DC Stories: Idols Edition// Rachel’s Story
“…The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
Addiction was destroying me, killing who I was created to be and stealing my heart; leaving seemingly nothing but emptiness.
Narcotics, alcohol, sex; no! Those were not my drug of choice.
My conservative, Christian family would never allow one of their own to be an addict. My “perfect” parents prepared my sisters and I to be godly ladies, we were well equipped with tools we needed to handle whatever the “world” would throw at us.
Not only do I have an incredible immediate family, my extended family and church community has always been a source of strength and godly wisdom. Everywhere I turn, I have accountability.
That didn’t hinder the mask I wore to become thicker and thicker. Often times people refer to my life as “picture perfect”. My mask was working!
The clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, makeup and other high-end material things that I owned were blinding people and forcing them to see past who I was, they only saw the things I had. If they stopped and focused on those things, they wouldn’t see that I was overweight, shy, insecure, ashamed, awkward, afraid, anxious, obsessed, and so much more.
I started to drown. I felt as though there were hands squeezing my throat. I was single, 23 years old, living the lifestyle of a successful professional making 6-figures. Reality was, I just graduated college, with 5-figures of student loan debt about to begin a teaching career where I’d never make 6 figures. My mask was still working though, my things hid all of that baggage.
“…The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.”
The only option I had was to file Bankruptcy. To say that shame engulfed me is the understatement of the year. The “perfect” girl had to admit her defects to her family and friends. Even worse, I had to take my mask off. I had to expose the truth. Everyone was about to know the real Rachel. Little did I know that nothing would be fixed by this simple, yet very legal act.
My addiction continued. I repeatedly fed the lie that I had to protect others from who I really was. If someone didn’t stop and get their breath taken away by my home, my looks, my teaching abilities, my this or my that…I wasn’t doing it right.
Incessantly, I was left empty, anxious, obsessed and at times depressed. My habits and behaviors continued. Once again, I was in the exact same place, only this time I was 9 years older, and “wiser”.
In November of 2017, in the midst of my sin, in the midst of my addiction and in the midst of my brokenness and shame; God granted me the ultimate desire of my heart. He brought me Ronald Dennis, the man of my dreams. He is fulfilling the calling he placed on my life to be a wife. It is through this man, that God also revealed my true addiction. Ron saw in me the perfect match for him. He saw a lady that would make the perfect wife for him. Still, my mask covered things that I knew would potentially ruin our marriage. We began premarital counseling and uncovered truths that we both knew needed to be handled before our marriage began. We tackled those things with pride, we were ready to take on our marriage!
I began to hide things from him and be dishonest to him about purchases I was making. I had to maintain the image of the girl he fell in love with. I personally began to “steal, kill and destroy” our relationship through my addiction. I recognized that it was time to expose my sin. I shared it with my fiancé, my parents and my mentor. I realized it was not just the material things that I was addicted to. It was the need to cover up, hide and mask who the REAL Rachel is.
What I love about John 10:10, is the second part of the verse.
“…. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
It’s through Jesus Christ and his sovereignty that I am able to lay down my Idol. It is no accident that God began working on my heart in this area about 3 weeks ago. Jernigan’s sermon included the verse from Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
This was not a new verse for me. This verse had been prayed and spoken over me since I was a child. However, what Jernigan said, hit me to the core. If I don’t believe that I am truly wonderfully made and that God designed me exactly the way he wanted me, then I can’t trust Him for anything. I’m telling Him that he’s not capable of creating a masterpiece.
God convicted me of this sin and began opening my heart to the changes and the growth He wants to do in me. He called me by name, just in time for Jernigan’s Idol series.
God knows each of us, inside and out. He knows our name, He created us, and designed us wonderfully! He wants to give us life to the fullest. He is ready to give me my life back that the thief unsuccessfully tried to “steal, kill and destroy”. Just in time to be the wife He called me to be and the wife my husband deserves.