In My Own Time by Melissa Watz

The moments where God showed me His grace was undermined as I kept one foot grounded in darkness. In my last blog post, I wrote that Satan had a grip on my foot, but truth be told, I had a choice in where I stood.

When my husband and I separated, I had sunk deep into alcoholism, often going out alone to drink. That choice led me to a fancy hotel bar in Cleveland, where I would be drugged and taken into a room to be raped. Instead of realizing that experience as a sign to change, I resorted to drinking alone in my home. The isolation triggered dark thoughts, but I fought them by reflecting upon the times God had shown me grace and mercy:

About a decade ago, a dark presence attacked me while I was a guest in someone’s home. While frozen in terror, I called out to God, and the presence left me.

There was another time, while still married, where I woke up hungover on a Sunday. I tried to go back to sleep, but a persistent feeling to go to church got me out of bed. That was the day Jamie Norton spoke about addiction with Pastor Jonathan, and I sobbed in my seat, knowing that God had brought me there.

And lastly, just months before sobriety, the memory God gifted me in the hotel room after my rape. It was the memory of me seeing my mother pray by her bedside. All of these moments were evidence of His amazing grace and how He was with me all along.

Those memories helped me choose to get sober. Within the first few months, traumatic memories resurfaced, and in between fits of rage, I would pace my home, crying until the skin around my eyes was raw. But I began taking ownership of the behaviors that I once blamed on my upbringing. I also stopped using my ex-husband’s adultery as justification for self-loathing. My past hurt, but facing it strengthened me. Now I’m confident in God’s love and purpose for me.

Satan is a desperate creature, playing his hand only when he’s stacked the deck. But our Heavenly Father doesn’t play games; He is forthright. Over the last two years of sobriety, I watched other people’s testimonies, many about God releasing them from addiction. Some people immediately took God’s hand and never turned away again. That wasn’t my story, and I made peace with that. Because in the end, I came back to Him, and He still took me.

One day after watching a testimony that felt relatable, I knelt by my bedside and confessed every sin I could remember committing throughout my life. Confessing helped me continue to release my shame and forgive those that hurt me. And the process reminded me that no matter how long it takes, grace wins.

Thanks for sticking with me throughout my 3-part testimony. Love to you all and keep looking up.