During Launch Week, (December 9-15) for Doug Bender’s, Live Second, I have been asked to participate in writing blog entries telling the story of my spiritual journey as it correlates with separate entries from his book. Come along and experience … and learn why I live second.
Page 42 – Enslaved
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. Romans 6:20-22 NLT
So I’m codependent. What does that mean? When did that start?
When I was young, all I ever wanted was to have a special person love me. Was that too much to ask? I’d seen good relationships, so I knew they were possible. But storybook relationships always seem to be illusive to me; always out of my grasp.
What started out as something very good—having the goal to be in a loving relationship—turned into something very damaging. It wasn’t long before I went from wanting to be in a relationship, to needing to be in one. I was obsessed.
This obsession started when I was seventeen. I decided—with all the wisdom that I could muster up at that age—to fix all my life’s problems, I would need to be married. I reasoned that I would be happy if a fella stood up in front of our families and friends promising to love me forever. That, I reasoned, would make my storybook life come true. That’s when I would have everything I ever wanted. Then I would be ready to start living my happily-ever-after life.
But it didn’t happen that way. By the time I was twenty, I was married … and divorced. Yet my failure did not deter me. I still had a plan. I soon set out in search for my next special relationship ( or should I say victim).
It didn’t take long for me to find someone else; and soon I was married again; this time I was additionally blessed with two children. It wasn’t long before I decided I wasn’t happy after all. Another divorce. Next time, I reasoned, would be the right one, for sure!
When the next relationship came around, I remarried without hesitation, adding one more child to my nest. Yet after a few years this relationship, too, had a disastrous end. By the time I was forty, I had three marriages and divorces behind me.
I was a Christian. How did I allow this craziness into my life? I always thought God wanted me to be happy. I was trying to find that happiness the best way I could. Yet with all my efforts, my life was still out of control. My days were filled with either depression or anger. I had tried—really tried—to do what I thought I was supposed to do. Yet I dealt with one failure after another.
Could it be that I was out of line with this relationship thing? It became clear that my need to be in a relationship was more important than anything else. This need for someone special was controlling me. And the relationships I was choosing were not healthy ones. What a fool I had been for all those years. I thought I was in control, yet my life was a train wreck. What had happened to my plan? It looked so good when I started; it made sense at the time.
With the help from healthy Christians, solid friends and getting back to scripture, I realized my focus was all about pleasure. My obsessions—relationships with men—were my masters. Instead of controlling my surroundings, my surroundings were controlling me. Instead if finding the happiness I always wanted, all I had in my life was shame, guilt and resentment.
I needed to make a change. But was I too damaged? Could this destructive cycle even be broken? Could I break this life of addiction and learn how to live a healthy life? After so many years of selfishness, did I really want to put Christ first and live second …?
Find out in my next blog how I learned to deal with addiction.
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