Although we aren’t at an AA meeting, alcohol was part of my darkness and AA was a part of my journey to the light. Alcohol addiction, drug abuse and suicide run in my family. I saw all of it while growing up. Although I swore never to be like “them”, darkness prevailed and I, too, began reaching for those things that might anesthetize my emotional pain, self-loathing, lack of self-worth, and belief that God could never love or forgive a person like me.
I wanted to be perfect. But failure was constant. This only confirmed my negative thoughts and feelings.
Even when I didn’t know God was there, He was guiding me and led me to AA. Life improved dramatically. Some light was coming in, but I still struggled with the drive to be perfect. The pent-up anger and doubt inside of me, made me think that I could never be good enough for God.
God began putting strong Christians in my path. Like many people, I thought I was a Christian because I believed in God. These Christians were different from me and those I thought were Christians. I was drawn to them (to their light) and found myself observing and learning from them, perhaps without them even realizing that they were ministering to me.
Finally, one day still in pursuit of perfection, I ended up in a nutritionist’s office and she spotted the perfectionism and self-worth issues. God knew I loved to read. After she asked if I was a Christian, she referred me to the book, “The Search for Significance” by Robert Lee. From the very beginning the book nailed me. Early on, the book suggests that if you aren’t sure if you’ve received Christ, ask him to come into your heart and life. I did just that. At home, by myself, reading a book I surrendered to Christ.
That was four years ago when the light came on and overcame my darkness. God healed my heart. The anger and doubt that I’d carried for years was lifted. That’s when my heart was healed and I haven’t been the same since. I’m not perfect. I accept that and no longer pursue that fallacy. I now know the glorious feeling of having a loving relationship with my Father and knowing my Father loves me unconditionally.
Now, I want to introduce everyone around me to the light.
*Sharon is a pseudonym.
**SALLT (Salt and Light Leadership Training) currently offers two tracks of training. In the Spring of each year, we host an evening to celebrate the graduation of our two classes (Young Leaders and Signature) and host a SALLT family reunion. This year, the theme was going from darkness to light and we had a small group of SALLT alumni share a part of their stories. Here is one of those stories.