For there is no greater love known to man than that of our Lord!! That should have been no surprise to a gal like me…

Shaken not stirred. Jailed!! Get me out of here I just want one more drink so I don’t have to think. It hurts too bad…

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The sky has always been a unique metaphor for my life. I have countless pictures of skylines. This one represents this blog well. As I looked up I saw so little hope, God was still ever present. The darkness settled over me, and little light illuminated. For my heart was callused, and I was imprisoned by my own self affliction. Given to the emptiness of alcohol. Yet the light still shown through. All I saw was black…

So as I stated I was being hauled off to Jail. Me, the one who tried so hard to seem like I had it all together. I had begun my process of falling to pieces. Pieces were every where of my very broken heart. I was bleeding internally, and very scarred. I could not see how I was to survive this. I saw no hope!! How could this be my reality? I wanted still to drink nonetheless. Just a little something to rub on my wounds. Take the sting away. That was obviously not going to happen. I was shaken, not stirred. Not yet!!

Booking was fun(not), checked in the little I had. Was given a blue jumpsuit, patted down, picture taken, fingerprinted, was told to spread and cough, and deloused. How humiliating!! How had it come to this?

As I sat in my holding cell I remebered a conversation my then husband, and I had a week before this tragic incident. He drank as well(often and heavily), but my drinking was being addressed by him. He told me if I was to drink again, and get caught he would not spare me. He would allow whatever consequences were to come my way. I had later found out he was the one that told all my neighbors to call the police if I came back around that day. It was almost as if I was set up for my downfall. My whole life was lost, and changed the moment I was cuffed. He set me up for heart breaking realities, and for the making of my fall.

Although God was still in control. He was ever present with me as I sat there sober(I hated being sober too). He was speaking to me, and allowed favor for me while I was jailed.

You see I knew God well. He was whom my life belonged to. He was whom I made my marriage, and my kids lives revolve around. It was my relationship with God(my savior) that always kept me afloat. Being affluent in the church, and a biblical calling was what I knew. So how had I strayed so far? How had I sought solace in a bottle, instead of at my Lord’s feet? Drinking had become an escape. I could drown out all the chaos, and calamity that was becoming my every day life. I could drink myself dumb to the truth. My life as I had known it since January 7, 1995(the day I said I do), was a farse. Married at 20, and always expected to remain in that union as God intended.

As I sat there in jail, my heart was imprisoned as well. I wanted out, but honestly only to taste the alcohol on my lips, and coat the back of my throat. I wanted to taste, and live oblivion. I did not want to have to feel the pains of my reality.

For I was shaken not stirred!

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. ~C.S Lewis 

Arrested, yet still I slumbered

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My Mug Shot Upper right corner(say cheese), signing autographs all day 9-5. This beautiful photo can be ordered in all sizes. At least I have a sense of humor(😀). Still shamed as I look at it, but as I look at my now pictures I can lift my hands in Praise for by His Grace I was found!

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be.

Danny Gokey(singer/songwriter)

July 4, 2013 a significant marker in my life indeed. The day before I was given some heart awakening revelations that I just could not bare. The reality of my life just did not seem real. Asked to not share with anyone to protect this person, and being their biggest fan for 18 years. Of course that being my every intention. The morning of July 4th, though I woke just wanting to find solace in a bottle of possibly a friend. Or maybe many friends. To my recollection, and what others have helped me piece together I began drinking heavily first thing. Alone in a grocery store bathroom. I was in Orlando Florida where my husband, two kids, and I had resided off and on for ten years. I was from Washington State. So that is where my drunken fingers found the zipcode on my phone to dial a friend in Spokane(home). The conversation I myself have zero recollection of. She brought me up-to-date many weeks later. Apparently all the while drinking more, and more as we talked. I do remember sobbing, and barely breathing between words of my very broken life. I kept nothing sacred. I bared all to her. I did not protect the secret revelations of my life that day. God I declared, “how could you forsake me”? He had not of course. I was just too blind to see by my own self pity. Beer goggles would be an understatment. 

I had been drinking quite a bit up to this day, as my life was spirially down. I just did not want to beleive the truth of what was. It hurt too bad. I felt like I might as well put a knife in my heart, and let the blood spill until my death. Which the amount of alcohol I had consumed proved I was desperate for my release from this life. I do remember in my drunken stooper a lady entering the bathroom. I most likely smelled ripe of alcohol, I would bet I did not fair to well in the looks department either. She still came over to my sunken body in the corner by the sink. She asked, “can I pray for you dear girl”? I sheepishly answered yes. I could still feel the immense rush of anguish. I needed more to drink. I could not stand to feel what overcame me, and the reality of what was my life. If I had clarity of mind to know what would be in the hours to come I would not have been so foolish. I did try to call my husband several times to only hear his voicemail over and over. This only exasperated me even more. I knew we had plans to celebrate 4th of July with our kids. How could they celebrate knowing I had gone missing, and most likely on a drinking binge? This picture seemed so wrong to me.

At some point when I could stand up to walk I looked out the restroom doors to see the morning had turned to night. My phone had so little life left in it, and I was sadly(for me) sobering up. It was time to walk the walk of shame back to my apartment. Thankfully it was just across the street. I still cried, and my thoughts were so dark. The saddest part was I painted a nearly perfect picture of my life for our friends, church body, and social media. Only few knew the secrets, and that our life was a train wreck waiting to happen. I was a passenger on a derailed train ready to jump at anytime plummeting to my death, so I could only hope.

When I got home, our car was still gone. I went to the door. Crap it was locked, and of course I was keyless. Really?!?  Patting my body, yes really. No key, no entry. I was growing tired, and just wanted to lay in my bed. 

Well I could not get in. My husband still would not answer to my calls. So I procceeded to knock on my neighbors door, after about an hour passing. My phone had died. I asked her if I could use her phone. I said little, just expressed the need to enter my apartement. She was very nice(so I thought). She asked me to wait a minute as she shut the door. She was gone for what seemed an eternity. In fact she never did return to the door, and I was naive all the while to what was about to happen.

There it was my ride, and end of 18 years of my life. A Seminole County Police car pulled up right out in front. The police officer got out calling my name. Confused at how the heck she knew me, I walked to her as she walked to me. When she got to me she said, “Lisa I told you if we had to come back you were going in”. I had no former memory of this converastion taking place. For me it was our first encounter. It seemed unfair. How sad had I become. She asked me to turn around as she placed my hands in cuffs. She read me my rights, and of course just as she placed her hand on my head to assist me in the back of her car, my family pulled up. As they watched as the door was shut on all my failure for the day, they walked to apartment slowly. Looking at me as I looked at them. As we pulled out of the apartment complex I turned my head with one last look as they all stood as I got hauled off to jail. Me, jail!! How did it come to this? My life as I knew it changed this day for the rest of what I call my life. This day, I was arrested yet still I slumbered. I was not ready for my awakening.