By Merrily Brast, Staff Writer
Love—it’s what each of us desire and search for. Unwavering, faithful, unconditional love. Rachel Haynes sought it in the past, but was disappointed.
“I was trying to fill what was missing, a love and belonging missing piece in my life. I felt like the only way I could live is if I had a guy there with me, and if I didn’t, well, I didn’t want to find out who I was on my own because that’s probably a scary thing.”
"That’s where God wants you to be, He wants you to be broken and raw."
After the marriage ended, depression, heavy drinking, and unemployment landed her in detox, where she moved toward sobriety and decided she wanted more in life.
“I’ve been learning all sin leads to death, and that’s where I was at. But that’s where God wants you to be, He wants you to be broken and raw, and like, ‘Help me! I don’t know what to do anymore.’ And that’s how it was.”
In the midst of pain and brokenness, she found Jesus in the words of a Chris Tomlin song, “Jesus, He loves me. He loves me, He is for me. Jesus, how can it be? He loves me, He is for me.”
Nonetheless, love, especially unhealthy love, is difficult to get over and easy to fall back in to.
“Satan will put a thought in my mind that maybe things will work out between you now, maybe he’s changed. Maybe you’re sober, and you being sober will make the relationship better—you’ve had time apart. Just one little thought in your head. But if you keep dwelling on that one little thought, it grows every day.”
Rachel recognizes these dangerous thoughts cause relapse, and she encourages herself with these words.
“It’s a very slippery slope going back into what you know in relationships and how fast things can change. [But] no relationship will fulfill your needs. God has a plan for you!”
By learning about her identity in Christ, the “missing piece” she referred to is being filled, and the lies she used to believe about her worth are slowly being replaced with truth.
“The lie before was someone in the world could give me what I wanted, and it was all about what I had, what I look like, what I did. Now, I know it doesn’t really matter what other people think about me, it’s what God does and what my relationship is like with Him.”
Rachel asks for prayer to continue on the path of recovery.
“Pray for healing. For continued strength in the Lord, strength in the program, and an open heart to learn and get everything out of it I can.”
No longer desperately searching, Rachel has found what she looked for so long, the desire of her heart.
“I’m starting to see what I’m like and what I’m really worth in God’s eyes…learning that God will never leave me or forsake me, and that’s unconditional love.”
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