My Journey to Emotional Sobriety

8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11

4-ways-to-turn-weaknesses-into-strengthsA wise man once explained to me that the word sober in 1 Peter 5:8 not only refers to refraining from drunkenness, but also to staying sober from anger, greed, and other emotional, and spiritual issues. There are so many things we can be drunk on. “Love” for another person being one of those things. There are so many experiences and emotions that can inhibit our ability to be “sober-minded” and avoid the lion who seeks to destroy our souls.

By God’s grace, I personally have never been drunk with alcohol. I’ve never had a desire to drink at all. But I have had problems with anger and selfishness and lost my emotional sobriety. My anger and unforgiveness turned to bitterness and brokenness. It was so bad there seemed to be no way for me to stop the rage that began to boil inside my heart and mind.

The person who was hurt the most was me. I have implosive anger… Instead of tearing a room apart, I would keep all the anger inside and it began to destroy my self-worth and peace of mind.

The only thing that began to help was, ironically, The 12 Steps. I started to attend Life’s Healing Choices and other Celebrate Recovery types of programs like Changes that Heal, Boundaries, Hiding From Love, etc. I started to apply the 12 Steps to help me seek emotional sobriety from anger, bitterness, fear, rejection, panic, anxiety, depression, and emotional highs and lows.

I’ve heard people say that deliverance can come in two different ways: instantaneously, or through a process. For me, remaining emotionally sober has been a process of deliverance, one I have to remain committed to, just as my brothers and sisters who are recovering alcoholics and addicts.

I have to always remember that I’m a sinner in need of a Savior. I find that when I think things are becoming “right” in my life, and I start to slack in knowing my need for Jesus, that’s when my emotions begin to flare up again. I find myself emotionally overpowered by depression, anxiety, fear and anger . . . and then back to the realization that I am not God, not in control, but that God loves me and cares for me. I’m learning my life is and will be a constant surrendering dependence on God.

As I release my emotions to God, He fills me with forgiveness, peace, and joy. I share this testimony of the power of Christ with you to give you hope. Whatever it is you are fighting, turn to God, turn to Christian support, and seek sobriety.


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Rachael Hartman is a 30-something with two dogs, and a passion for writing. She owns Our Written Lives, LLC an independent Christian publishing company.

She wrote this piece to share with the San Antonio CBC Young Professionals class, of which she is a part.

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Victory

Nine days into 2018.

For the past three days, the word Victory has unwittingly come into my life. I didn’t realize it until today, as I drove to work listening to a CD I recently purchased. There it was in the first song, VICTORY. As the music played, my mind drifted to the book I began reading last night, Chosen for Victory, by James Holland Sr. I brought the book back to Texas with me from my parents’ house after Thanksgiving and hadn’t touched it until last night.

As I read the first chapter of the book last night, I recalled the story of Alexander the Great was featured in the Sunday school class I had attended the day before. To add to these three instances, the word Victory was the theme of a sermon I happened upon on Facebook earlier today. My pastor often says, “We don’t fight for Victory, but from a place of Victory . . .” That was the concept presented

It seems everywhere I turn, Victory is calling my name, whispering in my mind, beckoning my heart to believe.

What has me completely in awe is the fact that the word Victory has been the last thing on my mind over the past year. I felt more defeat last year than I have my entire life. I have not been seeking out Victory, nor have I even thought of the word. I haven’t prayed particularly for Victory, or even felt as if it were possible.

What I have been seeking is God. I have been pushing aside my selfish desires and asking God to enter my life in a more full way. I’ve asked Him to lead and guide me. I haven’t done much talking. I haven’t asked for anything specifically. I haven’t been obsessed with anyone or anything.

I’ve just been quiet. I’ve been working. I’ve been waiting.

I’ve been speaking to God, but I haven’t been really crying out to Him so much, though I have a bit these past few days. I have just talked to Him. And I haven’t really heard much of anything. Until now.

Victory. It’s been a quiet word. I’m not sure how or when it will manifest. All I know is that is that when I silence all the word around me, that word is all I hear.