The day God freed me from the chains of drinking and smoking is also the day He warned me if I chose to return to doing those things the consequences would be much worse. The Bible echoes these exact words in 2 Peter 2:20 KJV "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." This kind of frightened me because I had just come from a place of utter darkness. One where I could not turn down a drink if I saw someone I knew drinking or if I smelled something I liked to smoke it would then spark in me the desire to partake. Not only that but participating in all these things started to open up the door for spirits to come into my heart. Therefore, creating strongholds in my mind that seemed to grow each time I willingly walked toward one of my temptations. See my life had become one of pure torment that death seemed like the only logical answer to combat the mental, spiritual and physical agony I was going through during that season. So after receiving my warning, all I could think about doing was whatever I needed to stay far away from all my triggers as best as I possibly could.
Many of you have probably heard this verse from the Bible found in Luke 6:31 KJV which says "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." If you did not hear it said this way, then you may have heard it as "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." This phrase was considered the golden rule and the fundamental principle for how I was taught, in church, to treat everyone. It did not matter what the other person looked like, what church they attended or whatever differences we may have had. Even at a young age, when I applied this principle, I noticed overall it was met with many positive responses when I allowed positivity to flow from me and received adverse reactions when I was more negative in my approach.
Many, if not most of us, have heard the phrase "Out of sight, out of mind." For this statement could not be more accurate to describe certain moments in my past and how I choose to deal with them. By not recalling any of those troubling memories, I am better able to deal with who I am in the present moment, but there are many other times where this is not the case. Sometimes I am bombarded with a voice that reminds me of my faults and bad decisions. It tells me that I am unworthy of God's grace and love because of who I was. It is even so bold as to defame my character and call out my sins one by one. So for the past ten years, I have lived with regret believing all that Satan told me and holding on to it thinking it would forever be my truth.