And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God
because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12: 1-2
My daughter wrote this a few months back and graciously gives me permission to share.
If you have a loved one in the abyss of chemical addiction, may your faith in Christ prompt you to persevere.
“IF ONLY I HAD A GREEN NOSE”
￼If only “I” had a green nose.
This charming children’s book, by Max Lucado, is brimming full with all kinds of lessons on peer pressure, conforming to the standards of the world, and desiring to be someone other than who God created you to be. But more importantly, the book portrays a loving God who removes the unwanted paint and offers restoration by shaving away the rough edges of our lives.
Those of you who resided at Teen Challenge Hannah’s House with me are most likely familiar with this book. As I reflect back to those days of sitting at the dining room table working on my second contract, I wondered how in the world I would come up with 750 words to write about a book that didn’t even seem to be 750 words long itself. Nevertheless, my comrades in recovery and I found something to write about from this child’s book.
Each one of us individually gleaned insightful lessons from what seemed at first to be a pointless task.
“If Only I Had a Green Nose” depicts a village of people called wemmicks and their man-made creator, Eli, who is a representation of God. In the story another character emerges, a village wemmick named Punchinello. As “Punch” stands afar and observes the other village wemmicks below, he notices they are standing in line to get their noses painted green. Punchinello reassures himself he likes the way Eli, his creator, has made him. He swears and vows he will stay the way he was created, without a painted nose.
However, it is not long before Punch and his friends enter the village below and begin to conform to the wemmick society by painting their noses green. No sooner does he get his nose painted green, the other wemmicks start to appear with red noses. Then yellow. Then orange. Then purple. He conforms each time to be like the other wemmicks.
Pretty soon Punch ceases to know how this all started and decides he does not want to be like all the wemmicks with their array of colorful painted noses. He wants his own nose back, the nose Eli created for him. He returns to Eli, asking him to make him back into the wemmick he was intended to be.
One of the last pages depicts Punch in Eli’s hand getting his nose shaved with sandpaper and a tear in his eye.
I should probably give unaware readers a little background knowledge as to why I came to be at Teen Challenge Hannah’s House. I will give candid insight, without shame, to how I have come to where I am today. The reason I do so, is because if my story can help one person then it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable I might be in the process. I have been taught that I should not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.
I am a recovering heroin addict. I grew up in a loving middle class Christian family, attended private Christian schools, was involved in a church youth group, and hardly ever missed a Sunday in church. This gives true testament that addiction doesn’t discriminate to race, social class, or church membership.
My parents are awesome. My father is the hardest working man I have ever known. My mother has such a strong unshakable relationship with the Lord. Satan has tried to waiver her faith time and time again. Both are a true inspiration.
Despite my parents best efforts, I still managed to stray on a plotted out path of self destruction, self indulgence, and self gratification. I lived for over 10+ years in a strong addiction, that just until a few years ago I never acknowledged would get the best of me.
I had been homeless for a while. My parents let me move back in with them for a month, until I could get into an inpatient treatment program. Secretly, I continued to use drugs.
On June 27th, 2010 the Lord decided that it was time that he show me his power. Suddenly and very drastically, drug addiction had stripped my careless worries of money right out from under me.
My whole world crashed down around me that day. My brother found me unresponsive in the basement of my parents home from a heroin overdose. The ambulance got lost on the way to the house. God used my mother to breathe life back into me.
I had hit my bottom.
I came to be at Teen Challenge Hannah’s House in Lexington,Ky. On July 12th ,2010. I was angry at God and bitter towards everyone as a whole. I thought that I would go away to rehab for a bit and sleep, watch TV, and just basically lounge around. It wasn’t until after my mom and two aunts left me 100 miles away from home that I was told I would actually have to work for my recovery! Can you believe that?
Every minute of every day was planned out for me at HH, and I couldn’t stand the structure. I had a hard time concentrating on any work because a haze clouded my mind. Then, in my second contract, I was given this children’s book and told to write a 750 word paper. I didn’t understand it, but I did what was required because I just wanted to go home!
Here I am a year later. I finally get the importance and the reasons why we had to do everything we did at HH, sitting day in and day out at that dining room table working on life’s lessons and recovery (baby monitor hidden behind a fake plant).
I took a lot away from this book.
In the first part of my paper I wrote, I compared how Punch’s desire to be like the green nosed wemmicks paralleled how I had tried to conform to society. Wanting to be a size two and going to extremes to attempt to attain that goal. I wanted to be accepted. So, I took another approach.
Punch’s rainbow colored nose struck me in a different way. I attributed the colors to all the drugs I had done in my short 25 years on earth. From alcohol, to weed, cocaine, acid, xanax, meth, oxycodone, oxycontin and then finally landing on heroin.
Heroin was my one true love. Heroin didn’t care what I looked like. As a matter of fact heroin helped me be ok with who I was. Heroin didn’t care about any relationship problem that I was going through. Heroin didn’t even care if I cheated with other drugs. Yes! That was my answer, to be completely numb. Addiction led me in years of a downward self destructive spiral.
I have taken the road less traveled- not a lot of addicts make it out. I have lost many friends to the drug addiction and I am determined to not let them die in vain. That is impossible without God and I am fully aware of that today.
Thank God that He sees the bigger picture beyond addiction. Christ has so much more in store for me than being a junkie. Yes, just like in one of the last pictures of a tear rolling out of Punch’s eye, the transformation to my new life is uncomfortable and even seems impossible at times.
My relationship with God is so much stronger now, where as before it was virtually nonexistent. I look so forward to God continuing to mold me into the person that he intended me to be. I desire to continue to live my life in a complete faith and love of the one who saved me, Jesus Christ.
Thank you God for saving me from myself!
Please pray for my daughter. God is shaving her nose with sandpaper.
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