Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Rhonda Burnett
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00067B
00:15 Man, again I have to say
00:17 this is an incredible time
00:20 in the Café today.
00:21 We are talking about some things that if you get it,
00:25 if you are looking at recovery, if you are looking,
00:29 I think the miracle about who God is and what He offers
00:33 us is a changed life.
00:35 He offers us to come out of all the things that have so
00:39 lock us up even generationally and says I will actually will
00:43 walk you into who you are.
00:45 He knows who we are.
00:46 We may never in our lifetime get a glimpse of that,
00:50 especially if we stay lost in our addictions, but God says,
00:53 I know, so trust Me on this one.
00:55 In Galatians I keep referring to that because Paul talked
00:59 to them a lot, but if you look at Galatians 1:6 it says,
01:04 "I marvel that you turn away from him so easy."
01:08 I marvel at that, that you started out with this and
01:12 it was so cool and you turn away so easy.
01:14 When you go to Galatians 3:1 starts out, "oh foolish
01:20 Galatians who bewitched you", If you want me to quote exactly.
01:29 "should not obey the truth before whose eyes Jesus Christ
01:34 was clearly portrayed amongst you as crucified."
01:38 For people who have a hard time understanding that is,
01:41 who lied to you?
01:42 Who said that you could actually step away from your
01:44 relationship with God in your recovery
01:46 and take it on yourself?
01:48 It goes on to verse three, and I love this.
01:50 "Are you so foolish to think," and now this is my paraphrase.
01:54 Are you so foolish to think that you within yourself have
01:59 the ability to do your own recovery?
02:02 I mean you have been trying, you have been trying.
02:05 You have been fighting this.
02:06 You have been white knuckling it.
02:08 You have been trying to clean up your behavior.
02:10 You haven't been able to and there has to be a point
02:15 where you let go and let God.
02:17 And at that I want to introduce you to our guest,
02:21 Rhonda, you know exactly what I am saying.
02:24 I do! Did you fight this for a while?
02:29 I did, I surrendered my addiction,
02:33 but I didn't surrender myself.
02:35 So during this interview we are going to go right to there.
02:40 First of all who are you because to me that excites me,
02:46 because God doesn't start with us with no stuff.
02:50 I have stuff Cheri, my name is Rhonda and I am a
02:55 recovering alcoholic and I was
02:58 alcoholic from the first time I
03:00 drank when I was a young teenager.
03:02 Drink for five or six years and had a car wreck, hit a semi.
03:11 Yes, doing 65 miles an hour, after the doctor was releasing
03:15 me to return to work and he said at was able to go back
03:19 underground, I was a coal miner.
03:21 I said oh I can do the work,
03:22 but I can't do is drive past the bars.
03:24 So I was 20 years old and already knew I had a problem.
03:27 Not being abled to say no to alcohol.
03:29 You were saying from the time you took your first drink
03:33 you knew you were an alcoholic.
03:34 So what do you mean by that?
03:35 I felt like this is who I am, suddenly I had a personality.
03:42 I belonged with other people.
03:44 I could talk socially, I was the prettiest girl in the room.
03:50 I belonged, I had found my tribe found the people that I belonged
03:55 to because I never did before.
03:57 I never felt like it.
03:58 I was raised in a Christian home, but I miss the whole
04:02 Jesus loves me part of it.
04:03 I just didn't get it and so I kept trying to find
04:06 something external.
04:09 The first time I got drunk it was like this is it, this is
04:12 what I have been looking for.
04:13 You know all over the world they are watching, who ever is
04:17 watching this program, there are many people including myself
04:21 that knows what that feels like.
04:22 The moment you use a drug or alcohol and everything
04:25 seems to work, this is my solution.
04:28 We even had someone on the program one time that said that
04:31 he realized this was the answer to all my problems.
04:34 Now that is what you are saying, from the first time.
04:37 I love your statement that I can't even drive by a bar,
04:41 so they suggest at that point, treatment?
04:44 Well they did treatment, it was out patient treatment.
04:48 They sent me for counseling and the counsler
04:50 put me on Antabuse.
04:51 Explain what Antabuse is?
04:53 Antabuse is a drug that you take on a daily basis and if
04:58 you put alcohol on top of it and it makes you deathly ill.
05:03 Deathly ill! I'm saying you're getting sick,
05:06 you are deathly ill.
05:08 A lot of my friends have tried, and a lot of my family
05:10 members have tried Antabuse just because it really is
05:14 so violent as far as you are getting sick that you will
05:18 stay away from alcohol.
05:19 It was another thing of me wanting something externally
05:23 to control me because I felt so out of control myself.
05:27 It worked and I did really good in counseling and I
05:31 learned a lot about myself and they told me I was cured.
05:34 They took me off of Antabuse and told me I could drink
05:38 and control my drinking.
05:40 Based upon my body weight I could have 1-12 ounce beer an
05:45 hour and I remember thinking, what's the point?
05:50 I never drank to be social, I drink for the feeling it
05:53 gave me and one beer an hour was not going to give me
05:56 that feeling that I craved.
05:57 So it did not work and I spent the next nine years drunk.
06:02 In and out of bad relationships,
06:04 in an out of car wrecks, black out drinking,
06:10 just devastation in my family and my life.
06:16 When someone says to me, that I am only hurting myself.
06:22 And we don't take into account, when we are using,
06:25 the bad relationships that we can fly through having affairs
06:32 with people that are married or are sleeping around.
06:35 Have a relationships with people that we wouldn't even
06:38 invite into our lives had we not been drunk
06:41 when you met them.
06:42 Exactly! Definitely car wrecks and all that.
06:46 That is what I did.
06:48 Did you realize any of that?
06:49 I did not, I was never taken in for driving under the
06:54 influence, the state made me pay for a mile marker on 57.
07:01 Now when I drive past that I'm very conscious that I
07:04 own that, but what I see more is how close it is
07:07 to the concrete divide.
07:08 But I heard that God looks after fools and drunks.
07:12 Just a few more feet and I would have hit the concrete
07:15 divider instead of a mile marker.
07:16 So I can look back and see God's hand in my life whether
07:20 I knew it at the time or not, He did keep me safe.
07:22 Yeah, I was in and out of bed, and you are exactly right,
07:26 when I drank I would do things that I would never do sober.
07:29 So then I would try and stay sober for a while and deal
07:33 with the guilt and shame of that.
07:35 It had got to the point that the last relationship I was in
07:39 failed and he chose to stay with his wife rather than me.
07:44 So I was scared to death that I was going
07:47 to drink myself to death.
07:48 I was 28 years old and I had a 14-year-old child.
07:51 I didn't know what I was going to with the rest of my life,
07:55 so I decided I would get pregnant again and that way
07:57 I would stay sober.
07:59 Because that worked a little bit the first time?
08:01 Because a little bit the first time, I always said having
08:04 a child at such an early age probably kept me from going too
08:07 far off the deep end and I knew that I had somebody
08:10 else to be responsible, that I was responsible to.
08:14 I needed something outside of me to control me.
08:17 So I decided have another child.
08:20 Everything in me, and I know you know why I feel this way,
08:24 everything in me wants to groan because I know that children
08:27 are not enough to take us away from our addictions.
08:30 We have to turn it over to God, but at that point
08:33 you didn't know that yet.
08:35 I did not, I did not.
08:36 That was actually my first time I talked to God in years
08:41 was during that pregnancy, I think kept painting the sky
08:45 pink and blue because I was pregnant.
08:48 I thought it was all about me.
08:51 After she was born I was sober and another nine months
08:53 and my friend came home and said you know
08:55 I would like to see you.
08:56 I said, you know I am not drinking.
08:57 He said that it's okay just come and have a Coke.
08:59 I ended up on a 3- day drunk again.
09:02 Blackout drinking, using drugs doing things I would not
09:05 have done and I blew it off and said I needed that
09:10 to blow the cobwebs out.
09:11 I deserved that!
09:12 Yeah I did I have been sober for a year and a half.
09:15 I have to butt in just because I have to say that for a lot
09:19 of us, we have never learned to meet our needs in any other
09:22 way then drugs or alcohol and it does feel like somehow
09:25 I got a little mini vacation.
09:27 I can be myself again at least for three days.
09:29 Because I have not learned to do it any other way.
09:31 That is the saddest thing for me, is that you felt like
09:36 I needed that bad.
09:37 Now I am back to the grind of trying to do this straight.
09:42 Without drugs, without alcohol. Right!
09:44 Except that I was drunk less than a week later and back
09:48 into a bad relationship and did know where I was at and
09:52 woke up, who is this?
09:54 Just fell right back in, not where I left off,
09:59 it was actually worse than it was when I quit before.
10:01 How many addicts has said that before you?
10:05 They do that a lot.
10:07 I can relate every time I hear it.
10:09 You know what the Bible says, which is really interesting
10:11 because I have to go back to the word of God.
10:12 I am amazed at how in this book, God covers all that.
10:16 Because He says, it is almost like I come in through the
10:20 Holy Spirit, I will clean everything up.
10:23 I will get rid of stuff and junk and generational junk.
10:31 Even demons, I will get rid of all that.
10:33 It will be so clean, He says, then let Me fill you up.
10:36 But we don't take that step and that is what we are
10:39 talking about today.
10:40 So let Me fill you up, but then let's say these demons
10:43 come back and say I don't know where I live anymore so
10:46 I am going to go back and see how Ronda is doing.
10:48 The place is clean, empty and they bring in seven more
10:52 friends and they all jump back in.
10:53 So it is not only the addiction for us, but I am more
10:57 twisted in my thinking and I am more hopeless
11:00 in my view of life. Right!
11:02 Everything is worse, and you are saying that you
11:05 notice that in your own life?
11:06 That's exactly because before I would maintain it for months
11:10 at a time, years at a time.
11:12 And this from the time I started drinking until I hit
11:16 my bottom was less than six months.
11:20 I was just was to the point where wanted to die.
11:21 I didn't think I needed to be breathing good peoples oxygen,
11:26 and my kids would be better off with anybody.
11:28 I was a horrible person and I just needed to die.
11:31 So I set about making arrangements to do that.
11:34 A friend of mine saw that I was giving away cherished items.
11:38 A friend of mine said what are you doing?
11:40 I just told her I am not living anymore, I do not want
11:43 to see another year come in or another decade come in.
11:45 This was it! I'm done.
11:48 I have so many people that have been at the same spot.
11:52 They start giving things away and for anybody when you
11:56 see people give away stuff that they love, give away things
11:59 that mean a lot to them, start saying you've meant everything
12:03 to me in my life and I just want to let you know that.
12:05 You have got to pay attention.
12:08 Luckily your friend caught that and what did you do next?
12:12 I went and got help.
12:14 I went to a residential inpatient treatment 28 day rehab
12:18 I went down there because I was nuts and
12:21 wanted to kill myself.
12:23 When I got there they said, no honey you're not crazy,
12:27 you are an alcoholic.
12:28 I said no I am not, I was treated for alcoholism nine
12:31 years ago and they told me I was cured,
12:32 so I can't be an alcoholic.
12:35 They said trust us and I did.
12:38 I had come to the end of myself and so learning the steps
12:42 that you take there in recovery to admit you are
12:45 powerless over alcohol.
12:46 All I had to do was to tell them a little of my story
12:49 and that was pretty powerless.
12:51 I came to believe a greater power could restore me.
12:55 Restore you to sanity.
12:57 Sanity yes and I was there because I was crazy.
13:00 Right but even when there's hope that I can restore my mind.
13:05 My ability to even do this life.
13:07 So to me that is a huge hope that you can hold onto.
13:13 I knew that, I was raised in a Christian home and I
13:18 knew there was a God.
13:19 The third step was to turn my will and my life over to
13:23 the care of Him and I balked.
13:25 I said, I don't think so.
13:26 I did not let my parents run my life, and I didn't
13:29 let no man run my life, and I sure am not going to let
13:31 God run my life.
13:33 And the spiritual mentor down there, she just reached
13:35 over and patted me on the knee and said, that's right
13:37 honey you have done such a good job all by yourself.
13:41 I went, Awh, that was it, that was a light bulb.
13:44 That was an epiphany for me.
13:45 I could see right there it was like all my very best.
13:48 I tried so hard Cheri, I wanted to be a good person.
13:51 I wanted to be a good wife, I wanted to be good mother.
13:54 I wanted to be a good daughter, a good sister,
13:56 a good employee, I just wanted to be so good.
13:59 I had no power to do that.
14:01 There was nothing in you?
14:03 There was nothing in me and I went to bed that night with
14:06 the challenge to God because I hadn't been in there may be
14:09 a week and I had already picked up on a relationship with
14:12 a young man in there.
14:13 Already making plans about getting out of this 28 day rehab
14:17 starting this thing up knowing that I did not want to start
14:20 a new life out with old habits.
14:21 But I didn't know how to break it and so I went to bed that
14:25 night and said okay God.
14:27 If You are there and if You are real, I need You to take
14:30 care of this because I don't know how to say no.
14:32 The next morning just as my foot stepped out side the door,
14:36 that same women came by and grabbed my elbow and she said,
14:40 you know we noticed there's a problem between you and
14:42 this young man, so we are going to send him on the other side
14:45 of the hospital and you will be over here and
14:46 you will have no more contact.
14:48 I just went, oh my prayer was answered right then.
14:52 You know again Rhonda, what hurts me is that we tend to
14:58 especial with somebody early in recovery.
15:01 We judge all those behaviors as if they are good or bad
15:04 person not realizing that they don't even know how
15:09 to do this, don't know how to do it without relationship
15:11 addictions, don't know how to do it
15:13 without lying and manipulating.
15:14 So I love the fact that you found this woman that knew that
15:18 you need help, even in your own decision-making right now
15:22 because you are not doing it.
15:23 I can come in love and just say, right now we are going
15:26 to do it for you until you can do it on your own.
15:29 That was a gift that was given to me.
15:32 I love her and I don't even know her.
15:34 I have thought for years about going back and looking her up.
15:37 I have not done that but she was a huge central
15:41 person in my story.
15:43 So you got to that place where I am surrendering it to God?
15:47 I know I can't do it, what happened next?
15:51 I made it through and I was a real go-getter and I wanted
15:56 to graduate early.
15:58 I was going to be cured here.
16:00 So I came out of treatment and when I came home I didn't
16:05 find in the recovery meetings what had found down there.
16:10 It was different, I did my 90 meetings in 90 days and started
16:16 reading my Bible and started going back to church which
16:18 was something I couldn't do.
16:19 I felt clean, I felt cleansed and whole again, so I went
16:24 back to church and had this testimony that God met me
16:28 in a rehab and now I am good enough to come to church.
16:33 So you weren't like the Galatian where all of a sudden
16:37 you took over? Who bewitched you?
16:39 I did exactly that.
16:41 When I started I know I understand that.
16:44 I traded that relationship in for a set of rules
16:49 and a religion.
16:50 Nothing wrong with religion but what we do with it
16:53 sometimes is as destructive as our alcoholism.
16:57 We are going to do it ourselves.
16:59 Paul cautioned, with the church in Galatia, we are going to
17:04 do it ourselves, I know what to do, thanks very much.
17:06 You cleaned me up now tell me anything because I'm doing it.
17:09 So I quit doing any kind of recovery effort.
17:13 I went to church, God said to go and tell what I had done
17:17 in your life, and I said, no one is going to listen to me.
17:21 I am a single woman with two illegitimate kids and just
17:24 came out of rehab, nobody is going to listen.
17:27 I know if I get married I will be respectable.
17:30 Oh no, don't even tell me that.
17:32 I did that and you know in recovery they tell you don't
17:35 start a relationship for a year.
17:36 Some poor guy just walked by and you were thinking that.
17:38 No Honey I found the biggest drunk I could find and
17:40 said I'm going to take everything you have given me God
17:42 and pour it into his life.
17:44 I'll fix him! I'll fix him and explain alcoholism to him.
17:48 Of course his side of the story was, you know that I have
17:51 been praying that God would send a good woman and if
17:54 He did, I would quit drinking.
17:55 I said okay, so I had never been the answer to anyone's
17:58 prayer before and I thought that sounded important.
18:02 It was horrible, we just about destroyed each other.
18:06 So you both were using each other?
18:08 Yep, because I had more knowledge than he did in that
18:11 area so I was better then him and I was going to fix him.
18:15 Of course he didn't want to be controlled.
18:17 It was very, very painful.
18:19 I filed for divorce twice and I'm a Christian.
18:22 Christians don't get divorced so I was miserable.
18:25 I attempted suicide and this is sober.
18:27 Not doing alcohol or drugs and I was absolutely miserable.
18:33 I have to say Rhonda, you are going to know this.
18:36 Some people listening need to hear it, is that
18:39 when we have all our crazy behavior and have nothing
18:44 to drown it, it is hard.
18:47 If I am not going to allow God to actually walk me into
18:50 different behavior, I am going to have to do it all sober.
18:53 It is like oh man!
18:54 So you are not only do in your own crazy behavior sober,
18:58 but you brought in someone else that had crazier behavior
19:01 and both of you trying to do it in the same household.
19:06 Ouch! Painful very painful.
19:08 It lasted until he decided he wanted to drink again which
19:12 was eight years later.
19:13 During that eight years the only thing I had to hang on to
19:18 was that I was sober.
19:19 It was the only thing that I could still feel good about
19:22 was that I was not drinking and the idea of coming home
19:26 and having beer in the icebox was I knew I couldn't do it.
19:30 I knew was life and death situation and I left.
19:32 I was able to stay gone.
19:34 I probably saved both of our lives by doing that,
19:39 along with my children.
19:41 Then I started from there and then I did know who to be,
19:44 because I had gotten married right out of recovery and
19:47 didn't know who I was.
19:48 The really sad thing is I lapsed back into some of the
19:52 self-defeating behaviors because I didn't know any better.
19:56 So I wasn't drinking, we had a Christmas party at work
20:00 and I was 10 years sober.
20:01 I went to the party and every one was drinking and
20:04 I drank 27 diet Cokes, I counted them.
20:07 I was a basket case because I so wanted to drink.
20:10 I did not have anything else to replace it with.
20:17 Again I have to say, because this whole season I have been
20:22 so impressed in this part of the program on Celebrating Life in
20:26 Recovery, is to be able to say, God really does know that
20:31 we need to allow Him to come in and be willing to give Him
20:35 all of our junk, which is nothing, so that He can replace
20:39 it with some good stuff so we can learn to live.
20:43 If we do not do this, and my heart breaks when
20:46 I see somebody like you said, I'm 10 years sober
20:49 and I wanted to kill myself.
20:51 It is the most, you know, the most hurtful place to be.
20:55 I have done everything right, what is wrong?
21:01 God is gracious though and I have cried out to Him in some
21:03 of these other addictions that were resurfacing in my life.
21:06 I said, I need You to be real in my life.
21:08 I give You this broken part of me, can You explain why
21:12 it is there, can You fix it for me?
21:15 He started putting people into my life.
21:17 He started putting Bible studies into my life.
21:20 He restored that part of me and I wanted more of it.
21:26 So I went back to this joy.
21:31 I went back to understanding that He was speaking to me
21:33 in the middle of it, I went back to grace.
21:36 I went back to, oh my gosh, He's doing it again when I
21:39 give Him the bad stuff.
21:41 Because I thought if I just gave Him my alcoholism then
21:45 I will handle the rest.
21:46 So I would make a list of all these defects of mine and say,
21:49 OK God, and now I am going to try, this is how I'm going to
21:52 do this, and this is how I'm going to do that.
21:54 Please help me do this stuff.
21:57 I missed that part of giving it to Him.
22:02 I just wanted to give Him my good stuff, and these are my
22:05 strengths and what I am good at and You can use this.
22:09 I know a little bit and of course a little bit of knowledge
22:13 is dangerous and so I was in other peoples face about
22:18 what they knew.
22:19 I know this and I know that, well I didn't know anything.
22:22 But I so wanted it because I saw how real it was.
22:26 I saw when He told me to go pray for somebody to be healed,
22:31 I just said, I can't do that.
22:36 Did You do not see what I was doing last night and I
22:39 enjoyed it and I can't do that and you can't use me God.
22:42 You cannot use me because I have this sin in my life.
22:47 It just kept on and kept on until I surrendered.
22:50 He was saying walk with this person, help this person.
22:53 So He keeps trying to teach you to reach out side yourself.
22:57 That is when I understood and He just said will you say
23:00 I can't use you because you are blonde haired blue-eyed,
23:03 what would you look like bald and blind?
23:05 Anything that gets in the way of Me using you I can remove.
23:08 I said, okay then You can have it.
23:10 I didn't know how far He was going to take it.
23:13 I threw myself into my Bible and I threw myself into
23:18 having a personal relationship with Jesus.
23:20 When I realize that He stayed on the cross until I got it.
23:26 Until I understood He was up there, not just for me to
23:30 confess my sins and from this moment forward go on,
23:34 but He would stay there until I knew that everything I ever
23:37 did was covered by that?
23:39 So when He did that, then I was able to walk in some freedom.
23:42 Enought freedom that somebody reached out to me and said,
23:46 I am having a problem with alcohol can you help me?
23:50 I said, yeah I will take you to a meeting.
23:52 I love what you said, during the break, is that He stayed
23:55 up there on the cross until you got it and then was
23:59 allowed, you then saw He was resurrected.
24:03 He was now a resurrected Lord in your life and
24:05 He can resurrect you.
24:07 Right! I think that's awesome!
24:10 Jesus will walk alongside of us for a thousand years,
24:14 if it takes us a thousand years.
24:15 I am hoping that, I wish that we got it in the instant.
24:19 That is what a lot of people don't get about recovery,
24:22 is if I got it in an instant I could give all that behavior
24:25 to Him and surrender that and healing would come in my life,
24:28 it is just that most of us don't.
24:29 We hold on to things, we try to do it ourself,
24:31 we give it to Him and take it back
24:33 and that is why most recovery programs are so
24:36 good is because we don't get it.
24:39 Not that God isn't trying, because God says I want to
24:41 heal you in a second, I want to heal you right now and you
24:45 will never have to deal with any of that stuff again.
24:48 I'm going to open it up to the café because we have a
24:51 number of people in recovery.
24:53 And Heppy you have been in recovery for a long time.
24:55 I would like to just gave your take on what
25:00 we have been talking about.
25:02 Listening to the conversation that was going on it reminds
25:06 me of that eerie feeling that I had when I went through
25:10 treatment, and the difficulty I had to deal with,
25:15 with letting go and letting God.
25:17 It is a huge step.
25:18 And it is a hard step, because a lot of those things we
25:22 want to keep within ourselves.
25:25 Even though we graduate from treatment, we won't realize
25:29 how to do that for maybe five or six or seven years later,
25:32 if you are working the program you will be able to do that.
25:36 But if you don't work the program,
25:37 you're back in the trenches again.
25:41 So my question for Rhonda is that,
25:45 how were you able to let go and then,
25:49 how did you realize that you weren't the master of yourself?
25:52 That God was in control of you?
25:55 It took a long time, I didn't work the program really well.
26:01 It has only been in the past year that I have been
26:03 back in the program that I was
26:05 able to do that.
26:06 It's centered on doing that 6 & 7th step.
26:09 It centered on not wanting to bring God my
26:12 strengths about how long I had been sober,
26:15 but to bring Him my brokenness of all the things
26:18 I could not fix.
26:19 So going back through the steps and realizing that, that was
26:23 what I was supposed to do, it was not about all the things
26:27 that I was supposed to fix,
26:28 but actually ask Him to remove them from me.
26:31 I love what you said, Rhonda, because one of the things
26:34 you are saying is that I want to bring Him everything
26:36 that I have done well because He's going to want that more
26:41 then He will want the fact that I am socially underdeveloped.
26:45 Ot that I'm scared all the time or whatever.
26:47 So now you are saying is that you finally said,
26:49 I am going to give You everything, that is hard for us!
26:54 Everything, was it hard for you?
26:56 Yes it was, it was very hard.
26:58 Even today, almost 30 years later, it is still difficult to
27:04 do that on a daily basis.
27:07 I'm going to give it to You today again.
27:09 Because when I started, I said I will make it this afternoon,
27:13 but tonight I will not worry about it, I'm not there yet.
27:17 So I was taking it one step at a time.
27:22 I lost track of time, I still worked the program,
27:27 but time heals in the long run.
27:33 When somebody says one day at a time, one minute at a time,
27:36 it really is turning it over every single moment,
27:41 at every single point.
27:42 We have another question and I know Amber that you wanted
27:45 to ask something of Rhonda.
27:47 So how do you feel now when you have God in your life?
27:52 Like in the past, compared to the past?
27:55 This has been the best year of my life.
27:58 I finally understand what it is that once I allowed God
28:02 every part of my life, and gave Him access to all of me,
28:06 then it became much more real and
28:09 it just gets better and better.
28:11 I would like even say something Amber to that.
28:14 It was amazing to me that I started to actually hear God.
28:19 I would be outside and see a sunset,
28:22 and I would hear not a voice so much, but God saying,
28:26 I want to show you how beautiful this is.
28:28 I would look up and there would be this incredible sunset,
28:31 and I would think was that You?
28:33 Were You just talking to me?
28:35 It would surprise me that God actually became more intimate
28:39 and more relational, it was amazing.
28:41 I want to come up and say Rhonda that in, let's go back to
28:48 this particular step because you still right here.
28:51 I have just finished up my seventh and eighth step.
28:58 What got you to look at, hey I didn't do these?
29:01 I never did this work?
29:03 That is exactly what happened and I said God set the
29:06 circumstances in motion because I had found my big book.
29:09 I hadn't seen it in 17 or 18 years.
29:12 I had a friend that was dealing with somebody who was an
29:15 alcoholic and I tried to give it to her,
29:17 go fix your self and go fix him.
29:19 A friend of mine said I had a problem so I went back to
29:24 meetings with her and I took everything.
29:26 She said well how do you work the steps?
29:28 I said I don't really know was so long ago, I forgot.
29:31 I just know that I have been sober all these years.
29:33 So when trying to help her then I found someone who would
29:37 go through the steps with me.
29:39 It was like okay, I did this, and I did this,
29:41 and I did this, so I redid that fourth and fifth step
29:45 which was to make a list of all my defects and admitted
29:48 them to God and another human being.
29:50 I did all that and there wasn't nearly as much to do after
29:55 15 years previous when I first started it,
29:58 but then it got to that six step and seventh step.
30:00 It was like, I don't want to let go.
30:04 I don't know how to let go, God I thought I gave You
30:07 all this anyway, what do you mean I have to go through this?
30:10 But I didn't have that happy, joyous, free attitude.
30:14 I was still trying to follow every rule and every letter
30:17 instead of saying okay God this is the point where I let
30:21 You do this part for me because I'm an achiever and
30:24 I wanted to do it right.
30:26 The idea that I had to let go of that, so I had read in
30:30 the book a long time ago a way to give things to God.
30:34 So I went down to a local state park and I took a helium
30:38 balloon and I wrote all of this stuff that I couldn't fix.
30:42 I had spent years and years trying to fix.
30:46 Even though I know that God wants this intellectually,
30:50 emotionally I couldn't do it so I took a really heavy rock
30:53 and held it in one hand and held
30:55 the helium balloon in the other hand.
30:56 When I could not hold my hand in the air any longer, then to
31:00 turn loose of that weight I had to turn loose of the balloon.
31:03 When I did, I got to watch that balloon go up in the air.
31:06 I was fairly certain it was going to hit the pine needles
31:09 and come back down, or it would get so far and a bird
31:12 would hit it, I did not think that God wanted those things
31:15 I was trying to give Him.
31:16 I thought I would be the one person that He would say,
31:18 no, you need to work on this a little harder,
31:23 I can't take that.
31:24 You know Cheri, I got to see that balloon go completely
31:27 out of sight.
31:28 I want to cry when you say that because that is where God
31:33 says let Me have it all.ú
31:34 It is too much weight for you.
31:36 Then the freedom, I get to walk in that because now when I
31:41 get help somebody else in the program now,
31:43 I know exactly when speaking to them, that I am not speaking
31:47 down to them, I'm speaking as someone who has been broken
31:51 to somebody whot had all of these things I could not fix.
31:54 But I could say God, please take these from me.
31:57 Show me the person You would have me be.
31:59 Show me the woman You want me to be.
32:01 That is what He is doing in my life.
32:03 Isn't that the most incredible thing?
32:05 Isn't that cool?
32:06 I love the fact that He gave you such a strong visual.
32:09 You really are releasing that all to Me.
32:13 I am not going to have you be an expert in dealing with
32:19 with your anger, I am not going to have you go back and get your
32:21 Ph.D. in addiction, counseling so that you can get over that.
32:24 Some people do just because that is their journey in life.
32:29 God says to heal and get past this one thing, you have to
32:34 know that I am God and give Me everything.
32:37 You can't go and get that balloon back.
32:40 I can't and so one of the things I did was I wrote it down
32:43 on a card too and I sealed it.
32:45 The outside of the card says, given to God on this date.
32:49 So whenever I am struggling with, oh I should be this,
32:52 but why should be that, I say wait, wait, wait.
32:55 That was on the balloon, I gave that to God.
32:57 I don't have to struggle with that.
32:58 That is He is problem now and I can walk in ways that He
33:02 has already shown me and know that He will show me
33:04 the next step, and the next step.
33:06 That's all I needed to know, is show me the next step.
33:10 I do not have to see the whole path.
33:11 And at that point, let me just ask you, because you talk
33:15 about the program and that you are now better to help
33:19 someone in the program, but you're better helping
33:22 somebody at the bank.
33:23 You are better at helping somebody in your church,
33:25 better at helping somebody in your family.
33:27 You know, this is not about any one place, when God gets us
33:30 to the point where I am going to surrender to Him and allow
33:34 Him to take all this, pour into me what I need in order to
33:38 be who You want me to be.
33:40 It is not about any program at that point.
33:42 You are free, and the Bible says you are free in Christ
33:45 and you are free indeed at that point.
33:47 I love the fact that you are saying that now I am doing
33:52 this whole thing in a different way.
33:55 I am trusting God this time.
33:57 So tell me what happens to, and I know the answer to this,
34:04 but some people won't.
34:05 Joy, gratitude, those kinds of things that happen at this
34:08 point in a way that is so real.
34:10 Have you experienced that and give us some examples of that?
34:14 I have and it is funny that you mentioned that at the bank.
34:19 You know I was in a gas station and things were not going
34:23 the way I wanted them to go and I already told
34:27 this person who I was.
34:28 So when I turned around and walked out, it was like I don't
34:31 want them to get a bad opinion so I went
34:33 and got the money out of my car and came back in and
34:34 apologize to them automatically because I am so aware now
34:39 that what I have is only good if I live it out and let
34:43 Him shine through me.
34:44 So say that again.
34:46 What I have is only good if I let Him shine through me.
34:49 If I live it out!
34:50 If I live it out and live it out loud.
34:52 So it is not just about having the right words to say?
34:55 You are not knowing now just where to recite?
34:58 You're saying that every day I am going to live this out.
35:01 If I offend you I'm going to come back and clear it up.
35:05 We think that is a 12 step concept, but God says if you
35:08 bring something to the altar and you realize that you
35:11 offended someone, leave it there, go take care of it,
35:14 and then come back.
35:15 God says I'm going to teach you every part of being nice.
35:21 Of being kind, of being a part of the body of Christ,
35:26 or each others so you start taking care of each other.
35:31 Every part of it.
35:32 How cool is that?
35:34 It's for freedom and we've been set free and that's what I get
35:37 to walk in, I don't have to carry the guilt and the shame.
35:40 I don't have to carry my character defects because
35:42 I have given them to God.
35:43 So I can just relax and be who He created me to be without
35:48 being bogged down with all that other stuff.
35:51 If you have stole, go back and repay it.
35:54 God just tells us, and do you know what He told me?
35:57 On another program it cracked me up, and tell me if this
36:00 isn't part of your recovery?
36:02 I'm horrible at cleaning house and He told me to go wash
36:06 your dishes, I'm like stop, why doesn't anybody else
36:10 have to do the dishes?
36:11 But it is simple things, saying I'm going to tell you some
36:14 simple things, go back into the gas station and
36:17 tell them you are sorry.
36:19 It is simple things, but it means everything in recovery.
36:23 I had confessed that same thing, I had to confess that
36:26 same thing because I'm living in chaos, three days later
36:29 I'm on a Christian site that leads me to another
36:31 and chaos is the acronym for can't have anyone over syndrome.
36:35 And that's exactly what I was.
36:37 FlyLady.com! FlyLady.com.
36:39 It was so cool God, I had just confessed.
36:42 I had to confess that I cannot do this and then He puts
36:47 the answer right there in front of me.
36:48 So go shine your sink, it's like I can do this.
36:50 That is exactly right.
36:51 When I admit that I cannot do something, then that it is
36:55 when He is able to step in and do it and show me
36:58 the way to do it.
37:00 That is so cool, I just have to say I love you.
37:03 Thank you for being on the program.
37:04 Thank you for sharing this part of your recovery with us.
37:08 I just want to pray, can we before we break I want to
37:13 pray for you?
37:14 Just that this step will be something you stay with,
37:17 is that alright?
37:18 Dear Father in Jesus name I just pray for Rhonda and I
37:21 pray for anybody listening that is having difficulty with
37:23 this particular step.
37:25 I pray that you wow us with Your love and that You show us
37:28 how incredible You are, how much You love us, how much You
37:32 want to live in us and direct us with every step.
37:35 How You have never been ashamed of us.
37:38 That you have never been disgusted with our behavior,
37:40 it may have caused You some sadness because it hurt us
37:44 so much, but Your only delight is in helping us to get to
37:47 a place where we can turn it over to You.
37:49 So I am praying help us to get to that place and stay
37:52 in that place and fill us with joy and laughter and love.
37:55 Connect us with each other and I just want to say
37:58 thanks, man thank you, thank you, thank you.
38:01 I pray each of us listening to this program and each of us
38:04 here at the Café give us the visual image of the balloon
38:08 and let us give all things to you that we can watch them
38:11 rise up to heaven and never walk with them again on our own.
38:14 In Jesus name, Amen!
38:16 We will be right back.
38:18 I had just been blessed by this program and
38:21 hope you have too!
38:22 Stay with us!