on faith, recovery, and the spiritual journey
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Thank you for writing Sober Mercies. You really helped me understand addiction as the terrible tangle of sickness and volition, disease and choice.
Our backgrounds may be different, but brokenness, wounds, shame, and hiding are universal..I saw many parallels between your spiritual journey and my own, from having (primarily) a system of beliefs to entering into the mystery of trust in God through Spirit to spirit personal encounter. For me, also, crisis was the door of entry into a deeper intimacy with God.
I’ll share just one of the things you wrote that resonated with me:
“…people bond more deeply over shared brokenness than they do over shared beliefs.”
I had to learn through experience that the gospel does not become personally transformational until–in community with others–we come out of hiding and into its healing light.
Thanks again. Keep up your good work!
Wow. Thanks Dave for this wonderful note. So encouraging, and profoundly put, too. I am so glad my book spoke to you. Quite a few people have quoted this line back to me, which makes me think there must be truth in it. By the way, I love your blog! You’re so talented. :)
On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM, Heather Kopp
I purchased my book and received it in the mail yesterday. My daughter looked at it and started reading it, she couldn’t but it down!!!!! She has read the entire book and she hardly ever finishes books!! This must be a great book!!! I can’t wait to get my hands on it……….
Heather ..I was in the den on the computer, with the tv on in the bedroom. Life today was on and I heard James interviewing you about alcoholism. I jumped up and caught part of your story. I am also a boot and drawer alchoholic. i was sober for 20 years and started drinking again several years ago while I was very active in the church. I have been deliverd (so to speak) several times and each time I go back the shame is awful but not enough to keep me sober. I just don’t feel my husband and I can afford for me to go into treatment because we are barely getting by financially. My church has started a addiction support group that I attended and stayed sober for three months. We are dealing with an aunt with dementia and she always has alcohol and willing to share. My brother, sister and sister in law are also drinkers. my husband and I met when I was 4 years sober and he has now realized that I did and do have a problem. I also have a 26 year old that I am pretty sure has drinking issues. Thanks for your testemony I am going to try and find the book today. Love Nancy
Nancy, my heart goes out to you. From my history in the recovery walk of many years, you’re very fortunate to be alive, after having a relapse after 20 yrs. of sobriety. Yes, you were “delivered” many times, but your memory/understanding and free will decided to take over once again! Since you’re referring to “church/deliverance”, remember what the Bible says about demons returning to an “empty house”, which I’m paraphrasing here.
I can only suggest you either return to AA, or go there for the first time. I pray you’ve been given the gift of desperation! Meaning, you’re willing to do anything, go to any length to achieve true sobriety, which involves the body/mind/spirit, enabling you/me to walk as reasonably sane, contented and joyful women who love life and God. If you do go to AA, get a good sponsor and obey everything she asks/suggests you to do, and then do it. Read, pray daily, get on your knees AM/PM and look up and outward. Blessings to you, Nancy!
Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for writing. I sure do understand the conundrum of feeling like you’ve been delivered and then going back to drinking. And yes the shame is awful. So been there. I also get the not being able to afford treatment thing. Have you ever tried AA? Was the church thing Celebrate Recovery? I’m a huge fan of what works for people. We’re all so different. I couldn’t stay sober without my recovery community–and I can say that because it is part of how I receive God’s strength and grace–through them. I walked into recovery without a single friend in the state of CO, and I didn’t even want any! Until I got into recovery and this hunger for connection opened up inside of me. It was so amazing to find woman’s meetings where I welcomed and loved and helped. I hope you do find some kind of help, because none of us should have to battle this monster alone–and I don’t think God asks us to. I think he works through love and community and grace. PLEASE do keep in touch, Nancy. Seriously. I would love to hear an update and know how you are doing. I have a 30 year old son who is alcoholic, so I’ve been around that block too! He’s in recovery now, but wow there were some awful years. You’ll learn more about that as you read the book. I pray it speaks to your heart, friend. H
On Mon, May 27, 2013 at 9:45 AM, Heather Kopp
Hi Nancy, I believe AA was invented by Jesus. He created the program with Himself at the center and three human elements for support. One is a mature Christian with insight into alcoholism – Spiritual Advisor. The second is a Sponsor, male with male and female with female. The third element is the group. AA members sober up in steps one through three. Growth occurs in steps 4 through 12. If you desire sobriety you deserve a group, sponsor and spiritual advisor.
Thanks for this, Ed.
Nancy, I really feel for you and know how hard to get delivered totally can be. I suffered from depression for 7 years off & on and also drank when I was really down. How I finally got set free was James 4:7, God says to submit to Him then we can resist the devil and he must flee. Just consentrate on submitting to God and allow Him to show you how you will be able to give up drinking. Don’t think about giving up alcohol, change your focus to God and He will really set you free and it is wonderful!!!! Trust in God to help you get through this, He will!!! God is good!!!
I finished your book quickly and it made a deep impression — details may differ a bit on patterns and getting into recovery — but your story, esp. on how your prayer life is changing was a much needed tonic. Here’s my humble review on AMAZON:
Quick read — Well-written and as others have said: no-whining — and composed with enough hindsight to be winsome, and enough courage to be oh so helpful to one who is also recovering.
The author perfectly describes why
“a bunch of addicts and alcoholics manage to succeed at creating the kind of intimate fellowship so many of my Christian groups tried to achieve and failed?
“. . . people bond more deeply over shared brokenness then they do over shared beliefs.”
She also describes a growing understanding of prayer and God and trust that shone a light into cobwebs that are plugging up my own prayers.
Wow! Thanks so much for this. I’m so so grateful. :) So few people leave reviews compared to those who tell me how much they liked it. Best to you, Heather
On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 11:11 PM, Heather Kopp
I’ve started the book and it is a wonderful read. You are funny, Heather, in the midst of your vulnerability. Thank you again, to you and to your family, for sharing your journey. I’m sure it was an exciting and scary process. I can’t wait to read the whole book!
Thanks, Terri! If you like the whole thing, maybe you’d review it on Amazon for me. Mentioning the funny part helps people, also it’s really a book for anyone who loves a good story, it’s not juts a topic book, you know? I hope that word gets out. I am so honored that you’re reading it and so is Dave. Isn’t he amazing?! Hugs, Heather
On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM, Heather Kopp
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[…] Christian sort of way. But enough about me. I want to share my thoughts on a forthcoming book, Sober Mercies, by my friend Heather Kopp. Despite our differences, her book moved me and, despite our […]
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I'm so glad you've come by my blog. My boots got sober in 2007 when I stopped hiding alcohol in them. I write about the intersection of faith and recovery and well... stuff.
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