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  • The Fight to Stay Free

    My Struggle with Addiction A person in addiction recovery has to fight against everything in their minds and bodies that want to push them toward thinking and behaving in an unhealthy manner. My struggle with addiction always pushes me toward the fight to stay free. Addiction is all consuming. Whether it’s another new sweater, an affair, financial debt due to gambling or over-spending, another bottle of vodka, or the last eight-ball you’ll ever shoot, it’s a daily struggle. It’s a daily fight to stay free. It has been (it seems) my entire life’s journey (a bit of an exaggeration) in cyclical motion between addictions. When I “kick-the-habit” of one addiction, the next thing you know - there's another come to take its place. They sneak up on you and you find yourself way in it before you even know you're in it. Guilt and shame are close companions of addiction, and sometimes depression tags along for the ride. I’ve never met a recovering addict who isn’t familiar with those three. What I find especially difficult is the fact that I’m a recovering addict and a born again Christian (banging my head on my desk). I shouldn’t be having a struggle with addiction, or temptation, at all! I should be walking in the freedom Jesus gave me, right? Isn’t this what we deal with inside our heads, in our hearts? Enter centre stage: guilt and shame and their little friend. When you think of all the people that Jesus helped, the blind, the homeless, the unclean, the prostitutes, the widows and orphans, how can you possibly think that you are unworthy, unloved, and undeserving, of all the blessings God has to give us for us to bless others. Why then do we sometimes revert to living under Satan’s yoke? When a person walks through life under the burden of guilt, shame and depression it is extremely difficult to believe the truth of God over the lies and half-truths of Satan because we are very much aware of our proclivities, we’ve lived our past and are likely hanging on to what Satan tells us because what Satan says is sprinkled with truth, we can believe it. But God’s agape love is so foreign to the heart of someone who has suffered trauma and addiction. It’s almost incredulous. We are so hard on ourselves for even being tempted that we actually convince ourselves that we might as well spend, eat, starve, or drug because God can’t possibly love me. But then God shows up and says to us, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV He doesn’t say, “You! Again! How many times does my Son have to die for you? Get over it!” No. Instead he says, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV. This is how I fight to stay free when I struggle with my addiction. Know this friend, Jesus really does love you. It’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to be tempted. God’s Word is our foundation; it holds us up while Satan tries to make us slip up. There’s nothing we haven’t endured that Jesus didn’t endure. Be powerful not pitiful. Give all your anxieties to God for He cares for you. #StruggleWithAddiction #FightToStayFree #Guilt #Shame #Depression #Temptation #Burdens

  • What Hearing God's Voice Sounds Like

    Don't you find that hearing God isn't necessarily what you think or hope it will sound like? Is it audible? Is it a talking burning bush, a finger writing on a wall, or something that we may not even realize is God whispering to us? Life, at times, can make a person a little sad. It was a sunny day, my daughter had her boyfriend over and I was making them tea as they were doing art on the deck. I found myself very sad inside. I couldn't shake it. I made them tea and a little voice, a prompting that seemed to be saying "don't make tea for yourself, you need to walk" kept echoing in my head. Yet, I found myself setting three mugs out for tea. I made my tea as the idea of going for a walk seemed too hard. The tea was ready. I couldn't get over the strong urge I found within my spirit to go for a walk. I have never taken my tea out for a walk! I put my tea in a traveling mug and went outside. I decided I needed to walk slowly and talk with God. As I started my walk, I knew it should be my long walk, not my short walk. As I was started to approach the bridge that goes over the highway I glanced to the other side. There was a person in jeans, a baggy hoodie over their head and you could just see that they had no body energy. The person was leaning on the cement wall looking over the highway. The person rested their head on the wall. The person placed their foot on the side of the wall. A truck went by, slowed down, and then kept going. Other cars went by. I didn't have a phone. I was scared. I was scared for this person's life. I couldn't figure out if it was a man or a lady. Then the thoughts came fast and furious. Thoughts of Covid and and I didn't even have a mask with me. Would I even get to the person in time? Would the person freak out if I approached? Would they jump or take me with them? (Yes, I've always had a very vivid imagination!) Many thoughts were swirling as I quickly crossed the four lanes to get to the other side. By this time, thankfully the person had sat down and was slouched over with their arms on their knees. I gently said "are you okay?" from about eight feet away so as not to startle the person and due to Covid. What a crazy world! The person was a young girl. Tears were streaming and she said no, she wasn't okay. I immediately started to cry for her. Now I knew why my level of sadness had to be where it was before I found her. I asked if I could sit down. Yes. I gently started asking her what was wrong. She didn't want to talk about it. That's okay. I asked if I could stop sitting on the curb as cars were passing quickly by and asked if I could sit beside her, six feet away. As I gently made conversation I learned about her life. I asked if we could get off the bridge. No. Okay. She shared that she thought she was a terrible person, how she had ADHD, PTSD, Aspergers and mental illness. She had just told off her Grandma who was the only one she felt loved her. Oh my. The poor girl. By now I had gained her trust. She told me her name. We could now walk off the bridge and we were walking to her home to tell her Dad how serious this attempt had been. As we walked I explained how I just KNEW I had to go for a walk, where to walk, and to not stay home and drink my tea! I explained to her that I was a believer and that it was God who told me to come, and to come now! Just at this moment, a police officer pulled up. I hadn't been able to tell her about Jesus. God could mean anything. I wanted her to know that God loved her so much He had sent Jesus to restore our relationship with Himself. The kind officer then asked if we knew each other. He had received many calls about someone who was maybe distraught. We explained to the officer that I just met her and that we were walking to her home to tell her Dad. He asked the young girl if she would like a ride in the police SUV instead of walking. And then turned to me and explained that I didn't need to come with her. How was I to tell her about Jesus! I asked if she would like my phone number and she could call me if she wanted to. The officer gave me his business card and I wrote, "Darlene (my phone number) Jesus Loves you" I had a very good cry as I walked away. I had listened to the sweet whisper of God. I didn't know I had. If I had just thought that strong urge had been nothing, who knows what would have happened to this sweet girl that day. I may never know what happens to her, but God will. She has never phoned me. But, she now knows that Jesus loves her even if she had never heard that or didn't want to hear it. God works through hearts that are broken like hers and she may hear this message one day and receive His love. May we all begin to be more sensitive to the sweet whispers of God that at the times just seem like an annoying thought that says to go for a walk, and not miss out hearing Him as we wait for the burning bush! #HearingGodsVoice #GodWhispers #Mentalillness #BurningBush #Suicide

  • Perfect People Not Wanted

    That's a God Thing! Is God ironic? He seems to do logical things in various illogical manners. It’s so funny that we all aspire to His perfection but, throughout the Bible, He has shown us that perfect people are NOT necessary or wanted for His tasks. Simply put, He’s already perfect so, why would He want to use a perfect being - that would be redundant. In any event, the closer someone is to “perfection” the more they want to control. So, how is that a “God thing”? Why does God use people of low degree, like Mary who was a peasant girl and carried God’s Son? Why did He use a Moabite like Ruth, or a prostitute like Rehab to carry on the family line? Why did Jesus use a woman to anoint His feet before His crucifixion Why did God use women to complete the tasks that were, in that day, considered for men only - like Jael who bludgeoned Sisera? These women were women. There was nothing all that remarkable about them that He would choose them except that they we obedient and trusted God - a God some of them didn’t even know. That’s a God thing. God uses people who are perfectly imperfect because the more imperfect we are the greater the chances are that He will receive His due glory. At the end of the day, we can usually see that God, in His plans, always seems to teach the teachable. This post isn’t about men vs women. This post is about accepting your “station” (position), in life, and trusting that God will never leave you alone to work His plan. He was always with you, even before you knew Him. He is still with you. He will always be with you. He said it so, you can take that to the bank. In light of the fact that He is the Alpha and Omega we need to be certain in our hearts that we will never fail a God-given task if God is behind it, unless of course you’re disobedient. God shames the wise (those who believe they are all-wise). He brings down the high and mighty, (those who think they are above all), and thwarts the plans of the rich (those who are stingy). A woman with a heart for God attends to Him. She worships and praises Him. She knows His voice and listens to His counsel. She has a teachable spirit and loves from deep within. She trusts Him. Stop striving to be perfectly perfect. It can’t be done alone. His Spirit lives within you. Seek Him in the Holy of Holies that is within you. Be teachable and receptive to receive all He has for you and do what He’s prepared you to do … you perfectly imperfect and beautiful woman of God! "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 ESV #GenerationsOfWomen #SpiritualGrowth #BeBold #TeachableSpirit #StopStriving #NoPerfectPeople

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  • Christian Blogger | Unveiling Hope | Ottawa

    Home All Posts About Us Accessibility Statement Contact Us Seeking Jesus? Water from Other Wells More More Hope Sep 9 3 min The Fight to Stay Free A person in addiction recovery has to fight against everything in their minds and bodies that want to push them toward thinking and behaving 19 views 0 comments 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Darlene Fast Sep 1 4 min What Hearing God's Voice Sounds Like Don't you find that hearing God isn't necessarily what you think or hope it will sound like? Is it audible? Is it a talking burning bush, 61 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Hope Aug 27 2 min Perfect People Not Wanted This post isn’t about men vs women. This post is about accepting your “station” in life, and trusting that God will never leave you alone. 8 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked Grace De La Croix Aug 16 4 min To Live or Not to live? The Question of Suicide The Question of Suicide is to live or not to live. Guest author Grace De La Croix shares part of her journey. 16 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Christina Lee Fast Jul 27 2 min God was There Following is a testimony from our lovely Christina Fast who shares her story of childhood sexual abuse, forgiveness, healing, and how God... 39 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked Hope Jul 24 3 min Raw I can be here for you always, but you can never know the real me. That’s too risky and dangerous for my taste. My arm is still raw. 27 views 0 comments Post not marked as liked Darlene Fast Jul 15 5 min Stronger Together Think of all the women you've come into contact with during your life - they teach us courage and encourage us. 42 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Hope Jul 4 3 min God, are you listening? Will these tears ever stop? Will the enemy of my thoughts relent? God, are you listening? I'm afraid you have left me. 29 views 1 comment Post not marked as liked Hope Jun 3 2 min The Refiner's Fire The question that I have been trying to answer for myself is: who am I? 21 views 1 comment 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Hope May 14 2 min The Widow of Zarapheth People quickly forget that hope is real and mustn’t be forsaken. Hope is alive. It's something we need to survive. 11 views 1 comment Post not marked as liked Questions? Do you ever ask yourself, Who am I?, What is my purpose?, Does Jesus really love me? Hope is alive! Come and join our community and renew your mind. Tags believe encouraged Generations of Women hope is alive Approval & Comparison Depression God was there Guilt hope Insecurity Shame Stronger Surrendered Take Off Your Mask trust Burning Bush Forgiveness Get Real God Whispers Gratitude Image peace Struggle with Addiction Suicide Temptation What is my purpose Who Am I Wisdom Soul Music Post Categories All Posts (10) 10 posts Believe (4) 4 posts Image (2) 2 posts Process then Progress. (3) 3 posts Peace (1) 1 post Hearing God's Voice (4) 4 posts Purity (1) 1 post Renew Your Mind (2) 2 posts Gratitude (1) 1 post Hope is Alive (2) 2 posts Encouragement (5) 5 posts Stronger Together (1) 1 post Set Free (2) 2 posts No Shame (3) 3 posts Be Bold (2) 2 posts Sexual Abuse (1) 1 post God was There (2) 2 posts Depression (2) 2 posts Suicide (1) 1 post Generations of Women (3) 3 posts Body Image & Eating Disorders (1) 1 post Faith (1) 1 post Stronger Together (2) 2 posts Perfectionism & Striving (1) 1 post Mental Health/Illness (2) 2 posts Crushing Serpents Power (0) 0 posts Struggle with Addiction (1) 1 post Freedom (1) 1 post Guilt (1) 1 post Temptation (0) 0 posts Home All Posts About Us Accessibility Statement Contact Us Seeking Jesus? Water from Other Wells More More Subscribe here

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