It’s been 6 years since I’ve been arrested for anything. I spent 11 years in and out of jail for really stupid things like dog tickets and hot checks, but the last one changed my life. On Oct. 29th 2009, after a month of RCIA, I was arrested for a DWI. My kids were home alone and Stacey was on Afghanistan, so I had to think fast to get bailed out and get my kids taken care of. The DPS officer left my cell phone close to me in the car so I began texting people really fast.
As I sat in that jail cell I told myself that this was it, I was going to lose my kids for sure. I had finally hit rock bottom. I played the victim and tried to make myself believe it was spiritual warfare instead of taking responsibility for myself and seeing that I was sitting there because of my own choices.
I told myself that I would do whatever it took to make things right so I would not lose my kids. A week later at my docket hearing I told the judge that I was in fact drinking and driving and I was ready to take whatever punishment they would give me as long as my kids didn’t get taken from me because they hadn’t done anything to deserve being moved around.
The judge was surprised and the DA asked me if I knew what I was saying (my county is very hard on drunk driving) and I assured her that I was. My best friend Homer had died because he had been drinking and driving and I should know better.
A week later I got my punishment, 1 year of probation. A lot of people couldn’t believe it! Most people are lucky to get that kind of sentence with a lawyer after months and months of court dates. I did my year of probation and I had an amazing probation officer who was proudly Christian and who supported my conversion along the way.
I hated everything about being on probation, but it was a great experience looking back. I learned a lot about myself and about my drinking habits. I learned how irresponsible I had been and how to take responsibility for myself and my choices. I learned how to stand on my own and not always be a victim.
I am still learning so much through therapy and al-anon, but the beginning of this healing process came from that arrest in October six years ago. It was not spiritual warfare at all, it was God saving me from myself. I was insisting on drowning myself in a bottle and He insisted on me being worth more than that.
I still drink and the difference is that I don’t drink to drown out anything, if I am sad or mad I know not to drink. So now a glass of wine is just that: a glass of wine, not some way of numbing something. I can feel my emotions now, which is hard for me, but so worth it. We all try to soothe ourselves with something, I think it’s a lifelong battle. Some people even use Catholicism as a drug. The key is to look in ourselves to try and find the wound that is causing the pain that we are trying to soothe and ask Jesus to help us heal it. We get in trouble when we try to heal it ourselves or avoid it all together.
It’s been 6 years since the last time I woke up in a jail cell. God is good.