A Thousand Little Steps
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
In the throes of my addiction, my life became consumed by my drug use. When I got up in the morning, my first thought was about my pills. Where are they? How can I get more? Does anyone know? My pills were my reason for getting out of bed and the driving force behind my behavior. My addiction shaped and controlled my life as I abandoned family, faith, and career. I didn’t get there all at once though. It wasn’t just one giant step that landed me in that place. Rather, it was a thousand little steps over many years that brought me to the point where I lost my job and nearly my family. In the beginning, I used because I wanted to do so. Later though, after many steps in the wrong direction, the drug assumed control.
Now, nearly seven years sober, my life looks very different. Every morning when I get up, my first thought is a prayer – God, thank you for faith, recovery, and a new life. I no longer get out of bed to feed my addiction, but rather I’m motivated by the love of Christ in me. Where I once couldn’t imagine living without my pills, I now want to spend my days helping others find freedom and recovery. Because God transformed me, filling me with his love, I love him in return, and I want to share that love and transformation with others in desperate need.
Just as I didn’t get addicted all at once, I didn’t get to this place all at once. Just as it took a thousand steps in the wrong direction to destroy my life, it’s taken a thousand steps of following Christ to rebuild it. This was one of the many lessons learned in my disaster – If I wanted life to be different, I had to purposefully live differently every day.
So, daily, I get up, thank God for recovery, and consciously choose to point my life at him instead of myself. Where I was once motivated by my self-destructive appetite, I find myself motivated by the love of Christ. I don’t do it perfectly. I still have selfish, evil desires. I’m no longer enslaved to pills though, and for that, I’m profoundly thankful. In Christ, transformation and freedom are available if we’ll just follow him, step by step, daily.