Lent Devotional: Monday, April 8

Four summers ago I had reached a point in my battle with addiction that I needed to get help. I checked into wilderness therapy, a forty-day treatment program that required complete immersion into wilderness living. This could not have been further from my comfort zone. Growing up, my family never went camping. My outdoor skills and experience were exactly zero.

Immediately upon arrival I was stripped of my possessions and brought to a remote location in the Utah desert to meet my group. I was terrified that first night. Devoid of life's usual distractions, I sat with indescribable pain, guilt, and shame. I wept with the thought of not seeing my husband and two young boys for over a month. Lord, how did I get here? A field guide sitting near asked me, "Have you ever seen the night sky in the wild, untarnished by city lights and pollution?" I wiped tears from my eyes and whispered, "What?" "Look up." The majesty and glory of the stars took my breath away. I had no idea the sky could look like this. It was in that moment I realized the Creator of the Universe, the Master and Artist behind every star in the sky, had been right there the whole time, just waiting for me to ask for help. That night and for the next 40 days I cried out prayers of mercy, gratitude, hope, strength, patience, and courage. He taught me how to rely on Him again, to be in relationship and tap into His infinite power and grace. He healed my body, restored my soul, and eventually brought me home.

The road of recovery is not paved, but God is my ever present source of strength in times of weakness. He continues to cover me with unfailing and unconditional love, and remains my #1 field guide when my heart begins to roam.

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