Hi! I have some great news to share! On Saturday, July 28th, I married my lover and best friend, Stephanie. That this day came to pass is a miracle deserving of many words to describe but I want to share at least a few thoughts this morning.
On Saturday we stood before each other, surrounded by our children, presided over by my dad, as we read to each other vows we had written ourselves. Getting to write down promises to my bride was something I couldn’t have imagined being able to do this time last year, but here I was, sober and present and in love with this woman with whom I knew I wanted to share all my life. And I got to hear her vows to me, describing a man that she somehow, by the grace of God, was able to see beneath all the junk through the last couple years. She described a man who, with the help of God and my program, I am fully capable of being and, more importantly, I love being.
My wife has been instrumental in showing me unconditional love – the love of Christ – so much so that we both had the word agape tattooed on our wrists to forever remind us of the love God has shown us both, even at our worst, and the love we desire to show to each other with God’s help.
I’ve written before about how there was a time when I believed I deserved a piece of shit car because of the wreckage the choices I made in my addiction caused. When we are acting out with our drug of choice it is impossible to think we are deserving of anything good. I shared how Stephanie was with me then and loved me through those days. Standing before each other Saturday, pledging ourselves to each other, I knew in my heart that I am loved and capable of giving love in return. What a gift that is!
It was important to us that our kids witness this ceremony as we acknowledge our dependence upon God to continue resurrecting our lives, restoring our hearts, and redeeming past hurts. I wish I could adequately describe to you the pain that permeated our lives just a few short years ago which, at that time, seemed like it would never end, because if I could you would marvel like I did as I watched my son Maddox hug my new wife and tell her how happy he is that she married his dad. You’d know the miracle it was to see them gathered together, holding hands, promising to love each other as we formed this new family and marked the occasion by each of us pouring different colored sand into a heart-shaped vase.
Recovery is a resurrection miracle and it’s promises come true if we continue to desire them and work for them. Today I am so very grateful that my wedding day celebrates the love my wife and I have for each other as well as the beauty and joy of lives restored by God’s relentless love.
If you are reading this and you are someone pursuing recovery, you know this to be true. If you are someone still running from it, as I have done many times before, my prayer for you is that you find a ray of hope here. No matter how helpless and hopeless things may seem right now, no matter how undeserving you may feel you are of love or joy, no matter how far down the scale you feel you have fallen, I want you to know you are not alone. You are loved. You are worth recovery. God has not forsaken you or forgotten you. A new story can be written in your life if you will allow it. The things you are holding onto today which you know deep down are not giving you life can and will be replaced by something – Someone! – that can and will give you life. These promises are true for anyone who desires them. I am praying for you now.