Since, my sophomore year in high school I felt an inner pain that I wanted to escape. The pain stemmed from unresolved childhood issues, having an alcoholic father. I didn’t know what to do with it, all I knew is that it felt suffocating at times.
On top of that, I felt an external pressure. I was in Varsity sports, Student council, and voted Homecoming queen. Event though, no one vocalized pressure on me, I felt it. I didn’t want to let people down and got most of my confidence from other’s validation.
I couldn’t keep it up. The internal pain and external pressure became too much to handle.
By the end of my Junior year in high school I was using drugs, sex and alcohol to numb and escape. It’s all I knew. These outlets gave me relief but temporary. For the moment, I felt more free and numb. I chased these momentary highs, constantly needing more just to feel normal. This way of coping became my life.
Until I’d hit rock bottom enough times. My rock bottom consisted of a combination of unhealthy romantic relationships that led to heart break over and over by the same guy. Constantly being broke and feeling ashamed I was so irresponsible. Running from my problems so often that no one could count on me for anything. My relationships shriveled up, bank account was nonexistent, and work history was laughable.
Around my late twenties, I’d finally had enough. I decided to make some massive changes. So I did, with the help of a life coach.
I spent the next five years doing the impossible. Things I had wanted to do for years but never could. This became my new “high” setting goals and crushing them. Transformation was my drug. I hustled to make changes, grinding and pushing myself. Not settling for anything less than amazing.
“Most improved player” award, yep, that was mine!
Until I realized nothing was ever good enough. No matter what goal I set and accomplished I still felt unsatisfied. It didn’t matter what the transformation was, it wasn’t changing the way I felt inside.
How could this be? I spent so many years thinking, “when I achieve this, then I’ll feel free and alive.” It was an illusion. Although, I was grateful to God and proud of myself so committing to the journey to receive the prize, something still wasn’t right. It’s like my head and my heart were disconnected. Mentally I acknowledged my transformation but in my heart I still felt imprisoned.
For the FIRST time I got a taste of encountering Gods RECKLESS love. This “high” didn’t feel like any I’d ever experienced.
It was healing, relieving pain, as I came more ALIVE.
All it required was sitting at the feet of Jesus. Coming authentically as I was with my vulnerable wounds, multiple hats, and bitter scars. I sobbed the first time. It felt like something inside me cracked open and released parts of me I’d been holding in for years.
At the same time it was as sweet as honey. After, I felt an incredible amount of love washing over me like a big, warm ocean wave. It left me wanting more. Addicted but this time the side effects were only positive.
Finally, I learned this is the ONLY “high” I want to chase... a love that is unconditional from the One who’s big enough to give it!
If you can relate to any of this, then I want to encourage you! You’ve come to the right place- there is a NEW hope and restoration that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Maybe you’ve already had a taste and you want to learn how to become addicted to ONLY Jesus’ love. If that’s you, than congratulations! That hunger is a gift on its own.
If you haven’t ever tasted the sweetness of Jesus’ love, then I encourage you to close your eyes, place your hands out, palms up, and ask, “Jesus, I want to receive Your unconditional love. Will you please meet me where I’m at, in this moment?”
Wait. Be still. Expect a sweet encounter. Be willing to do this daily, as much as you need, until you’ve experienced it long enough and often enough, that it’s the only “high” you want to chase.
I’ve chased a lot of things, all of them left me empty and still stuck in a prison.
When I found God’s reckless love I became FREE. I believe, it's the only ONE true freedom.
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