Devotional January 2, 2019

Happy New Year,

I am so grateful to have my first full calendar year sober in twenty three years. God is so good!

As I look back over this past year I have so many memories that I never thought possible.

My daughter was baptized, I was baptized, my wife was baptized, I am a married man, and I was able to create a ministry that is helping others and we belong to a community.

God has restored me to place of peace and love with myself. Without God I was always closed off from community. I was isolated, always seeking happiness from drugs, sex and relationships.

As I look at the main difference in my life now, I find that community is the biggest key to the success of this past year. 

The minute I let God open and expose my heart to others I became known. Good or bad I was known. Those who stayed in my life genuinely cared for me.

 For a man lost in addiction for a decade with superficial relationships built on lies, this was a new frontier. 

I never had a family growing up and I have lived on my own since fifteen.

These new relationships built on truth feel like family to me. These new bonds and experiences have taught me to love my wife and daughter in ways I was not aware of or capable of as an addict.

God’s design for healing is so vast and I am in awe of how it can all work for our good.

As my relationships with others grew stronger by the vulnerable truths shared; I felt the love of God healing me. Making the connection to drugs weaker as my connections to friends grew stronger.

This year I pray that we all find the strength of God within the vulnerability of admitting our weakness. May we all acknowledge the truth of who we are and find people who see the potential of who God created us to be.

Blessings,

Shawn O’Donnell

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