In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void… (Genesis 1:1-2a)
The earth was a “formless void.” In Hebrew the word is tohu va-vohu. In the beginning, there was not emptiness or absence. In the beginning there is chaos.
As an alcoholic I’ve lived a very chaotic life. Between the ages of 15 and 22, I lived in chaos. Drinking, sleeping around, drugs. Emotionally I was trying to ignore my depression. Physically I was falling a part. But the only thing that seemed to keep me going, was drinking. At least it numbed the pain.
On November 8th, 2014, I was admitted to Chestnut Hill hospital with pancreatitis because I was literally drinking myself to death. My body was shutting down. I was dying.
After 4 nights in a bed, and my only nourishment being a tube of sugar water in my arm, I was given time to think. In many ways, this was not my time in the tomb yet, that would come later (between the cross and resurrection, Jesus was in the tomb). I was still dying and not yet in the tomb.
Those 4 days were the most isolated and terrifying days of my life. They were also the days that I experienced more support and love than I ever have in my life. The shame of my actions flooded my mind. Years of suppressed emotions and actions were all colliding within me at once. But by my side were my parents, my best friends, my pastors, my parishioners, medical professionals, and God.
Somehow in the days in the hospital, being visited by my parents and my friends and my family, something got through to me. I needed to stop drinking.
I hope to share my stories of recovery in this space. I hope that my stories can help others and give them hope. I hope that my stories can be uplifting, and I also hope that they can convict.
As an alcoholic in recovery, I cannot escape my past. Instead, to truly be in recovery, I have to live into the void. I have to remember the chaos that drove me to a life of drinking. I have to remember the chaos that I caused with my drinking. I have to remember the pain and hurt that I caused my family, my friends, my exes, my partners, my “enemies”, and those that I forgot even existed because all I could think about was myself. That is a life of recovery.
God works through chaos to bring life. God can even work through my chaos to bring life.
In recovery, it is not enough to just stop drinking. You have to be active in your recovery and it is always something that you are working towards.
And so, this is my ministry. To live a life of recovery. To make amends for my wrongs. To share my story. To live into my death and and live into my resurrection in Christ.
To truly live in recovery, I need to live into the void.