For months after I asked Jesus to be my Savior, I lived a double life. I didn’t see it that way, but it was indeed a double life.
At school, my new friends didn’t drink like I did. But, I was a social wallflower, so I more or less stopped drinking at school. But, I was also a hypocrite, spending some nights drinking with the guys. Still, the good influences were causing me to drift away from alcohol.
But, when I went home to visit, I was back in my old haunts. I didn’t change much of anything of my habits. After all, what they didn’t know back at college wouldn’t hurt me, right?
Wrong! I failed to understand that despite being away from those good influences, God Himself was still right there with me. And, He wasn’t happy. He knew that drinking like I had the summer I graduated wouldn’t be good for me. And, I think He felt the pain of our strained relationship enough to do something about it.
So, when I went back for Christmas break, and drank like I used to, something different happened: for the first time in my life, I had to bow before what we called “the porcelain throne”1. I didn’t even drink that much. Just like normal for me. But, I had never lost it like that before, in my whole life.
Little did I know, that was supposed to be a message to me. God was telling me that He really wanted to be good friends with me. But, when I was drunk, I couldn’t relate to Him. He knew it was bad for me to put that kind of distance between us.
That’s what He WANTED me to know. But, I didn’t figure it out until spring break. Another trip home, another outing with friends, and another visit to the porcelain throne.
Then God said, plain as day, “This is how it will be from now on. Drink too much, and it won’t stay down.” I knew there was an unstated portion to that message as well: “So we can be close friends, always.” God wasn’t going to force me to do what He wanted. But, He was going to make me realize that we (He and I) had something better than that.
That was the last time I drank heavily. It was hard, because I didn’t have as much in common with my old friends anymore. But, I had a new and far more potent friendship building.
And again, I haven’t looked back. Oddly, even right after my decision to quit partying so much, I really didn’t miss it. I had visions of having no friends at all, but it didn’t go that way. God was my friend. And that’s all I need. Ever.