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Friday, September 21, 2012

Trash to Treasure {Donna’s Testimony–Part 2}

Somehow, during those 30 years since I left home, became a wife and mother, I also became an alcoholic…
My determination to QUIT became stronger when I found out I was going to be a grandmother. Sadly, my ability to control how much I drank, did too. So I really began to pray. As I had done many times in the past, I ask God to please DELIVER me from this addiction. I didn't want to go to rehab and leave my family behind. I didn't want the extra financial burden of a rehab hospital bills, etc. I just knew in my heart that God could (and would) deliver me from my alcohol addiction. I prayed for three years before God answered.
Here's how it happened. I am a writer for a small publication called The Minute Magazine, here in northern Louisiana. My column is called "True Confessions of an Antique Junkie." I usually write about "my passion" of turning "trash into treasures" - finding junk & pieces of furniture that others have discarded & left for trash, and I re-purpose them into treasures.
I have always "felt connected" to my work, because I feel like that is how God sees me. He sees the mess (trash) I've made of my life, but He sees beyond all those sins & imperfections because He knows what a "treasure" I can become!!
Normally, I write about my “treasure hunting” in my column.  However, the last year or so, I felt God put it on my heart to share more of my personal stories and how I relate the "trash to treasure" story to myself. This opened a new door for me, and started me on a journey that I never would have dreamed or imagined.

On January 1st, 2012, I stood before our church and shared "My Trash-to Treasure Story" with our congregation. Next, I received a phone call from the director of the Louisiana Baptist Women's Convention. She had read an article of mine and asked me to come speak at the conference. I explained that I had no experience with this (on that large of a scale) and that I had only shared my story with a few small groups at our church. She assured me that "we all have to start somewhere, and I'd do fine." So, our February 4th, I shared my story with 100-150 women at the conference. Something happened while I was there. I was so touched and blessed by the women who came up to me afterwards. Many were crying and hugging me, telling me how much "my story" had ENCOURGED them and given them HOPE. In the story I shared, that I had been sexually abuse as a small child by my step-father; that I saw my brother physically abused and beaten by the same man. As an adult, I was physically abused by my husband and that we both admitted to committing adultery.
The only thing I didn't share with this group was my addiction to alcohol!!! Why? Because I had not quit drinking at the time.
It wasn't until February 5th (the day after I came home from the conference) that GOD DELIVERED ME!!! I got up and went to church as usual. I was excited to share with my Sunday School class about the conference I had attended. When I came home, I just "knew in my spirit" that something was different. That evening, I didn't drink anything. The next day, I woke up and thanked God that I had actually made it through the evening without a drink! The process repeated itself for several days. Next thing I knew... it had been a week, then 2 weeks, then a month since I drank a beer (or any other type of alcohol)!!!

I began to have a dream. In the dream, I wrote about my addiction to alcohol in my column. When I woke up, I thought, "That's CRAZY! I'm never going to tell the world about my drinking problem!" But I had the dream several times, so I began to pray. I asked God if HE wanted me to tell my story? I felt like His answer was "yes." So, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I began to write. It just flowed from the tips of my fingers. I didn't even have to think about it! The words just came to me. I called the owner/publisher of the magazine (who is also a close personal friend) and told her I had something to tell her. I told her that I felt like God had put it on my heart to publish this story but I first needed to tell her what it was about. She didn't even know about "my little secret." After hearing what I had to say, she encouraged me to do what I felt God leading me to do. Next, I ran the idea by my husband, who was in denial about addiction. After hearing everything I had to say and reading my story, I had his love & support. So, in the March/April issue I shared my story of addiction.

In April, my husband & I flew to California to visit our son & daughter-in-law. We planned some activities while we were there.  Before we left, I had a dream several times where I felt God kept asking me if I trusted Him? My answer was always, "of course I do, Lord." Then He said, "You need to show me that you COMPLETELY TRUST me." So, "walking by faith... not by sight," I followed through with the dream that God had given me.
I took a "Leap of Faith!" Yep- I went skydiving (and I’m scared to death of heights) to "celebrate" the new things God is doing in my life and the changes He has made in me!!
 Donna _ skydive sign       Donna _jump1 
I know this is just the beginning of many new things that God has in store for me. He is using me as a vessel to encourage others. I know there's going to be more chapters added to this story. I'm excited about "the new thing" God is doing in me & through me. I am humbled that He has chosen to use "my story" to offer HOPE to others out there that are struggling with addictions. It's especially hard when you're a Christian who is dealing with a "secret sin." I was so overwhelmed with guilt. I'd want to do better, then I'd give in to the OVER-POWERING temptation and I'd drink again. Afterwards, I'd feel bad, ask for forgiveness, feel guilty, then the whole process would start over again.
I know my story has been "long winded" but I found it hard to write & not tell you the "back-ground" on all the how's & why's. I pray that God uses my story to give encouragement and hope.
About Donna:
Donna-A_thumb1I'm a columnist, & featured writer for The Minute Magazine. I love to restore, refinish & repurpose unwanted furniture & give it "new life." I have been married to my best friend, Mike, for 28 years. We have been BLESSED with two children who are now grown. son- Michael & his wife Michelle (and) our daughter-McKensie & her husband David who have blessed us with two precious grandsons; Remington 3-1/2 yrs. & Levi 2 yrs.
What is God doing in your life? Has he delivered you from an addiction like Donna? Or carried you through a dark valley? Or given you strength and courage during a time of fear and uncertainty? We would love to share your story! For more information or to share your testimony, email us at or private message us on our Facebook page. We look forward to sharing your story very soon!
Be A Blessing,


Elizabeth @ DogFurandDandelion said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony! God's grace is a powerful thing! Praise Him for the victory He's given you over this addiction.

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