it's time to make a move

one sunday night, at a church in town that is not our regular church, hearing a speaker* that is not the regular speaker:

he's belting loudly,
"that thing that stands between you and God,
what are you gonna do about it?"
he's running back and forth across the front of the church, his body so full of passion and drive that he can't even walk anymore. he runs.

if you had one shot, one opportunity
to seize everything you ever wanted
would you capture it? or just let it slip? only get one shot
do not miss your chance to blow
this opportunity comes once in a lifetime. 
"this is your moment,
on the count of three, i want you to shout it out!"

feet fail me not, 
this may be the only opportunity i got
holy crap! i'm in church,
other people are gonna hear me.
am i really about to do this?!

"what are you gonna do about it?!
come on!
it's clogging your pipe! what are you gonna do about it?
go hard!
go strong.
go for it.
here we go, ya ready?
shout it out, on



throw the pills!, i shout.

throw the pills!
for two years, at least, the thoughts weaved themselves into me. 

two years, like water dripping on a rock.  

at first, it was unthinkable, (unthinkable) having been sober for 12 years. i had no desire to fight my way back up that road again.  twelve years sobriety -- that sort of trophy is not quickly handed over.

except in exchange for an upgrade.

a thin body, the ultimate trophy...

eventually though, unthinkable faded away, and in its place - louder than reason, louder than 'sense', louder than trust in an all-knowing God, the thing i felt strongest was determination and desparation.

ever been there?

you ever wanted something so badly you didn't care what it cost to have it?

ever identified with sarah, hating your lot, fed up with waiting on God to come through for you?

ever taken your life into your hands, saying, 'no, God'... i'm done with your way. your way is too slow.

i don't know if our lives are ever really and truly in our own hands, but i've said, 'no, God. what's the holdup!  why won't you do something?! you see my struggle, i know you do.  i'm trying and i'm so tired of trying.  your way sucks. i'm going this way now'.

i finally said 'yes, i want to try a few.' 

i got some adderall,  took them for a few days and felt so conflicted --- pupils dilated, teeth clenched, so unlike myself, but also something else.  they 'worked'.  i wasn't hungry.

i wasn't hungry.

meanwhile, my trainer at the gym tells me about eating paleo, and how that would help me to reach my potential.

i knew when he said it, something resonated, this is the way.

Your teacher will be right there, local
and on the job,
urging you on whenever you wander left or right:
"this is the right road.
walk down this road."
isaiah 30:21

i can see it.  two paths, diverged in a v-formation.  before this, i don't remember ever feeling so tempted by anything...  such a drive to find life outside of him. i knew it wasn't the right way, but i didn't care.

i don't mean for it to sound so black and white. so clean cut. life is never so cut and dried as this sounds.  it was two lines of thought, fighting to be the alpha, criss-crossing and intersecting... it's never two tracks running alongside each other like train rails.  it's much more confusing and messy than that.  it's a tangled web.  sober, knowing thoughts of what to do one moment, drowned out by screaming flesh the next.  like two dogs fighting, one on top, and then the other, back and forth and over again.

i flushed what was left of those pills.

but then i got some more.

a different kind of pills, from a different source.  new justification, new reasons why this way was better.  i still felt high, just not as high.  i still clenched my teeth and fists. i still stuttered, trying to form sentences.  but i fought through, trying to deliberately act like someone not on speed.

i wanted to keep on going, but something nagged at me.  a fear... i was so afraid of what lived at the end of the road, not knowing specifically what it might look like, but fearing what generally waits down such a road, knowing how hard it might be to fight my way back... to come back from it.

i knew it was about more than pills, about so much more than losing weight.  i was shutting off my heart, closing myself off, walling myself in... i could feel myself losing my way all because i wanted so desperately to lose the weight.

i came home from church that sunday night and did nothing.  my mind was made up and i wasn't trying to convince myself anymore about which way was right, but i didn't act on it yet.

two days later, looking over my notes from that night, notes taken feverishly, not wanting to miss a word, knowing i was hearing the voice of the living God, calling me out, calling me up, i read these words:
"everything - and i do mean everything - 
connected with that old way of life has to go.  
it's rotten through and through.  
get rid of it!"

i walked over to the cabinet, took out the pills and walked over to the trash can and felt a fresh surge of questions rush up through me.
are you just being extreme? 
is this really necessary?
is throwing away a 2-month supply
in the trash really necessary?  
you could just give them away. 

i set them down on the counter, next to the trash can and sat back down at my open journal and Bible where i saw these words: "'this is the right road. walk down this road.' you'll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images.  you'll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, 'good riddance!'".

giggling and looking up into the sky, i shook my head sort of in disbelief, walked back to the bottle, picked it up and dropped it into the trash saying aloud to myself and to the enemy of my soul,

good riddance.

*rex crain


  1. Oh my friend you have me bawling.

    I love you. And yes, I'm forever "hurrying" God along. It's ridiculous and terrible and a never-ending battle...His will vs. mine.

    And every. single. time. I'm the idiot...running back to Him. So very thankful He never runs from me.

    I'm proud of you. Owning it. Changing it. More importantly...surrendering it.


  2. ok, i'm speechless but still typing. i guess
    i just want you to know that i am so proud
    of you . . . for listening and obeying the
    "shout" and for being vulnerable enough
    to share it.

    i pray that the Lord will fill that new empty
    space with His Spirit. i also pray He would
    open your eyes to see what we see:

    a beautiful, intelligent, loving woman. with
    dimples, to boot!

  3. My contacts are going to be all kinds of messed up thanks to this post.

    You are so, so brave. Like so brave I feel like I should be giving you some kind of medal for your bravery. Brave for being obedient. Brave for being transparent.

    I HATE those "trash can" moments. That tiny hesitation where something good tries to rob you of something great. They remind me of the disciples saying, "Shouldn't this perfume have been sold and the money given to the poor?"

    PRAISE BE TO GOD His Word spoke so clearly to you. It's like He was right there, hand on your arm, hand on your heart, saying, "Keep going, Jodie. I've got you the rest of the way. Do what's great."

    Praying for you, sweet friend. Letting go is hard (I speak from experience, from my own addictions - both conquered and current). If the devil can get us craving something - anything - even something as good as wanting a nicer body, he will twist it and writhe it until it becomes putrid and ugly and has completely separated us from our Creator. Jerk.

    You're amazing. You inspire me. I love ya more than my luggage. :)

    And PS - to echo the previous commenter, you are GORGEOUS! You don't need nothin' else except that smile. His Spirit shines through you, and that's more than enough.

  4. oh, my sweet, sweet, precious friend.

    I have goosebumps as I rejoice.

    I love you!

  5. thank you girls. i appreciate all your sweet and pretty words and your prayers for me. i need them now, as the newness has worn off and my decision is requiring more hard work, dedication, devotion and just plain grit.

    my old way is a well-worn path. this new way just requires so much more of me right now, until it becomes my new normal. it's not easy and sparkly and fun at this point, like it was at the onset. right now it's just tough and i need the courage to 'do hard things', and not give in to my beastly laziness. :)

    i love you girls. :) y'all are some fantastic creatures. :)


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