Rehab is a way of life these days. Celebrities move in and out of rehab centers as if they are vacation resorts.
There is also big money in offering rehab with the promise that ‘you enter addicted, you leave free’. I would love to be a fly on the wall when the sales rep is explaining why the 2nd, 3rd, and multiple return visits are necessary. Freedom is never attainable for them. Why?
I recently learned an answer to this question. I learned the hard way. God has put me in rehab time and time again and I didn’t even recognize where I was or what He was doing. I will bet He’s done the same for you.
We all have our addictions and our fixes. No one is immune. I would have argued against what I just said a week ago. But now I know better. Hear me out before you determine I have lost my mind completely.
My dad suffered from severe paranoia and chronic depression. It was not uncommon for him to create in his mind a horrific crisis about to befall him or one of us. He would become obsessed with the approaching disaster to the point of hysterical outbursts and debilitating panic attacks. I learned from his model.
Fortunately for my family, I have controlled the outbursts. Unfortunately for me, I suffer internally. So God send me to rehab. I failed miserably. Here how it happened…
I found myself steeped deep into a pit of paranoia. A lack of a phone call sent my mind into such despair I don’t even want to repeat the ridiculousness of it. For a few days I fought hard. I recorded promises on notecards and read them aloud. I spent sleepless nights reading entire books of the Bible and found some peace. I shouted threats at the enemy of my soul to silence his voices. Victory would be short. Rest was sporadic.
I knew without doubt that I had the proper weapons and God was going to free me. I knew it was only a matter of time and not only would I be free from this one battle but that I would finally win the war against my own lifetime of paranoia.
Day four was the turning point. I was at wits end. The call had never come. I sought ways to make it happen to silence my agony. I texted. Silence and more agony. I left yet another voice message. Silence and agony. I cried out in prayer. I shouted aloud my sincere determination to trust Jesus even in the silence and agony.
My mind continued to create disastrous scenarios. I called them lies.
I committed myself to still love and worship God even if the worse of these lies came true. I knew then the end was near and I was going to win. It was a glorious moment.
In that moment, I reasoned it was ‘okay’ for Mike to make the phone call and get the answer. Moments later, he called with a positive report. All was well. None of the disastrous imaginations had transpired. God had blessed yet again. I was filled with peace.
The euphoric peace propelled me outside on a praise walk. I sang to His glory with each step. He had once again delivered me. I was free. Free indeed; He said, “No, no, no.”
God interrupted my worship of His goodness to say, “That wasn’t Me. You got a fix. Just like a drug addict or alcoholic. You are not healed. There will be a next time.”
I stood paralyzed. Never had I imagined such a word. But I knew it was true. I know His voice. I know He never lies to me.
The fear of the next time kept my feet from moving forward. Frozen on that road, I realized He had put me in rehab. Yet I was no better than all the others who checked themselves out and returned to their addictions.
Tomorrow I will share what I learned in that Divine encounter.