I’m a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for five and a half years now. I grew up in a Catholic home but never really felt a strong connection to God. At the height of my alcoholism, I completely lost faith. I didn’t believe He existed, or if there was a God, I felt like He was punishing me. Over the course of 7 years, my parents tried to put me in different treatment programs, hoping one of them would work, but nothing did because I didn’t want it for myself. At the end of my drinking career, I was drinking almost 2 fifths of vodka a day, or really anything I could get my hands on. All I could think about was how and when I was going to get my next drink. I blacked out almost every night. I was miserable. I had tried to commit suicide on two separate occasions. The utter hopelessness I felt every day is impossible to adequately put into words. For two weeks I prayed every night to a God I didn’t believe in, to just let me not wake up in the morning. The last night of those two weeks, I said, “I don’t know if you’re real or if I even believe in you, but this is my white flag, I surrender. Help me, please.” I went to rehab two days later and have been sober ever since.
I started attending AA meetings, and that’s where my spiritual journey began again. They tell you to get on your knees every morning and pray, and that’s how I was reintroduced to my faith. My sponsor, who I had known previously and then reconnected with, is very spiritual and involved in Crossroads. She started taking me to services with her and completely helped me build my relationship with God.
After a while, I feel like I got comfortable with my relationship with God. I wasn’t praying like I should or going to church as much as I should. And then 2020 happened. At the very beginning of quarantine, my grandma who was my hero and the most faith-driven person I know, passed away. Due to Covid, I was still able to work but lost my main job and income. In June, my fiancé of 5 years broke up with me and then in August I found out had also been cheating on me. I lost my partner, my sober support, and best friend all at the same time. That’s when I cried out to God for the second time in my life for help. Every morning I reached out to Him and said, “God, give me the strength just to get through today.” And every day He did. He carried me when I didn’t have the strength to get through it on my own.
A while ago, I casually mentioned to my sponsor that I wanted to get baptized again. Then, a few weeks ago, I got a text from West Side Community Pastor Matt Castleman saying there was a baptism that weekend at Crossroads and I should do it. I of course said YES! What better time to say “God, here I am, here’s my commitment to you, I’m so thankful for you and everything you’ve done.” I’ve reached out to God more in the past few months than ever before, so this was the perfect opportunity to reaffirm that relationship. After everything God has done for me, how He has changed me, and how He has saved me, I couldn’t think of a better way to show my faith in Him.
After being baptized, I feel a lightness about me. Because I know that God will always have my back and there’s nothing I can’t get through, because I have Him on my side. My faith is stronger than ever. I’ve always heard people talk about how they audibly hear from God and that had never happened for me, but last week I heard something back for the first time and it was amazing! I’m truly blessed to have found God again. -Amy S.