Hitting “Rock Bottom”

About a month ago, someone gave me a book called “Beautiful Boy”. I didn’t really know what it was about but I started reading. It’s a book written by a father about his relationship with his meth addicted son. It was a great read on so many levels (it opened my eyes to the process of addiction, the pain of family involved in it, and the power of meth). It also challenged me in thinking about sin in general.

A friend asked me last week what I thought it really looked like to walk with God (not periodically, but to genuinely be surrendered to him as a way of life). I found myself saying that I think it most looks like someone who is in recovery from some kind of addiction. Here’s my thinking … sin, is in essence, living apart from relationship with God. The reason that I live independently is that I am not convinced of my need and/or the treasure of living a surrendered life. i am addicted to “running my own life”. I don’t know how to “not rely upon myself.” At its core, living in recovery is living every day with a deep sense of need/recognizing you can’t control things/you can’t hold it together.

So, my friend said: I wish that there was some kind of event in my life that would be a trauma to help me realize my deep need and desire for God. It made me think of something in the book “Beautiful Boy.” The author discusses the idea of hitting rock bottom — and how the concept is really flawed. We often say that someone needs to hit “rock bottom” but the only way we know that someone has hit rock bottom is by looking back at the last thing that happened before they chose recovery. However, that “last thing” could have happened many times over and over but it was only rock bottom when a fundamental choice was made. The choice: I cannot control things anymore – I am at the end of self.

So, it occurred to me that this is where I am in my walk with God … I cannot control things any longer – I’ve hit “rock bottom” in the sense that I am choosing to live in that reality. (no crisis or trauma needed, just a decision to stop trying to have it all together … “cease striving and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10) I don’t have it together and cannot have it together.

About a month ago, I decided that I needed to see a counselor to walk through some things in my life – someone who could be a mirror to help me see some things. My appointment was Tuesday and last Thursday and Friday I almost cancelled the appointment because I thought, “I can work through these things … ” “I have friends I can talk to …” I quickly realized that my “flesh” (that part of me that desires to live independently of God/to be in control/to manage my life) and it’s pride was becoming very offended at the idea of seeing a counselor. And, yet – God used the conversation with my friend to help me see that I needed to choose “rock bottom” – to be at the end of self. On Tuesday, as I drove to Dallas – I got struck in really bad traffic and knew I wouldn’t make it for the 3:00 appointment – so, I called and they said that getting there late was fine. I met with the counselor for an hour and it was amazing … we’ll meet a few more times.

I think I’m going to like this “rock bottom” thing … I’m already feeling the freedom.


~ by Ted Wueste on July 24, 2008.

One Response to “Hitting “Rock Bottom””

  1. Thanks so much for being vulnerable and sharing your journey. I really appreciate your thoughts, and feel like I’m in a similar place although I’ve never thought of it as “rock bottom” (since I used a different definition).

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