Have you ever hit rock bottom? Just the place where you feel like you’re just floundering, and as hard as you’re trying, you’re not getting anywhere. I think that’s exactly where I was. I sure had the floundering part down.
After the death of my nephew I started doing things to make myself feel a little better. It didn’t matter if the feeling was lasting or not. I’m forever thankful that I wasn’t wired to turn to drugs or alcohol, but the things that I turned to were socially acceptable. People didn’t care if I went back for seconds on the apple pie, and they sure didn’t care if I came to work in a new outfit that I bought on my credit card.
I think I had went numb. I decided that it would inevitably be better for me to just build up walls around my heart so that I wouldn’t have to be hurt like that again. The biggest problem with that was, though, while I was numb to all the bad things happening around me, I also was unable to really feel and experience the good things. So what I turned to was anything that that gave me a little bit of satisfaction.
Man, I’m hungry. I’ll have two more helpings of dinner.
I think I want a new guitar. Oh, good. This one’s only $500.
I’ve got to have a new computer. I like new stuff. This one works.
What I ended up with was a lot of debt and gaining a lot of weight.
I’ve talked a lot on the Esau Project about the compromises we make. I was making little compromises here and there over a long period of time, and 10 years later, I’m still dealing with the consequences of those decisions.
Honestly, you have no idea how excited I was when I get credit card solicitations in the mail these days because it wasn’t that long ago that I was in so deep that I wasn’t even deemed worthy of a mailing. It’s ridiculous. I hate credit cards. My use and abuse of them has left me with more sleepless nights than I care to remember. But I think sometimes God uses the very things that helped take us down to show us just how far we’ve come.
I honestly couldn’t tell you other than my guitar and my computer what I spent money one during that time in my life. I couldn’t tell you a single specific thing that I ate. But these days, I watch where my money goes. I try to make sure that what I’m buying is something I need and is the best deal I can find.
Sometimes I screw up, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during this journey, it’s that we’re all screwed up. We all make bad decisions every once in a while. But while we’re all screwed up, we’re also all covered by God’s grace, and it’s His grace that brings us through. I don’t know where I’d be without it.
What are ways that you show grace to those around you? How has grace been shown to you?