” Where my journey begin ” 

Written by Guest Writer

              Kelly Ellegood Oakley 
In The Final Analysis, It Is Between You And God, It was Never Between You And Them Anyways” –Mother Theresa                        

     In my opinion, this is such a profound statement. I say that, because this statement is one that became the biggest turning point for me and my future. This time last year, I begin a journey that would forever change my life. I was in a long-term treatment center in Henderson, Kentucky….addiction had taken over my life. I truly felt that my life was over and that I deserved to be dead. However, my God had different plans for me. He stepped in when I needed Him most….and saved me from myself!                                                 This quote was given to me in treatment, and I was to write about how it fit into my life. Today, I could not be more grateful for these words. The main reason is because I never looked at things from that point of view…..until now! I was very quick to allow someone else’s opinion or judgement of me to consume me. Especially, about my history of drug addiction. When I allowed it to consume me and my thoughts, I allowed it to become a fact in my own mind. I thought back to several times in my life, where I allowed myself to do this. This was very unhealthy for me to do, because I would always hit the “quit button” and would go back to using.  It was blocking me from any type of relationship with God, and I could not see that at the time. I believed there was no point in trying to change, because people were always going to view me as a failure. This thinking is what kept me sick!                                                                                       There is such a stigma from society about addicts and alcoholics. Most people (not all) have a hard time understanding our disease. Does that make these people in society bad people? NO!!!! What I had to do was change my way of thinking and accept them for them. I, also, had to accept the fact that their thoughts and opinions of me were none of my business. I allowed it to be my business, because I was accepting their opinion of me as a fact. In reality, it was never any of my business what their opinion of me involved! What did I do? I had to make the choice to turn my will and my life over to God….all of it. Not just the bits and pieces that I wanted to….but ALL facts and parts of my life.                                                                          While writing this piece, I had to hit my knees and pray….with all my heart and soul. That is all that He needed from me….that is all that He ever wanted from me. It was truly my “spiritual awakening.” I felt His hands on me. That’s when I realized that I had to let go of all that baggage and focus on me and my recovery. “The chains are broken, and I have been set free.” No one was going to still my joy, again. They have a right to their opinion, but I have the right to ignore it! Why? His view of me is all that matters. I realized that it really was that simple, and I had been making it so complicated. It was blocking me from receiving all His love, grace, and mercy. We are NEVER too far gone in His eyes. He paid the ultimate ransom for my sins. He has forgiven me for ALL of my past. He knows everything about me and every mistake that I have ever made! Guess what? He still loves me!!!                                                        What I feel is most important is that God knows my heart today. He does not condemn me, nor does He wish that I fall flat on my face. I wasted so much time ignoring Him and His plans for my life……plans for me to prosper in His word and in my future. I ignored His will and followed my own for so long. What I also did was follow other people and their opinions about me and my life! This is something that I cannot afford to do today……and if you are reading this, neither can you! Have comfort in knowing that you no longer have to live that way today! I can see now that the choice has and always will be mine.    My life has to be lived on different terms today. My focus has to be on Him. I can honestly say that today I have found peace within myself by doing this. This is something that I have not experienced in over 10 years. Everyday, I make the decision to pull my peace and serenity from Him….not from those around me or negative thoughts and opinions about me. As long as I know that I am doing the next right thing, then my past is just that….the past! I do not have to seek the approval of others. 
Besides, “In the final analysis it is between me and God. It was never between me and them anyways.”

    Thank you for letting me share this with you all. I pray that it helps someone. Last thing that I want to share with you is something that I actually read today: “It is important that you recognize and understand what God has placed inside of you-seeds of strength, joy, peace, and His vision for your life. Once you understand this, you will be able to push past your fears and uncertainties and move into your destiny with confidence.” -Victoria Osteen

Kelly Ellegood Oakley

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