After encouraging a friend who is suffering from alcohol addiction, I paused a moment and reflected back on when I had my own issues with alcohol.
I was in the service when I turned into a drinker. I remember my first drink. It was in 1986 and I had a Bartles and & James wine cooler. I soon graduated to glasses of wine and Rum & Coke was my club drink.
I was single, serving overseas, and away from my family. I spent my weekends at bars and clubs with friends and co-workers. I hung out until the late evening hours.
I was the happy drinker, the life of the party, but deep down, I knew I needed to stop drinking. Some of my friends fell into a downward spiral of addiction and I didnít want to walk in their footsteps.
During the spring of 1990, I asked God to help me stop drinking. I wanted to do it on my own, but I needed God to nudge me in the right direction. When I think back on it now, I am amazed on what He did to help me. I didnít need to fall in the gutter for Him to pull me out. God helped me right where I stood.
One day, I tried drinking a glass of wine, and it tasted just like a glass of strong vinegar. I tried another glass and then another. Every drop was rancid. Instead of red or white wine, to me it tasted like white distilled or apple cider vinegar. Drinking beer was out of the question. It was like soapy water running down the back of my throat. I was completely grossed out. I couldnít understand how people could get past the first few sips. Soapy water was worse than the vinegar. I was so focused on the natural reaction of my body, it didnít occur to me that it was Godís perfect handiwork in progress.
I even tried smoking a cigarette, but when I tried it, I hacked and coughed so violently that I couldnít finish it. The very next day, it felt as if someone replaced my tongue with a long, thick leather strap in my sleep. It took hours for my tongue to straighten itself out and it took several days for my taste buds to return. Thankfully, I didnít try smoking again.
In 1990, I completely stopped drinking. My sobriety came shortly after I was honorably discharged from the Navy. I only realized recently, that this year was my twenty-year anniversary.
Recently, I turned over another challenge to God. I tried losing weight on my own for years, but would always lose and gain the same few pounds over and over.
One day, I asked God to help me. ďJust nudge me in the right direction,Ē I asked. Soon, my mind was focused on eating healthier food and I liked the results.
I purchased some workout clothes and started exercising more often. Cooking my own meals became a pleasure instead of drudgery. I was fascinated with natural herbs and seasonings to bring out the taste of my food without adding all the fat. Receiving approval from my friends was great.
Soon, fast food lost its appeal. Whenever I slipped and ordered fast food, my order was cold, sloppily prepared and did not fill me up. What a disappointment. It tasted nothing like the scrumptious meals I made from home. It was a big lesson learned.
Now I am entertaining the idea of writing down my recipes for a cookbook. Maybe there are other people who want to eat good, filling meals while losing weight in the process.
God helped take away my taste of alcohol twenty years ago and now He is waking up my taste buds in ways I have never imagined. God is awesome. He is over every single thing on this earth and can help many people through His power and unconditional love. They only need to ask for His help, even if itís just a little nudge.
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