…than where you came from!
Maaannnn if that isn’t the truth! Last weekend I went back to Statesboro, GA to attend my homecoming and I found myself awake at 8:45am reading scripture and writing in my journal. This is a recollection of my experience…
It’s Saturday, Homecoming Game Day at Georgia Southern University. If you know anything about #theREALGSU, you know that this is the time when alumni come down and turn up like the current students, if not harder.
I used to be one of those alums…but not this time. Before I came, in September, I prayed and asked God should I go? I felt as if He stated, “I don’t necessarily want you to, because it’s not the best environment, but if you choose to go, because you want to go, don’t drink, among other things.” Of course I knew the other things meant partying, smoking, sex etc… (so why was I going???) Anyhoo, I was further led to abstain from any drinking for a whole month, just in preparation of the temptation I would face while here.
Let me update you, I don’t drink liquor anymore and refrain from drinking regularly like I used to (wine and beer on occasion). Why no liquor? Because liquor makes me want “other” things. The warm sensation travels to some places and ignites memories of things that used to be…so I gave it up, to not be tempted to go back to that.
I won’t lie and say that wine and beer can’t get you like that too, because they can and have, but because I tend to only drink 1 or 2, (instead of a whole bottle or 6+ beers like I used too) it’s more bearable and the feeling goes away quicker. That’s how I explain it to myself… so when the fast was given I felt as if the requirement was easy, because I really don’t drink anymore anyway, so we good…. HA!
Maaaaaannnnnn, yesterday was hard! Only 3 people know why I am not drinking, and I don’t explain to others why as well. But visit a friend in their hotel room, or go to a house/apt for a gathering, the question is, “wanna shot? Want a drink?”. While everyone else’s goal is to turn up, I’ve had to mentally turn down every stimulant that I would usually over indulge in.
So why did I come? Because I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to test myself, yeah maybe not the smartest thing to do, but I needed to see if I had really changed. I have… And I wanted others to see my change…in person. Not just something I claim on social media, but true change.
Even though the temptation to smoke, drink, club and grind are ever present, I’m resisting. Not because of me, no, not at all. But because I remember my promise to God, and realize If I take this step back to the old Faithe, I’m prob gonna open Pandora ‘s box. I don’t want that at all! And besides, I would look like a hypocrite to profess that I’m saved but still act the same way and if anything I’ve always been honest about who I was (granted, that honesty and boldness was a cover to mask the real Faithe all these years, but she was still real about what she did!)
Was this the smartest thing for me to do? Of course not! Only great thing is nobody has bugged me about drinking too much, if I say no, they say, “you sure?” and I nod, and that’s it. No one really understands that there is a war battling in my head.
I still have the desire to smoke, drink etc. I think I was hoping that they would either be gone or significantly diminished that it wouldn’t pose an issue. Well it does. I want to turn up like everyone else, even if not all the way, just a little bit. Like “ooohh, I ain’t got no job, I can hit that blunt. Or oneshot/beer won’t hurt”…
Then I realize that I’m trying to convince myself to do what mostly everyone else is doing, and my heart isn’t in it. Because as soon as I drink, smoke, etc I would feel so confused and convicted. Confused because do I stop now or keep going? Convicted because you know this isn’t you anymore, this isn’t how you please God.
I’m haunted by the ways and desires of old Faithe. People down here have heard of me, my reputation precedes me…of course they have! I was a hot mess. I just hope what they heard wasn’t that bad or embarrassing. But even if, she’s not here anymore. Frankly, I’m too old for this…I’m not strong, I’m weak.
This isn’t a me thing, this is a God thing. Without him this is very difficult to do. Shoot with him it’s still hard, but it’s doable, you just have to want and willingly ACT out the desire to change. Romans 12:2 (Thank God for his word this morning! It’s helping me focus on the goal)
We’ll see how this tailgate goes… Lord help me.
Tailgate went fine… I dressed cute (as always lol). I saw familiar faces and had a chance to reminisce on a life gone by. My main concern during the tailgate was that people still thought I was drinking because I had a cup in my hand…just to clarify, it was Cherry Soda from Zaxby’s lol. A girl was thirsty!
As I ran into past crushes, friends etc, and questions were asked about how I was doing, I realized I could be completely honest. FINALLY! Things really are good for me. My soul is at peace! I don’t have to worry about making it seem like my life is going good because it is! Not in the way any would imagine, but things are indeed good!
I did go out that night, mainly because I again wanted to test myself…smh. Additionally, I knew that I would get to see some more people I haven’t seen in a while. I sat down the whole entire time, just people watching (Lord, forgive me for talking about those children). I did a walk through, but as my feet were aching in those high boots I was eager to go sit back down!
I know now that I never, EVER want to go to a club again:
- 1st) Bad company corrupts good intentions– I actually cursed (and did a one cheek booty pop) because the music/environment was so familiar, those old ways started to creep back. 1 Corinthians 15:33.
- 2) I feared for my life!? What if something bad happened? Do I want to die/be injured at a club/outside the club?! NO!
- 3) Can anyone tell that I am born again; or do I look like everyone else? Sad truth was that there was no way anyone could tell me apart… What if Jesus came back at that moment? Would I have been pleasing him or just tolerating/enjoying the mess around me?
I left that night knowing that I’m not “about that life” anymore...and I’m totally fine with it!
It’s Sunday and my plans changed. I’m riding back with people I didn’t plan on. Why? Because God told me to. I needed to get back to Atlanta quick and with no delay! I’ve been around way too much foolishness and my soul needs restoring. I’m not strong enough to handle any situation without proper support. Which leads me to this somber realization:
The old Faithe is dying, and so are most of her friends. The only thing is we’re dying in two different ways. My death is a shedding of skin, leaving the past behind, which is extremely crucial to my growth and life as a Christian and follower of Jesus. The other death is a slow suicide, wounds inflicted by self love and an over indulgence of, “I’m going to do what I want, because I can and because I feel like it”.
It’s not easy to choose a path that causes you to look at who you were, clean up your mess and then get out of that messy environment, no, God no it isn’t. It’s much easier to stay there, killing yourself in a slow and somewhat painless method…because while in your mess you are ignorant to it. And as the saying goes, “Ignorance is Bliss“.
It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s temporary and it’s death… why do you think you have to keep doing the same things but even harder, just to feel as if it’s fun? Because you’re numb to the effects in small doses. And any addict knows you gotta do more of it to get more out of it. But Jesus said, ” ... Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt 17:20. (go read the whole passage)
What does your death benefit you? Mine tells me that nothing is impossible and God grants eternal life to those who follow his commands… Yours says: “YOLO!” giving you permission to kill yourself quicker while having the time of your limited life!
Don’t be fooled, those two deaths are unable to coexist…trust me, I tried to see. But once your eyes and heart are opened, it’s much more difficult to go back into a somber state of slumber. I learned a lot this past weekend, some that could have been avoided but at least now I can honestly say I don’t miss my former life…I’m even thinking about giving up drinking completely! I don’t ever want to give the wrong impression that I’m still the same ole Faithe. Yeah, it‘s a different world indeed..