“I abused alcohol to ease the pain and I lived in fear”

“I abused alcohol to ease the pain and I lived in fear”

“I abused alcohol to ease the pain and I lived in fear”: REAL Woman Testimony

I was born to first generation American parents, each coming from Italian immigrant families. Their parents, both sets of my grandparents, spoke Italian and very little English. Their religious roots were in Catholicism and those are the beliefs my parents instilled in me. Having attended a Catholic school during my elementary and junior high years, I was taught the principles of the Bible mostly by nuns. Attending Mass every Friday was part of the required curriculum. Every Sunday we attended church as a family. I never remember, however, being taught about having a personal relationship with Jesus. He was more of a history figure to me. God was not something we talked about at home as I was taught that religion was private, not to be shared with others. The Bible was a holy book that you kept in a safe place, like a drawer in a living room coffee table. You didn’t touch it as it was sacred.

Relying on a foundation of religion based on rules and trying to be good, my relationship with God went like this: I made all my own decisions never consulting or spending time with Him, until a crisis arose. Then I would call out to God to come and fix it. Sometimes He did, but I never acknowledged it was Him. I had poor relationships with men because Jesus was never my first love and I did not have a healthy self-worth. I yearned to be loved and as a result fell into sexual sin. I married a man I knew was not right for me. I rationalized that I could change him. On the night of our honeymoon he was chasing after other women. He was never faithful, was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive. I discovered he was into pornography and drugs. I abused alcohol to ease the pain and I lived in fear of him coming home not knowing his mood. Then I caught him in an affair and discovered she was pregnant. That was my way out of the marriage and the beginning of my new life!

While I was finding my way back to God and mending, He graciously brought a godly man into my life and we were married. He was a church goer, but like me did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. That all changed when we went forward for an invitation during a worship service while on a business trip. We found a Bible based church and got baptized. I still was struggling with alcoholism and had obtained Christian counseling. My relationship with Jesus became very personal when I heard Him speak to me in a comforting way telling me He knew my secret and He would help me if I would trust and surrender all to Him. I did and was freed from my addiction!

I’m still learning to live each day by the power of the Holy Spirit. I love to encourage women and point them to Jesus and His Word.

Grace & Ashley
get@markdriscoll.org