I too am convinced that nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Jesus is Lord of my life. I love my husband. However, Jesus is my first love and I love Jesus in the same way as the Apostle Paul obviously did. Similarly, my husband loves Jesus first and myself second. This is the way it should be. Jesus is first in both of our lives.
These two verses from Romans have always reminded me of Elizabeth Barret Browning's sonnet:
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
I believe Elizabeth Barret Browning may have been expressing her love for Jesus as much as she was expressing her love for her husband Robert. After all, she had read the New Testament and was familiar with these two bible verses.
After I stopped drinking, I found out that I thought I was the boss of life around me.
Here are some examples to illustrate this way of thinking:
During the first 6 months of my sobriety, I had to face some harsh truths about myself.
Many of the faults that I had blamed on alcohol - wasn't the alcohol - it was me. My perception of who I was as a person was fractured and broken like a dropped mirror. Tears streamed down my face easily when I was alone. My best friend had died and I was my best friend.
My understanding of my role in life slowly, but surely underwent several revisions.
The first revision was that I dusted off my Bible and admitted my life was unmanageable and I was powerless over alcohol. Additionally, my mom made sure I was turning to Jesus and I rededicated my life to him.
Let's Go to Church
Although I was reading my bible and turning to Jesus, I didn't return to church until I had about 18 months of sobriety. This revision happened after I was told,"What better place for hypocrites to be than in church? Maybe they will finally see the light."
Sisterhood is Good
At 3 years of sobriety, I found myself wanting to rejoin the sisterhood of women because of all the help I was receiving from a couple of ladies with long term sobriety. Those ladies had something I wanted; they both knew how to stay sober, how to stay promiscuity-free, and how to apply biblical principles to 12 step recovery. Yes, my sisters were no longer my enemies.
My Way isn't the Only Way
Somewhere around the 3rd-4th year of recovery, in a conversation with my husband, I found myself saying," ...After all, my way isn't the only way."
My husband stared at me like I had suddenly developed an extra head atop my shoulders before saying,"I had hoped this day would arrive, but I had about given up on it!"
Pow! understanding smacked me in the face as I thought about what I had just said. Silently, I congratulated myself on getting better.
Why Did You Do This?
When I reached 14 years of sobriety, I was still struggling with God over why I was me. One night I looked at the ceiling and cried,"Why did you make me this way? I am MAD at you!" At that time, silence was the only response I received to my angry question.
Two weeks later, God answered me during my morning prayer and meditation time. One word kept popping into the stillness of my brain, "Clay." "What? Clay? Really Lord?" Never in a million years would I tell myself to read about clay in my bible.
However, I obediently turned to the index of my study bible and looked up the word, clay. Carefully, I began to read the first verse and write down my thoughts about it. Five bible verses later, I was reading and writing down my thoughts about Romans 9:21. As I read the scripture, I found my eyes drawn to the previous verse, 9:20.
As I read verse 9:20, the words seemed to float up off the page and POW! from my innermost being outward, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, I KNEW I was being spiritually spanked for my angry diatribe at God two weeks earlier.
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?
How arrogant I had been. Yelling at God? Really?
With a sigh, I started writing about why I was resentful (angry)at God, the cause of the anger, and how it affected me. The cause of the anger was control. Once again, my way of thinking brought me crashing down to my knees and re-submitting my life to God. By re-submitting all control of my entire life to God, I was making a decision to turn my will and my life over to God, again. Consequently while I was on my knees, an apology to the Creator of All issued from my lips.
At 14 years sober, I realized that God was giving me the knowledge of his will for me because I was seeking Him through daily prayer and meditation. He was molding me, one day at a time, and I had to be willing to submit to his molding in order to grow spiritually and continue growing closer to God, through Jesus.
Hi! To read my latest post, Reaching for Sobriety with My Dad, click on the link below. Enjoy!
Faith in Jesus is how my Christian life began and continues to grow.
By doing all things in the name of Jesus, I am expressing my continuing trust in and love for Jesus. Jesus loves me and I need to thank God for sending Jesus as a man to reunite mankind with God and restore peace between God and his children.
I am a child of God.
God loves me and is at peace with me because Jesus himself sits at the right hand of God and intervenes for me.
I am a beloved child of God and I have submitted myself to God.
Jesus is Lord of my life. Everything I do, I do for him.
Fully accepting Jesus Christ as my lord and savior John 14:6
Accepting that the Bible is the divine word of God 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Inspired and and filled with the Holy Spirit John 14:26
Totally accepting the truths written in the Bible Psalm 119:160
Holy God is the director of my life, Jesus is my savior, the Holy Spirit is my divine counselor 1 John 5
Copyright 2017 Sallee Bonham
impressed upon my heart.
Jesus is gone from earthly life,
yet his love is always with me,
and around me.
Summer break is here! Do I sound excited? Yes, I am. April and May were taken up with my full time job, private tutoring, and baking.
My Full Time Job
I am a special education paraprofessional with 17 years of reading/math instruction in Title 1. Our school recently purchased a computer program that assesses reading and math. I spent a lot of my free time going over testing results and learning the new system. The students did much better when they tested one on one AND read the test aloud to me.
Two days a week, I do after school private tutoring with one student. What a joy this has been! This year saw the student achieve grade level reading in December and continue to advance the rest of the year. Woohoo!
As a little girl, I spent a lot of time making and baking mud pies behind our barn. For Christmas one year, my mom bought me an Easy Bake oven. I remember baking that little cake carefully and lovingly. As you can see, baking has always been a hobby of mine. I LOVE decorating cupcakes and cakes for special occasions.
This spring, I made two silent auction cakes, two wedding cakes, 16 dozen cupcakes, and 3 dozen jumbo cupcakes. The wedding cakes were presents for two gals that Bill and I are happy to be friends with. The rest were for coworkers and church family. The two tier wedding cake was so much fun to make! However, the four tier wedding cake, my first four tier cake, was a job and a half. Then in the middle of baking the layers, a storm knocked out our power for almost eight hours. When the power finally came back on, it was crunch time! I worked through the night on that cake!