“Happy Endings”

she lives her life in light
glancing at the darkness behind her

if she never shares where she’s been
they’ll never know where she’s come from
what God’s brought her through

living can be as simple as sharing
sharing can be as simple as living

boldness comes through the piercing of the heart
with the love of heaven striking through

love
not sex
but love

God is love
love is God

how long had she been confused?
years and years
tormenting her body
her heart
her mind

but one moment in time
changed the course she was on
and slowly but surely
it developed

a relationship with Him
living in Him
for Him
to Him

HE’s the one who wooed her to church
HE’s the one who listened to her prayers
it was HIM who led her to AA
through the steps
clearing the way for HIM
to enter in entirely

and all along the way
as she made mistakes
He waited lovingly with arms opened wide
embracing her as she returned
loving her deeply through it all

why?
why did God put up with her? she wondered
and in gentle moments He explained

“I know what the ending looks like” He said
“who you are isn’t who you’ll be”

THAT keeps Him patient
THAT keeps Him constant
THAT keeps her holding on
for what she’ll truly be

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Be Vulnerable!

Do you know a reason why relationships are important? Because we have the opportunity to LEARN from each other’s mistakes, and the good thing about learning from other people’s mistakes is that the consequences don’t affect you.

I can’t even tell you how many girls come into the treatment center with the thought of stripping for a living, and then they hear my story and change their minds. Do you know how powerful that is!

We have the power to change people’s minds from losing their lives to darkness!

Never be afraid to be vulnerable and share where you’ve been because it might save someone’s life around you. Not everybody will live through the pain you’ve endured.

Experience, Strength, and Hope

Last night, I had a BLAST speaking at the recovery meeting!

Every time I share my story, I never know what’s going to happen because I leave that up to God. I don’t plan anything; I just show up, open my mouth, and let His Spirit flow through me, and in the end, I hope that “someone” was touched by His words, and at the end of the meeting last night, I met who that someone was.

About twenty minutes before the meeting, a woman from the East Coast had made the last minute decision to go. She believes her recent trip to Harlingen, a drive over 1800 miles long, was to hear God speak through me at that meeting. What an honor is that! I just love the extreme God goes to to chase after “the one.”

When I think about what I shared, it was all about God. I talked about the mess I was without Him, my seeking Him for the kids, my finding Him, and my walking through Him in recovery. It was amazing!

My life is not my own.

If my life was my own, I’d be mourning my mother every moment of every day, but I don’t. I stay focused on Him and the life I’m leading and let the grief come and go wave by wave, and let me tell you: it comes at the weirdest times.

Last night, after the meeting, some friends came over for Carolyn’s yummy spaghetti, and after we ate, a few of us went to a late night showing of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

During one of the scenes where they were fighting, I had a vision of my mom when she’d kissed me in the hospital bed a bunch of times (without her teeth). Is that not the strangest timing for me to remember her! Anyway, another weird thing happened in that movie theater.

I’m a crier at movies…very emotional (at the drop of a hat), but last night was “different.”

As sad parts happened and I heard sniffles all around me, I sat there stone-cold…no emotion, and I wondered if it was because real death was so near me that fake death seemed far away. I don’t know. All I know is that not one scene affected me emotionally.

If I really want to know where I stand with that, I guess could watch a tearjerker and see what happens, but it’s not that important to me. I’m just very grateful for last night: the speaking; the yummy food; the fellowship; and the movie with friends.

THAT’s what recovery’s about, and that’s what living’s all about, too!

The Day My Mom Died

For some reason, I’ve been wanting to write about the day my mom passed away (April 25th), so here it goes.

That Wednesday morning, I was called into work early, which was a Godsend.

During my shift, I taught a class, and at the end of the class, I read the poem I’d written a few days before. Afterward, I cried, and fifteen minutes later, my mom ended up dying, yet I didn’t know about it then.

A couple hours later, I received the call from my aunt. All I remember was her saying my mom had died a couple hours earlier. Instantly, I felt my heart drain and began to cry.

As I got off the phone, I wondered if I could handle completing my shift, but as I walked into the office to tell my boss, I KNEW I had to leave. ALL I wanted to do was go home and cry.

Right away, all the girls around me knew what had happened, and as I made my way to the door to leave, everyone lined up to hug me, even the maids, and every hug I received was one I needed so deeply. At times, I felt myself falling deeper into their arms.

One girl walked me out, and as we hugged again, she asked, “Are you okay to drive?” I told her, “Yeah, I’ll stop and get a soda.” We both laughed, but then, as I cried even harder, I leaned against the post and asked God to help me.

A mile down the road, I stopped for that soda and wanted something cherry, but wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t have anything cherry, so I cried a little harder and left.

I sent Carolyn a text, asking if I could pull her out of school. She said yes, so all I had between us was an hour drive. (sigh)

On the way, I was never alone. Of course, God was with me, but also, I stayed on the phone with someone, almost the whole way.

When I picked up Carolyn, immediately, she had me laughing. At times, the laughter turned into tears or the tears turned into laughter. She was so confused: she didn’t know if I was laughing or crying! We headed to Panda Express to order our takeout.

At home, we watched Netflix and ate (and I cried). It was perfect, but later in the night, I told her how I REALLY wanted something cherry, so we went to the store.

As we walked passed the liquor aisle, I said, “We’re so lucky I don’t drink anymore!” I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I did.

Anyway, at the end of the night, when exhaustion set in and the tears stopped flowing, we went to sleep.

I’m sure we all walk through grief differently. This was just a look into mine.

It’s never too late to grow up!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had bad credit, yet I’ve never owned a credit card. My low standing has always been from no credit (which is sometimes worse) and outstanding hospital bills and such. Well, the bill part’s been paid off for awhile, but the no credit part has always lingered.

From time to time, I’d apply for different credit opportunities at “Victoria Secret,” “Discount Tire,” “Target,” etc., and ever time, I was declined, and I’ve never really needed to do anything about it, until recently.

Back in December, I had the chance to go to New York with Kyle, but I had to buy my own plane tickets. Well, that wasn’t going to happen because I continually live paycheck to paycheck. Thankfully, a friend of mine put the tickets on her credit card, and I’m paying her back, but it got me thinking, “I need to work on my credit, just in case things like this come up,” so I made a vow to myself to do just that.

In January, I looked online for ways to bring up your credit score, and time and time again, I saw that it was helpful to have a credit card, so I put my thoughts on the back burner, until last week, when my bank sent me an email.

In the email, they said I could, now, check my credit score through my account. When I clicked on the link, I found my credit score was in the red, a whopping 557 (those of you who know about credit scores know that that’s a low one). Upon seeing that number, I emailed the bank about my chances of obtaining a credit card.

After being forwarded three times, I was told that the credit application process would go through a third party and that the bank wouldn’t have any say so in the matter, so I’d given up, but then, something changed.

That night, after my shift (at ten of clock at night), I decided, “What the hay, Laura! Just try it!”, so I went online and applied, and within seconds, I was approved for my very first credit card ever!

It has a limit of five hundred dollars and will be used for gas, and every month, I’ll set aside my gas money to pay it off. In no time at all, I’ll have credit in the green, instead of in the red.

Anyway, there’s my “growing up” story for you! I wanted to share it with you but wanted to have the card in hand FIRST!!20180220_105021

I got another job!

I say “another” job because making flags is my first job (although, not everyone in my life considers it one).

A few days ago, I started working as a Recovery Advocate at Origins, a treatment center on South Padre Island!

Celebrating Recovery

Yesterday, after my swim, I went up to the lifeguards to tell them I’d been sober twelve years. They were so excited for me!! It left me wondering: do others do that?

I’ve never been ashamed of my recovery. Actually, it’s the exact opposite: I’m very proud of being sober, having worked the steps through alcoholics anonymous, having gone even deeper with God in His word…very proud, indeed!

I never had hope of even being able to go ONE DAY without alcohol. Actually, there’s a funny story about that.

When I first started going to church in 2004, they had a women’s retreat, which I was invited to attend, so I did but was deathly afraid of how I’d be able to sleep without drinking, so you know what I did? I took Benadryl with me, so I could knock myself out at night, but to my surprise, I never used it. I was stunned! But it didn’t stop me from drinking as soon as I got back, and it took me another year and a half before I finally listened to God about going to AA.

Man, you wanna talk about a prison! It was a horrible way to live! I would leave bible studies paranoid because I thought they’d follow me to the liquor store and catch me buying booze. I was ALWAYS looking over my shoulder.

If you, by chance, are reading this post and have a problem with anything, please message me or something, so I can pray for you. You DON’T have to be alone EVER AGAIN!

Sobriety

Yesterday, I was surprised that I never got around to writing about my sobriety, but then again, I wasn’t that surprised at all.

You see, there’s been a fear in me about writing: who can know; things aren’t perfect; how can I be honest without drowning others; how can I be transparent without exposing…the list of fears goes on and on, and that list has kept me from writing, but that’s letting fear control me, which isn’t who I am at all.

The moment I stepped into God, Continue reading