Thursday, March 31, 2011

Alcoholic? Me? Set Free!

Marijo several years after coming to the Lord

We drank while rafting, we drank while dancing, we drank with meals, we drank while hiking, we drank and played games, we drank and barbequed.  That was just our group.  Jim was one we worried about.  Jim was an alcoholic and passed out while playing the piano or in someone’s front yard and didn’t remember how he got there. The rest of us, well, WE didn’t pass out.

When we were broke we bought gallons of Red Mountain wine and had wine coolers.  When we were not broke we drank Bacardi 151 and coke and made mai tais, daquiri’s and ice cream with kalaua and brandy in the blender for desert. We drank when we smoked dope to cool our throats. We drank to celebrate, to relax, because the fruity stuff tasted good and to party.

Somewhere in there I began to get glimpses of who I was and how my tongue sliced up those I loved when I was drinking.  The next morning I would hate myself.  I worked PM shift as an RN – came home and would down a bottle or two of strawberry wine to unwind and relax.

My sister wrote me a 9 page letter, wow, some family news!  She never writes!! WRONG, it was about Rapture and Tribulation, 9 pages.  A nurse’s aide at work kept sharing about their church with me. My sister visited.  She had really changed. She was 2 years younger but you would never guess that before.  She wasn’t bossy and self centered anymore – hum….. I was an atheist If God existed I’d have to “mind” him, wouldn’t I? I wanted to “do my own thing” but I always went over that line I had drawn in the sand for myself. Never mind, God couldn’t exist with the mess the world was in.

Pretty soon life seemed kind of glum. I was messing up with my husband and family and best friends . I was hurting people I was supposed to care about the most, drinking more.  One day before work I was in the bath tub.  Having a conversation with the God I didn’t believe in. “well, if you ARE there please help me, I am making a mess of my life, please take over because I have been doing a terrible job etc.”  It finally came to my attention that the tub water was stone cold and I found out I had been in there over an hour and a half talking to the God I didn’t think existed.  I sensed a peace and a heaviness lifting off me.

I began to go to a Bible study with the nurse’s aide. I was still doing Transcendental meditation and drinking heavily. My husband suggested doing a week without drinking. As had happened before when we tried this, we’d make it about a day and a half and then think up something to celebrate and out would come the alcohol again.

We were going to our best friends’ house for dinner and of course we took wine.  I knew by then that if my lips tingled or I started talking fast I had too much and that was a sin.  All day long the word “fast” had been coming to me.  I knew what that meant medically (and should have listened) but not a Biblical fast.  I really memorized that scripture about a little wine being good for your stomach and determined to have one small glass that night. Well, the cork wouldn’t come out of the bottle.  This was nothing new and you just had to take an ice pick and poke it through and usually the cork popped down OR in worst cases you could dig the cork out, bit by bit, with the pick.  Nothing worked.  This had never happened before.  Well, I was creative and broke the top of the bottle off and strained it through a dish towel so no one got glass in their wine.  One glass. Hum.  Had one and pretty soon I was having another, then my lips tingled and I was gabbing really fast and I knew that I had hurt the Lord.

SO, I had dialogues with the pastor about a little wine being good for my tummy.  I had prayer at the altar with the Body praying with me. I quit.  No DTs. No turning back. No meetings.
Each time I went to the grocery and saw the wine I drooled.  My then husband didn’t quit and would have me pour him a glass of my favorite wine. It was torment. I finally prayed that the Lord would make a glass of wine as appealing as a glass of milk. I hated milk and was allergic to it to boot.  I made it through the holidays without drinking.  Someone bought me a bottle of FREE (alcohol free wine) I had a glass and felt my lips tingling then read the fine print – it has some alcohol, less that 1%, but my body could tell that.
Soon I was pouring my husband a glass of my favorite wine and some dribbled on my thumb, I automatically licked it – yuck, it was terrible. Then I remembered my prayer and the Lord had answered it! It was terrible like a glass of cold milk!!!

Pretty soon I felt impressed to quit cooking with cooking wine, the salted kind so you couldn’t drink it. I dumped it down the sink after I felt the Lord saying “is the cooking wine really necessary?”
The Lord Jesus Christ pulled me feet first out of a bottle and has kept me out for close to 34 years now. HE is able! HE is faithful!

HE has done great things. in Hawaii at my parent’s church I wanted to take communion.  I was praying to know if it was wine or grape juice. A little Japanese lady right in front of me stood up and hollered “the wine is on the inside and the grape juice on the outside”.  My mom told me later that little lady had never said a word in church and mom was blown away that she would get up and yell during the middle of the service.  I was totally moved. That was in answer to my prayer and I was able to take communion without getting back into even that little amount of alcohol. It mattered to Jesus and it mattered to me.
Another time in Youth With a Mission one of the guys told me that I had liberty in Christ to have a glass of wine.  I prayed and the Lord gave me 3 scriptures, chapter and verse, blind reference and I had no idea what they were.  The version I looked them up in said “I have given you grain, GRAPE JUICE and oil, be satisfied with these…..” And the one about Jesus not drinking of the fruit of the vine again until the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the still small voice inside said “if He can wait, can’t you?”  YES, Lord, with your help!!! Never did I pray about drinking a glass of wine again.

Thank you, Jesus, for total and complete deliverance, Your incredible faithfulness and heart for those of us who ask.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Yvonne Blake said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this, Marijo. I know it wasn't easy to write. I pray that this will help someone else claim the power of God to free them from sin.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

It has been almost 37 years now and I have been totally FREE since that time! HE is powerful and able even or maybe especially when we are weak....THANK YOU JESUS!

tainterturtles said...

Amazing Marijo. Thank you for sharing your honesty.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

And to think back then we didn't think we were alcoholics - Jim was because he passed out while playing the piano and sometimes woke up in somebody's front yard - but the rest of us were "ok"...