We all have those moments in our lives when we feel like we are drowning. Those “going under” times that stay forever embedded in our memories. Thankfully, we usually gain more from these experiences than we ever thought possible. Breakthroughs. Determination. Salvation…
My greatest breakthrough moment took place over 14 years ago when I took my last drink. I never imagined I would be the one to break the long cycle of alcohol abuse that imprisoned my family for so many generations.
I started drinking at the ridiculously young age of 13. As I have shared many times before, I immediately became an addict. When alcohol no longer served my needs, I supplemented with a variety of drugs.
It was a dangerously stressful period in my life, lasting 17 long years. I did a lot of things I’m incredibly ashamed of, and found myself in circumstances I will probably never forget.
The beauty of those horrible memories is knowing I overcame that life. A life of missing the daily joy of genuinely watching my daughter grow and develop. A life of avoiding the rest of my family who I hid from for so many years. A life of nonstop abuse to my body, mind, and soul…
It was the death of my daughter’s father that finally forced me to breakthrough into the relief of sobriety. I knew it was my responsibility to make sure my precious little girl would always have me around. She deserved so much more in life than an alcohol induced mother could provide. I was determined to give her all I possibly could.
As the years have passed, I’m learning there are other reasons God saved me from those addictions. It has taken me a long time to realize I am made for more and He is not even close to being done with me yet. Just abstaining from alcohol and drugs is not enough.
Unfortunately, as so many of us do, I swapped out my drug of choice and let food take over my life. God is slowly saving me from this unhealthy lifestyle as well. One day at a time…
I love Lysa TerKeurst’s thoughts on this topic in her book Made to Crave:
“We were made for more… We need a power beyond our frail attempts and fragile resolve… Yes, the truth of who we are and the power to live out that truth— that’s what we need.”
He saved me to carry out a life worth living. I am more than someone who has replaced alcohol and drugs with candy bars and donuts. It is time to use His power instead of my “frail attempts” at living a truly healthy lifestyle.
Whatever you are struggling with today- food, alcohol, drugs…, there is a way out. We are made for more! At the end of my days, I want to be able to say:
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
~2 Timothy 4:7
I am absolutely obsessed with the Made to Crave theme song, Overcomer by Grammy winner Mandisa. I’ve watched this video often over the last couple of weeks and each time it still brings tears to my eyes. I hope you are as inspired by it as I am.
Please remember this: We are overcomers. Through His power we can find freedom from any stronghold. To join me in my continued journey of food addiction recovery, sign up for my free weekly newsletter…
You are an inspiration, Candace! It is my hope and prayer that someone else who is struggling may see your light and realize they, too, can change their lives. Rock on! :O)
Thank you so much, LuAnn! That is my hope and prayer for this blog as well. My deepest desire is to reach those still struggling.
Thank you, once again, for such great message Candace! Overcomer, by Mandisa has been a “theme song” for my life ever since I heard it for the first time…it speaks truth to all, the truth of God’s love and power. It is by His power that we overcome. Jesus has overcome the world, so by His power, we become overcomers as well. I praise God everyday for providing inspiration to musicians and writers so we can benefit from their God-inspired ministry and be able to learn how to breathe again! You are, indeed, an overcomer. And as you well said, there is much more to life…He wants to give you life in abundance! He wants to give you all of His riches! so you can live a full life in Him as you do it all for Him. As you shift your focus from yourself to Him, things begin to happen : ). Blessings to you always as you bless us who have the privilege of reading your meditations. Hugs
I love that song and am thrilled it was recognized this week with a Grammy! The singer, Mandisa, is doing the online Bible study, Made to Crave, with us. Thank you for your always encouraging words, Gisela! Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!
Mary Eidson Rose
Candace, love that you shared about your daughter needing the best possible mother! I have always felt this way about our son, who is now 24. He, your daughter, and all children, deserve the best parents, role-models we can give them! We are all made for MORE! Thank you for sharing this word from your heart for today.
They absolutely deserve us at our best, Mary! My daughter is now 20, and I can’t even imagine the different life she would have lived had I not found sobriety. I feel very blessed! Always great to see you here!
mary b- obs leader
Thank you for your open and honest story for us. You are made for more and by sharing others will see they are too! Our kids are a gift from above and God would not give them to us if he did not want us to be the best for them. Thank you for the reminder!
I certainly hope others will see they are made for more too, Mary! My children are an incredible gift from God, and I want to make sure He knows how much I appreciate them. So good to see you. I hope you are enjoying the study :).
Really no words can express what this means to my heart. Just the words we need in this world. As it says in Made to Crave, you were made for more and GOD continued that work as you were obedient to him!! Thank you again for sharing your heart with us. GOD bless you in a mighty way today!!
Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Laura! I think our obedience pays off in amazing ways. Blessings to you as well!
Tonya McCoy ~ Proverbs31 OBS Group Leader
You never cease to amaze me Candace! Your words are always so well written. You are such an inspiration to a lot of people & don’t ever forget that. You know when you say you’ll never forget where you came from, I don’t think we should forget because it just reminds us how great God is & what He is capable of! Thank you so much for sharing with us & being so open & honest!
I completely agree that by not forgetting about those times in our lives, we are keeping the memory of Him saving us alive! I always love your visits, Tonya :). Thank you!
Great share xoxo
Thanks, Mari! It’s always great to see you :).
I love it every time I read one of your blogs! Whether it is one of your creations or part of your life and heart that you are sharing, you are such an inspiration. Thanks again for a wonderful blog. 🙂
Thank you for your continued encouragement, Kim! You are so thoughtful and supportive, and I’m really glad to have connected with you. I was happy to see you in the blog hop this week :)! I always love the scriptures you lead me to.
As always absolutely amazing!!
Hi Camille! Thanks so much, my friend! It is a tough topic, but one I need to continue to share.
Hi there! Stopping by from the Blog Hop! Now following and would love if you’d consider following back 🙂
Hi Bel, Thanks for connecting! I’m looking forward to checking out your blog :).
I chose your blog to read because it was number 36 and that is my age- so thankful I did! I come from a family of alcoholism, my mom actually is and we don’t speak, but I always love reading about others who have overcome addiction. And I had not watched the video yet of Overcomer, wow. Definitely made me cry! Thank you for sharing!
I’m so thankful that number led you to me, Shannon! It is hard to deal with family members who are still in the grip of addiction. I’m sorry to hear your mom is still struggling with alcoholism. I know that must be horrible for you. The video is great! Glad you enjoyed it! I hope to see you again :).
Great blog! Such an inspiration and hope to others!
Thank you, Sonja! It is my greatest desire that others can find both inspiration and hope here!
Candace – Thank you for sharing your story. It is really inspiring and helps us all keep our eyes on Christ (not to mention stay #determined!!) I appreciate learning more about you along this journey. God bless! ~
I have our word- determined- on my refrigerator. Last night, I was complaining about something and my son told me to look at my word for the week on the refrigerator. It really helped me refocus. Seeing you mention our word made me remember that story :). Thank you for visiting, Miriam!
Tami @ This Mom's Delight
What encouragement! I have some issues with food.
So many of us have food issues, Tami! It is the toughest addiction to conquer in my opinion. I think because it is so acceptable. I hope you are able to look around here and find some encouragement. Check out my 31 days series on food addiction in the sidebar if you have the time.
Thank you for sharing so honestly. I love the part in Joseph’s story when he tells his brothers that what they meant for harm God had not just turned to good but had saved many lives because of all of it. I have no doubt that He is doing and has done the same for you.
Thank you for reminding me of that story, Elizabeth! That was a great, incredibly important moment for Joseph. I do believe all that I suffered was to bring me to a place to help others. I hope much good will come from my past.
Hi candy, I am always amazed by your strength and growth on your walk of life. You have a strong group of followers with your blog, your serving God well
Thank you for your sweet encouragement, Camii! I hope all is well with you and your new job. I’m so thankful for the wonderful people I have met through my blog, including you, my friend :).
Candace, your such an inspiration and have such a way with words. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sure God has used you in the past and will continue as you tell your story. Your sister in Christ.
It is wonderful to be able to finally use the pain of my past in such a positive way. I feel very blessed to be where I am today. Thanks so much for encouraging me, Dar!
Thank you for your bravery in sharing all that you have been through. I seriously pray that God would continue to use you to encourage others with your testimony. Keep on being brave and unabashedly honest!
Hi Judith! Thank you for your prayers. They really mean so much to me. I hope He will continue to use me as well. Even if I encourage one person out there suffering, it will all be worth it :)!
Thanks for linking up to this month’s Share the Love Blog hop.
Thank you, Natasha! I was glad to find your blog hop and am happy to be a part of it this month.
Dear Candace, Thank you for this post! ….drowning…I can SOOO relate! I appreciate your transparency – you are such an encouragement. Blessings! Julie
Thank you for your sweet comment, Julie! This was an emotional post for me to write. I’m so glad you found some encouragement in it :).
My goodness, I needed this today. So tired of fighting this fight with insecurity, and to be honest, I see no end in sight. I keep falling back into believing the lies. But I can’t give up! I have to fight til the end! <3
That is a hard battle to fight, Katie! A Confident Heart by Renee Swope is a great resource for the struggle of insecurity. We read it in my last online bible study with Proverbs 31. Don’t give up! Keep the faith :)!
Shari Lynne @ Faith Filled Food for Moms
Hi Candace! I love your testimony and ooooh do we have a lot in common 🙂 I’ve been clean and sober for 30 years in May! God has been sooo amazingly good to me and I am so blessed. I am so proud of you for breaking the addiction cycle and although many can say that I KNOW just how hard this can be with all the behaviors that come along with it. You are a God ROCKSTAR! I love the song Overcomer too. I pray God would bless you beyond what you can think or imagine as you continue to walk the wonderful (but not easy 🙂 Life that He has for you! Blessings!
30 years!! I’m impressed, Shari Lynne! You give me hope. Thanks so much for your prayer and encouragement. Blessings to you!!
Shari Lynne @ Faith Filled Food for Moms
Definitely by God’s amazing grace Candice 🙂 Blessings!!
Sheila at Longings End
Coming from a long family line of alcohol and drug abuse your post makes for familiar reading. Even though I have not abused substances, I craved other things at one time like control, perfection and love in all the wrong places like many other Adult Children of Alcoholics. And it is only in my heart finding rest in my Father’s heart that these things are overcome. Please join me in prayer for a very close family member who is addicted to heroin. Thanks, Candace. So happy to have found your blog today. Blessings…
Joining you in prayer, Sheila! Heroin is an incredibly addictive drug. I’m so happy you found me today as well. I think we all have something we are addicted to- alcohol, perfection… Seeking God first is the only way I believe we can truly overcome. I’m glad you were successful in doing that. Hope to see you again :)!
I found my way to your site through the featured post on Fellowship Fridays. I too am an addict, but not alcohol. I was brought to my knees 10 years ago last month and started recovery for my addictive behaviors. I am so grateful that God has turned my failure into victory and uses it for His Glory, most notably through serving in Celebrate Recovery and blogging (my 12th step). I also launched a blog for the ministry this year, https://celebraterecoveryontheplateau.org/blog/. God uses it all. Thanks for using your pain to bring Him Glory.
I have been wanting to check out Celebrate Recovery for awhile. It seems like a great program. I’ll definitely visit your blog, Ardis! I think writing about our stories can be wonderful ministries. You are absolutely correct- “God uses it all.”