At one point in my life a pint of Jack Daniels was my best friend. There were so many things happening to me at one time that the only way I found comfort was scraping up $14 and proceeding to the local liquor store.
“Pint of Jack please.”
It got to the point where when I came in the door, the lady behind the thick glass window knew what I wanted and had it sitting out for me. It was the same way in the bars I would frequent. Bartenders knew me and knew that I didn’t want anything but Jack Daniels and to get ready because I’m all in for no less than three shots. It wasn’t that I liked the taste of Jack, who really likes the taste? It was the fact not too many people could handle Jack. It doesn’t go down smooth, it actually provides a discomfort. And for many, it gets you very drunk very quick. For that reason, I favored Jack Daniels.
I remember rationalizing in my mind how easily I could control my drinking and stop whenever I pleased. I wasn’t addicted to it; I just knew that if I drank then I’d forget for about three hours the crazy life I was living. It was in a way medicine… or so I thought.
As a daughter of a pastor you’d think that the years upon years of Christ teachings I experienced would keep me from turning to the bottle, but it didn’t. Honestly, I didn’t think twice about going to God because I was ashamed. And to me, God would take too long to fix things. (At this point I am admitting what a lot of people think regularly).
My drinking began to climax at a time when I was leaving an abusive relationship, graduation was approaching, just crossed Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., ran right into another unhealthy relationship, money was funny, and my self esteem was at an all time low. That night I can recall the room spinning and me lying on my bed crying saying “God if you love me, fix me.”
Next morning I was awakened by my mother’s ringtone. I can’t recall the full conversation but I remembered her saying, “How do you feel about moving to Charlotte?” I was totally against it. Buy two weeks later, I was gone from Montgomery, Ala. and way to Charlotte, NC.
When I moved to Charlotte, I lived with my mother. She wasn’t going for that drinking thing. I didn’t know my way around so I was nervous about trying to find bars. It was at that time, my cloudy head of thoughts cleared and God was able to get through to me. I remember hearing His voice telling me to “switch addictions.” Instead of giving Jack Daniels so much power over my life, try Him.
That is exactly what I did.
My problems didn’t go away, but I took the steps needed to face them, deal with them and move on. I switched my yearning for Jack with a yearning for Christ. I wanted to do what was right. I wanted to please God. I wanted to live right.
I’m not going to present myself as a saint and say, “And I haven’t had a drink since.” What I can tell you is I’m not addicted or dependent to or on Jack Daniels. I’m addicted to God. Without Him, I am nothing.
Many of us have addictions that we don’t want to recognize as an addiction. It could be alcohol, sex, image, another person, drugs, even porn. If your addiction is not God, then the time is now to step back and re-examine your life. God is a jealous God and he made it quite clear that we are to have no other Gods before Him. I encourage you to remove anything that has more power in your life than God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, (10) use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. (11) A number of you know from experience what I am talking about, for not so long ago you were on the list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Sprit.
(The Message Bible)
I will continue to encourage you to switch addictions. God should be and always be number one in your life. You will not get to heaven glorifying the things of the earth.
Until Next Time….
DJuana “Dfitz” Fitzpatrick is founder of Jesus C.O.U.sins (Christians Overcoming Ugly Sins). For the past five years, Fitzpatrick has devoted her life to being a positive reflection of a Christ in the entertainment industry. Read more of her work and see her videos on her website.
Read more by Fitzpatrick: