Typing and sharing the last 8 parts to this series has not been easy to say the least but the reason I have been able to do so is because I knew that there was good news coming. Trust me when I tell you that during all of this, I wasn’t so sure there would ever be a happy ending in my future. Isn’t funny that when we are faced with scary, unexpected situation that we must face, that suddenly we remember all the dreams we had.
Jason and I were off to a rough start, but we were living together and trying to make things as normal as possible. We were still just getting to know each other. I hadn’t even passed gas in front of the man and I was about to pass a baby in just a few short months. Oh! lord help me! (palm to face)) While I was dealing with all of that, my middle daughter had come home from Vincent’s house just days after finding out I was pregnant, and she had a throat full of sores. Her throat was literally covered in white sores. The doctor said they were caused from extreme stress. The time before that, she ended up in the hospital with severe burns to the face and head. I was on a mission to protect her from ever going back to Vincent’s again. I wanted him gone for good this time.
It was a Sunday morning in November and we had run to sonic for breakfast. My phone rang, and it was Vim cents sister. I could tell by the sound on the other end of the phone that something was wrong. She informed me that Vincent had died in his sleep the night before. I was SHOCKED but hesitantly I tell you, I was so RELIEVED!! How was I going to tell my daughter her dad was dead? She had only spent a little time with him and most times she ended up hurt or disappointed, but it was still her dad. Brogan was way too young to even recognize he had another dad besides Jason and still hasn’t asked many questions regarding it. When I told the girls he had passed, there was a lot of tears and in the years since, there has been a lot of anger. Anger that she never got to tell him how crappy he was to her or to our family. There would never be a chance to reconcile or put an end to what was.
As if the pressure for Jason wasn’t already high, he now was a full-time dad to 2 kids. He would now become the only father figure that they would grow up knowing. As the pregnancy went on, our liking for one another grew and on March 7th we welcomed Witten. A month later, Jason proposed and in October, we flew to Jamaica to get married. My kids and I not only inherited a new man into our lives but an entire family that has been more than welcoming to every single one of us.
I guess you could say the chaos was slowing but, my drinking was not. I began day drinking on days that ended in “y” and drinking excessively on nights that ended in the dark. His aunt kept inviting us to go to church, but I DID NOT WANT TO GO!! Church is early, the people are judgmental, and I was just fine without it. Finally, I agreed to go but I was not getting involved. Well that didn’t work because they told me I could talk to people on their way in each Sunday if I was on the greeting team. They were giving me permission to talk and people watch at the same time and I was sold! (SHOCKER) Every single sermon I sat through, I felt so convicted of my drinking, but I just assumed he was talking to the person behind me. HAHA
A few months had passed and Some women at church were talking about a women’s retreat and I didn’t want to do that either, but I went anyways. I knew that I was at appoint that something had to change. When I walked in on Friday, I wanted to leave changed by Sunday. On Friday night, I stood up in front of a bunch of women I didn’t know that all either knew my husband or my dad and I unleased my entire past on them. When I got done talking and using a box of Kleenex from crying, a precious lady came up and hugged me and said, “One day you are going to change a lot of kids lives.” I was thinking this lady didn’t hear a thing I said because no parent would want ME to speak to their kids!!
I still had not given up drinking but every single week, I felt more and more convicted. It was almost like God was saying, “Lindsay I have something really cool in store for you, but you have to give up drinking before I start opening doors”. One of the last nights I was drunk, I puked in my bed. Jason got me in the shower, changed the sheets and put me back in bed. I puked again TWICE, and Jadyn had to get me in the shower and back in bed. I didn’t remember a thing the next morning, but I knew it was getting totally out of control. We went out a few nights later and I was slammed when I got home. When I walked through the door, there was devastation on my girls faces and I decided I would try to go 30 days without drinking. Jason laughed and said Goodluck. I knew that if this was what God was calling me to do, he had already equipped me with the ability to do so. I made it 30 days and decided to go 60… then 90 and I just celebrated 2 years of sobriety on July 22. There for a while, anytime there was an opportunity to drink or alcohol was around, you could see the panic on my kids face.
Much to my surprise I was asked to speak for another company in town for a semester and then decided I needed to pave my own path that God had sent me on 28 years prior. Anchor 180 was born. Over the last few years, I have fallen more and more in love with God and the incredible grace and redemption he has performed in my life. How else did I make it out without any STD’s, losing all custody of my children, doing jail time or killing myself? I now know its because God had bigger plans for me.
I walk in this very odd reality of being so in love with the lord and so incredibly passionate about knowing him more each day, that I oftentimes feel out of place. I wasted the entire first 28 years of my life doing my own thing and not recognizing Gods power. I simply REFUSE to spend another day living for myself or for this world and if that makes me weird or “uninvitable” I am so ok with that.
Literally EVERYTHING I prayed for over the years I have possession of. I mean I still do live in this life full of chaos because there’s 5 kids, 3 dogs and a husband but it is a chaos I thank God for every single day. I literally could not name not ONE SINGLE THING that I wish I could have because I have it all.(I mean a vacation house wouldn’t suck but you get the idea HAHA) So, when people make remarks to me like, “Life is too short to not drink and have fun” or one of my favorites always said with so much sarcasm, “So you just woke up and loved God and now you think you have a perfect life?” My answer to you would be this! I came from a place where my life should’ve been shortened, and it wasn’t. I have known desperation and I have known a life controlled by Satan. I have lived a life of rejecting God and I found myself flat on my face ready to end my own life. It was GOD that bent down to ground level and took me from years of darkness into the brightest light I have ever seen! I didn’t just wake up one day to a perfect life! I woke up to a PERFECT GOD! He has never loved me with a luke warm heart, even when I did not deserve his love. I refuse to love him without anything less than a burning fire in mine.
So, if you have ever wondered where my passion came from to help others who are “unlovable”, I suppose you have figured out by now that I just want to help people who are exactly like me! Every single person we lock eyes with has a story be told and we have no room to judge it. Our job is simply to love them where they are! This isn’t a show for anyone here on this earth! No friends this is the greatest Love story that has ever been told.
With tears streaming down my face, I tell you there couldn’t be more gratitude in my heart if I tried! I pray that you if you know ANYONE who doesn’t know the lord or thinks God wouldn’t want anything to do with them, Lord I pray that this blog series reaches them. Let them see that they are WORTHY to be loved! It is NEVER too late to take a 180 and create a new life anchored in hope! Don’t ever give up on anyone because everyone deserves to feel and experience the TRUE LOVE of God!
Living in HIS light,