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Dana has written several “letters to God” – you can see them here.

Dear God,

Thank you for this day and every other day You have been gracious enough to give me.  Thank You for getting me through this difficult season of missing my family and children.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us in all our affliction.”  (2 Corinthians 3:4)

Lord, lately I’m confused as to who I am, who I’m supposed to be and who I want to be.  Am I the addicted criminal deemed a danger to society, or the lost daughter, sister, mother and friend from a day so long ago I can’t remember?  Am I inmate number xx-xxxxx facing a total of 43 years, turned Christian, who is trying to survive this cold place or am I a combination of all three; just looking for answers and trying to have faith that God will make sense of it all?  Lately I feel not only disconnected from You my God, but also from myself.

I’ve realized that after being an addict for so long, now that I’m sober I have to relearn to do things, relearn to feel things and relearn things about who I am as a whole.  Which at times can be so frustrating and difficult.  There are days when I feel my mind doesn’t work at all, that I can’t process a single thought, configure two words to form a sentence, sort out emotions to determine a mood or feeling or even focus long enough o finish a single line on one page.  It seems on these days that the simplest things are the most difficult and its at these moments that I feel the most lost.  I honestly feel like I’m trapped in a maze that I know I’ve perfected a hundred times, but for some reason outside of my current mental grasp I cannot conquer it; for every turn I make and every route I devise leads me to another blocked wall and another failed attempt of completion.  It’s at these times that reverting back to the addicted menace seems simpler than training my mind to think new thoughts, train my mouth to speak new words, train my body to be patient and slow to react, and training my heart to trust and love again after its been broken so badly.  I never knew sobriety would be so difficult on so many levels, especially on the very core that makes me who I am.

Lord, it seems like just as soon as I think I’m once again comfortable in my own skin and I think I have a glimpse of an idea as to who I am or who I’m soon to become, I hit a pothole on the road of recovery, self-evaluation and personal change.  I’m thrown into rewind, feeling once again confused and insecure.  A part of me feels as if I’m experiencing adolescence all over again, and I’m once again an awkward girl with zero self-confidence, solely trying to figure out who I am inside.  Tripping all over myself and fumbling all my thoughts into incoherent words, simply surviving one day at a time.  Although I’m finally comfortable with the person I see in the mirror as well as the eyes staring back at me, I’m still unsure of who that face is going to turn out to be.  Because all I really definitely know about the reflection is her name and her intentions and even though today her intentions are good and genuine and full of dreams to come, my mind is foggy of what the future holds for her life and the image of who she will become internally is hazy.  It’s hazy because of my dangerous past of shady hustles, crooked acquaintances and my dark love affairs with murderous drugs.  I’m skeptical of myself because of the fact that I once had a seemingly perfect life and I lost it all because of the tainted choices I made, which ultimately destroyed every aspect of that life.  The choices I made to deal with the devil made it easy for him to “steal, kill and destroy” me.  It was my foolish judgment to invite satan for dinner and actually arrogantly think I was in control of the outcome, because once I opened the door for him, he made a point of staying and not leaving until his whole meal was done.  He made sure to devour me, all of me.  As an appetizer he started with my family, dismembering them one by one until all were either broken or gone.  For his main course he dismantled me piece by piece.  First he took a hearty bite out of my physical appearance, leaving literally only skin and bones to hold me up.  He then feasted on my soul, pulling me away from morality and sucking away any chance of happiness.  He took the final gulp of any spirit that remained and he devoured my heart into an empty nothingness that when he was through could barely beat on its own.  And for dessert he broke down any sanity I had left and ripped apart the remnants of dreams and hopes of the woman I used to be.  And all that was left on the table turned battlefield was a fragment of a women who was so wounded, beaten , sad and lost that she didn’t recognize herself or even feel remotely whole.  Instead she filled the void of emptiness with so much heroin it’s a wonder I’m alive.  She pumped so much poison into my voided soul for so long that she was attempting to permanently nullify my feelings whatsoever.

Lord, I’m just so afraid of the unknown which lies ahead and even more so I’m afraid of reliving the past mistakes I’ve made and all the pain that comes with them.  For I know all too well how easy it is to get caught in the devil’s trap of lies, destruction and sin to completely lose myself.  2 Timothy 2:13 says “if we are faithless, He remains faithful.”  O Lord, how I thank You for that, because even though I’m weak during this transformation You remain strong.  For I am committed to making a change for the better and for striving to live a life that pleases You regardless of how difficult it may be at times.  It’s easy to lose focus in all this uncertainty, but I am confident that with Your continued guidance and undiminishing love I will flourish into who I’m supposed to be, all in Your time.  That even though things look dim at times, I need to remember that “The Lord is my shepherd, He restores my soul.  Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”  (Psalm 23:1-4)  I know that since I have chosen You as my Lord and Savior, You will never leave me and even though sometimes I’m unable to hear You, that You have not strayed, but instead that I’ve stopped truly listening.

Jesus, You said in Luke 9:62 that “No one who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”  So dear Lord, You best believe I will remain fighting the good fight and I will not look back to yesterday with a regretful sorrow of what might have been; nor will I revert to my past as a viable future.  Instead I will only look ahead focusing on today so to make each day everything I need it to be to fulfill the path to a better, spiritual tomorrow.  Lord Jesus, I know with You all things are possible.  Thank You for making Your light shine even when I myself get in the way of my own heart seeking what’s clearly been laid out in front of me.  Praise God!  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

All my soul,