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My Chains Are Gone, I’ve Been Set Free
Deirdre likens her life to a story in the Gospel of John. Lawyers and rulers brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus in the temple courts. They wanted to stone her to death according to the Law. Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” They left. Jesus did not condemn her either. He said to her, “Go your way, from now on sin no more.” Deirdre’s adultery was her unfaithfulness to the Lord, worshiping the idols of addiction. She said, “I found a different god in drugs and alcohol. At the time, it felt free, angry, no responsibilities.” She describes it as being “embroiled” in addiction, and as, “dark, very lonely, it felt like losing my soul, the nature of who I am.”
In recovery meetings, she claimed the Almighty God of Creation as her higher power. She had acknowledged God and may have even confessed herself as a sinner. But, she was still trying to save herself and relapsing at that. She still needed the Savior, but making no commitment. She said, “I felt I was being moved by something, touched, like a miracle, protected.” But, she was still not budging.
Deirdre had alienated all her family, even her mother and daughter. Her entire circle of friends were addicted. Her behavior was very close to getting her fired at work. Her world was crashing down around her. Only then she said, “I realized I didn’t want to continue going down that road.” Her probation officer referred her to the Mission’s Samaritan Inn. She kept her job, but changed her living environment, one that would not throw stones at her.
She needed the invitation, not an altar call, not a hellfire and brimstone message, not the reasoning of historical proofs or membership in a morality club. The invitation to salvation was in the power of the Word of God. When she heard it, she knew it and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior on just her second day at Samaritan Inn.
She needed a Christian community of the faithful, not a support group identified by old habits. Deirdre said, “Samaritan Inn saved my life. It was home, safe, no one was abusive. There was prayer, Bible studies, and staff helped me work through things in my childhood. Nowhere else in my 42 years of life have I ever found a place that so lovingly and willingly gave me everything I needed and asked so little in return.”
She needed to transition from the Mission to a church family, and did just that. Her new circle of friends are at church, the Mission (she stops by to visit on her way to work) and at work – only if they are clean and sober. Now the words to “Amazing Grace” are on her mind, especially “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free.