Saturday, January 29, 2005

A Scriptural Journey...defining CrackCocaine

I find power and relief in the printed word, in both reading and writing, more in the writing than the reading. When my despair was below hitting bottom, I started writing anything that came to mind. I also started reading all I could, especially when the words felt healing. Then to be able to write words that felt healing and then to add playing guitar notes that seemed to blend together and these felt soothing, all this seemed to be what I was supposed to be doing. At the time I had no idea what it all meant but it felt like peaceful spiritual progress was being made in ever so teeny tiny microscopic baby steps…and the positive forces of life were leading me down into new territory and I was very willing to go.
When I describe scriptures and their meaning to me, this is part of how “my program” works for me. When I read scriptures and a meaning jumps out at me, I go with it. Most probably do not go along with a pastoral translation, but as long as words are not added or subtracted or changed then whatever meaning penetrates the evil crack stench bubble, than so be it. If it works then maybe God meant just that meaning for just you to believe and practice. All that really matters is that crack disappears from the face of the earth, and with the power of printed scriptures for us to benefit from, seek and you will find the right meaning for you the user or you the victim.
The first scripture that I read that actually felt real and that it might be true or at least I was desperately hoping could be true was Psalm 34. I was living in a rat and cock-roach infested rooming hotel. Every drug addict, pimp and easy crack babe were no further than 50 feet away at any given moment. After reading Psalm 34 I felt a very slight faint glimmer of possible hope. It was so small you would miss it if your heart was not actually crying out for relief from the madness of smoking crack cocaine. It was years later that I was crack-free. I am hoping in my heart I can save people some time with my truths exposed. Anything could help, a word, a song, a person who has been there and knows the truth. PSALM 34 - “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen, to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems his servants; no one who takes refuge in him, will be condemned”. I really wanted what this was saying. I needed to have it or I would die. This only planted a less than mustard seed in my heart. I soon turned my back again and went for the madness of smoking crack. The words in Psalm 34 spoke to my heart daily. I chose to ignore them. The hope was there, but the sweetness of the devil’s candy was overpowering. What a journey this would be.
I sought scriptures that could place some semblance in the madness surrounding my zero life. I had tried everything else, nothing was or seemed to help or work in ridding my soul of this horrible contamination from the devil’s candy. God’s word penetrated the evil crack stench bubble that up until now had been able to block any attempt to be crack-free.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”. Matthew 7:7-8
*The initiative has to come from oneself. No one else can implement this. No matter how much desire or simply wanting the end stage or magic poof cleanness, none of this will likely happen on our time. Our time is just that-our time. The frustrating part is asking without instant results. In fact with crack the complete opposite seems or actually does occur. The instant I asked from the heart, it still took 3 more years (on my time) to be free completely from crack. Evidently my lessons were not done yet. The door was opened, I just had to hang on and trust God and keep going through that door until it closed behind me.
Jesus said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God”. Luke 18:27
I was around treatment people all 105 of them and being drilled that we are addicts and alcoholics period. Nothing more nothing less. This seemed very phony. I did not relate to this way of thinking. I gave it my best attempt, but just could not convince myself that this is it and that is all it is! I always felt it was a contamination of some sort, unable to identify it but felt it was. It definitely was stronger and more power than a room full of people preaching treatment and meetings and zero about the truth of the spiritual binding element that crack cocaine has, but then maybe they did not know from lack of true experience with the crack-bite and not from some page from a clinical textbook, page 402, section 13. Realizing it IS the devil’s candy allows my faith to overcome this sweetness of deception. It still is a daily spiritual battle; but now because of my faith in God, I have trust in HIS deliverance.
“Daughter your faith has healed you, go in peace and be free from your suffering”.
Mark 5:34
This scripture had me running out a door to get to a safe place. I went to yet another ‘treatment’ place, and it was a very horrifying experience for my soul and spirit. I will not say the name exactly, merely because in case someone is getting the “help” they need to get clean. This place was a “Challenge” especially for teens…I do not want to bury this places policies, but at the time I was there, it was a mess. I was there less than 15 minutes and joined the prayer group in the gym. Within minutes people were falling back on the floor kind of flopping and speaking in what they were calling tongues. The hair on the back of neck was completely standing straight up, stiffly. Some new arrivals came into the room and within minutes a few of them were flopping and speaking in the “hahbah hahbah aahhcktoo hahbah” stuff. Huh? What the heck is all this I asked quite bluntly. I was there to get better and really needed it and really wanted it, and now this phony stuff. I was told that this speaking is the manifestation of the ‘Holy Spirit”. I said yeah and…I was then told if you do not speak like this then you do not have the ‘Holy Spirit’ in you!! HUH? What a mess. I am here less than 30 minutes and this is not good. I was also a vegetarian at the time, and kindly asked for an extra banana or a salad and someone can have my calico beef slice of whatever it was, or they could have my gray hotdog and could I get maybe an extra yogurt or something. I was told quite sternly, when you are here long enough (this was a year program) you WILL eat what we serve or go hungry. This is bad. Real bad! How am I going to make it through this for a year. I went out to the back forty where we could go for walks. I completely broke down. I wanted to get better but this was not the place or program for me to do it. I was hurting so bad. I could not leave. That would be failure and everyone would think I do not want to stop smoking crack. This is a mess. No one would answer my calls and no outside world things were allowed. One day cleaning walls that were not dirty, but had to clean anyway, lunch was ready…hmmm….gray hot dogs, a huge mound of cheetos, 1 green apple and water with no ice. I was loosing it and very, very hungry. I had not eaten very much. I tried to find things to eat but you could not switch food with someone who might like too. I am really hungry. I left the lunch line and ran up to my room that housed 45 men in bunk beds 38 inches apart. I cried as silently as one could. With tears flooding my eyes I read Mark 34:5. I wanted to leave. They would not let me. They brought me into the office and had numerous people pray over me and speak (or whatever it was) in tongues. I was numb from remembering an earlier incident in the gym on a Saturday night about 9:30 PM , when a guy grabbed my shoulders and started squinting and chanting and sweating and shaking kind of jolting me while he did the tongue thing. I threw his hands away and got in his face and asked him what the hell he was doing? He said praying for you. If this is how you pray for me, forget it, I do not need that! All this was too creepy for me. Now I am in this office with these weird people speaking in this tongue garbage, holding me hostage, at least that is how I felt. Finally, four hours later I got my $10 from my personal money and they brought me down to the bus station to get back home, even though I had no home. When I called my family to please pick me up at the bus station, it was, well pretty bad. They thought I left because I did not want to stop using crack…when in reality I left to save my soul and spirit. I felt very weird there, like a spell was being cast on me..?! I know it does not sound right…but my truths have set me free and maybe they can help set someone else possessed free. What an experience.
“but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts”.
John 5:42
Not just lip service, from the heart. This is just a place that we get to from grace, mercy and perseverance. When we fall in love, we have little control over our hearts. We are also more vulnerable to getting our hearts crushed when our hearts are fixed on something and that something lets us down. God will never let you down. When our hearts fall in love with God, our focus becomes content and candy proof. Ask God from the heart to start the journey to being crack-free, and trust it will be done. This does not mean out of desperation from a crisis, this means after a clean period of time from crack, maybe 30 days or so, or better yet just time enough for your soul to neutralize, so acceptance can enter.
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fears him and do what is right”.
Acts 10:34-35
No crack-head is left out of God’s grace & mercy. The ‘fallen angel’ loves this lie. I felt that I was left out. I kept thinking ‘I’m a crack-head and will never rid myself of this insidious stuff”. I kept hoping God’s grace will go to whoever fears HIM, and does the right thing; like maybe me? A radio personality states it true when she says, “Now go do the right thing”! How true! God accepts us as from wherever, and HE will deliver our souls from the devil’s candy, when our faith has more space in our head than our desire or even just thoughts of smoking crack cocaine. The fear of God has to outweigh the fear of the consequences of smoking crack cocaine period!
“but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance: perseverance, character; and character, hope”.
Romans 5:3-4
There is that word, hope. Hope I can quit. I am sorry and regret that my lessons from smoking crack cocaine hurt my family, friends, my daughter, my wife. Hopefully from my perseverance to keep trying to find what would work for me, will help balance my life now. Why I am here today is directly from Susan and Camille. My daughter and my wife. There have been a lot of people affected by my crack-crap, my mother stressed herself to help find a way, my sister and I lost a chunk from our seamless brother sister relationship, my father just plain buried me early to avoid the reality that it might truly have happened, my brother stayed neutral and now that is a very good thing because I have a good relationship with my brother instead of loosing a chunk here too, I even exposed my crack cocaine behavior to my 80 year old grandmother and to my uncles family, and I am sure that there are others that have all tried and contributed to helping Todd. With even just a little faith in me I am sure pulled some weight. Prayers do get answered. I prayed right in the middle of the despair pit for a daughter and a woman to marry. Both were given to me. I am blessed to have Susan and Camille in my life. Both are phenomenal women, and I believe sent to answer my prayer.
“You shouldn’t stop giving yourselves to each other except when you both agree to do so. And that should be only to give yourselves time to pray for a while. Then you should come together again. In that way Satan will not tempt you when you can’t control yourselves”.
1 Corinthians 7:5
This is obvious. Life for us now is; Camille deals with the victims, and I deal with the user. We separated ourselves to pray for the madness to stop…we got back together…we are giving of ourselves…it says Satan WILL NOT TEMPT…this IS true…it may not feel like it, but we persevered and have faith…faith is the trigger for releasing God’s awesome power…