Jesus Came In Like a Boss
(Please listen to Jamie’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
Yeah, my name is Jamie. I am five years clean and sober. After having gone to Christian school and a university it seemed like everything should be normal and like a picture perfect life, right? Except that was so not the case. I don’t even really know how to start this because I was sitting in an investigation room. I was 34 years old, sitting across from an investigator, a detective, that had been working for a while building a case against me with the DA. And he pulls out a sheet of paper and I see line item by line item. And I’m looking, I see a doctor and I see a pharmacy and I see a date. I see a doctor and a pharmacy and a date. And the lines go on and on. And before he even really says anything, he turns the tape recorder on and he’s like, “Do you understand why you’re here?” I heard Holy Spirit for the first time in probably 17 years, because I’ve been living in some form of an addiction for about 17 years at this point. Holy Spirit said to me, “If you will be honest, I will give you grace.”
I was not a truthful person at this point in my life. I lived in lies, I was a lie, like I lived multiple facets of just I didn’t have truth in me. And I said, “I’ve done every single one of those that you have listed on your paper, except you’re missing one. I just had a prescription filled last week.” I’d attempted to have it filled across state lines which would have made it a federal case. As the story plays out, I find out that I have 19 counts of second degree felony against me, just on this one charge. And each one of those counts carries 2 – 20 years, two years minimum, 20 years maximum and I have 19 of those. As I finished all of this up, he’s like, “Because you’ve been honest with me…” This is a Friday afternoon at like, 3pm. “I’m going to go to the judge and see if she’d be willing to consider dropping some of your charges, just some.” And when Holy Spirit said, “I’ll give you grace,” He literally meant it. They dropped 18 of the 19 counts of second degree felony, which I would have literally spent the rest of my adult life in prison, and they put me on probation. But I wasn’t done.
So I get out. I bail out, and I continue to drink and I think I’m exempt from the rules. I think I’m exempt from everything because that’s how I’d operated. I’d always been able to manipulate my way out of every situation. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t even see who I was like I couldn’t see the reality of the extreme measures that my life had become. I didn’t see that I was an addict. And I didn’t see that I was an alcoholic. And I didn’t see that I was a liar. I didn’t see that I was a thief. I just thought I was doing what I wanted to do, and it made me feel good. And so that’s what I was entitled to do and to be and to have. I got arrested in August of 2014. By December, I’d already failed my first outpatient UA, which is urinary analysis. It tested for drugs and alcohol. So it was the first of January in 2015, that I get a call from my attorney, and he’s like, “What did you do? What did you do?” And I was like, “What do you mean?” He said, “I was just in court and they’re looking for you.” He said, “You don’t have options. You need to understand me, you have zero options. You have to turn yourself in by this date, and this time, or they will come looking for you period.”
January 7 is when I turn myself in. I’m in a jail cell. I’m sitting in this, it’s a medical tank because I was also narcoleptic. I had used my narcolepsy as an excuse to abuse my medication, which was Adderall. Like, I had multiple doctors and I just went from doctor to doctor, it was doctor shopping. And those were what the felonies were for. And so I’d never been without this medication for nine years. It was, it was my life and without it, I didn’t function. That was all I knew of how to function. So I’m in this medical tank and against the wall, you see, “PUSH.” Like, pray until something happens. Quite frankly, I was like, I don’t even want to look at this stuff. I was so disenchanted with the God that I knew. I mean, I had heard Holy Spirit months before that, about eight months. But I was so disenchanted because the God that I grew up with in church was not the God I needed, and the God that I heard sitting in a pew had no life for me.
So I went to bed my first night in jail as an addict, as an alcoholic. All of these things and I woke up the next morning, and I never had withdrawals. I never had shakes. I never fell out of my bunk. I had broken my nose countless times, because if I hadn’t been on medication, I would lose muscle control and I would smash my nose or I’d smashed my face; they call it cataplexy. And, you know, it was about a year after all of this happened that it was like, Jesus walked in like a Boss, like a loving Boss and pulled me out of the pits of Hell, because that’s what it was. That’s all I’d known was survival by medication, survival by alcohol, survival by being in a relationship with a man. I had no idea of what or who I was outside of those things. And what I realized, it was to build a faith in me that I had never known because of what was ahead. I had to face the fact of who I’d become.
My family wanted nothing to do with me. I found out that my family was the one that had actually turned me into the DA. They had built that case against me because it wasn’t out of anger, it was not of hate. It was because they would rather lose a relationship with me and save my life, than enable me and let me continue to do what I was doing. Because at that point, I wasn’t just affecting me. I was affecting every other person that was around me, including my nieces and nephews. And I loved them. Right? I just couldn’t love them enough to stop doing what I was doing because I hated me. Because once you get so broken and you hate what you’ve done, and you hate what you’re doing, it opens this doorway to continue to participate in it because you’re like, well, I’m this far. Does that really matter? And then it begins feeding something in you–because I was so void of filling an emotion. I needed something to fill. I had no emotion. I was, I was dead. I literally had a heart of stone.
That person I’d become–I had been the abused and out of anger and shame and and all of that, I then in turn became the abuser. Right? And you don’t think of it that way. You often see, like in the movies, this woman getting abused or even a man or a child, but what I learned from experience is that what you receive, you perpetuate. And it blew my mind. I was like, in that reality that I had become the abuser and to be able to see that… And it wasn’t until, man, a year into my sobriety. And when I say sobriety, I don’t mean just like I’m not participating in these things. I’m talking like, Jesus invades my heart, Sober! And it’s not, I love the programs and I have many friends that are in the programs and I still do AA, but it was Jesus. Jesus is my sobriety. Does that make sense? It’s very different. It’s so different, because it’s not about just thiss remote hope and promise, it’s about running back in to the very Life itself.
That when you first met Him, there was a Life that entered you. So when I sat in that jail cell, and He began to work on my heart, and He began to do these things, as my family was like, “We’re not coming to visit you. We’re not putting money on your books. You’re not going to see us right now.” I mean, like it was just, I was sitting there and it’s that excruciating process of like…
“I hate me.”
Jesus walked in like a Boss, like a loving Boss and pulled me out of the pits of Hell.
I just began to journal and pour my heart out to Jesus. And I was like, I’m scared. I don’t know what to do with who I am. I don’t know if You even want to hear me. I don’t know if You even want to speak to me. I don’t know if You want me because I don’t want me. And He took me to this verse in Isaiah, and it’s Isaiah 52:1-2 and it says, “Awake, awake oh daughter of Zion for the defiled and uncircumcised will enter you no longer.” It was like, Oh my God, that’s me. Like, that’s me. Like that, you know? Like those things that I’d use to fill me–those uncircumcised, the defiled things of this world that I used to bring me something…He was like, “No more.” And the reality that, the key for this Freedom that I had wanted, but I never knew how to find it and was scared to death to even go after it. The whole time was sitting inside me. And it was just relenting myself to the arms of Jesus once again. I needed the Jesus I’d never known before. I needed, I needed a God I had not experienced in the fullness. I needed power. I needed the reality of who He says that He is, that we read about all the time. And He healed me of the narcolepsy, which there’s no cure for. He healed me of the alcoholism and the addiction to pills. He began restoring my family back to me, and it didn’t happen all at once. But it happened step by step and moment by moment. Yet what I learned is that I had to fix this first and I had to allow Him to do surgery on me.
If He could have filleted me open and taken it out, I would have probably been much happier. You know? But it was the journey over the next four years, saying, “I have to trust you with what You’ve created.” And taking the excruciating pain, that’s actually a joy now, to be able to sit and to tell people about me. Like, “Let me show you who I was.” Because if you see the before and after you’re like, “Oh my gosh; holy crap. Like, you look like you could cut me.” And I’m like, Oh,
yeah, I probably would have.” Like, it was that mentality of being so depraved, but seeing the restoration of what Christ really intended me to be. Because it didn’t start with all of these addictive behaviors. It started with an onslaught of my identity at a very young age. Because if the enemy can pick up on who and what you’re supposed to be for the Kingdom of God–he knows long before we’re ever aware of what our purposes are. At 10, 11 years old, when you start being like, I don’t really, I’m not comfortable with myself and by the time you’re 17, being in a fluid full blown anorexic lifestyle, you know? He’s already come in and planted that seed and, and tried to rob you of the fullness of what you’re supposed to be walking out.
You know, there’s this scene in Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings and I love it and I use this a lot. It’s the daughter of one of the kings and she’s cloaked as a soldier. She’s clothed as a man because like, you can’t go into battle. It’s not created for you; you’re a woman. You need to stay here. And she knows in her heart, in the very essence of who she is, that she’s actually called to the battlefield. And she’s sitting down there and she’s sitting on her horse and she watched her father fall off and he’s about to be run through. As she approaches this, this Orc thing that’s about to kill the king, he says, “For Who are you? For no man can kill me.” And she looks at him and says, “For I am no man. I’m a daughter of the king.” And she just runs him through.
I’m like, what if, what if we had the reality, whatever your battlefield is…I’m called to run in headlong, to rip off the helmet, not to be disguised as something that you’re really not. But in true transparency and vulnerability of the beauty of who you are, and being like, no, I’m gonna stand my ground. I’m going to take what You’ve, You’ve given me to, to stand dominion over, to take dominion over. Whether it’s your family, whether it’s the arts, whether it’s, you know, business, education, it doesn’t matter what it is. But when you pick up that charge, knowing that this is what I was destined for. Like, my purpose is to come in–to go in like a boss, knowing that The Deliver’s coming in with me, and yanking those men and women out of the pits of hell. He put us here for a purpose. When we follow after whatever He tells us to do, and it doesn’t always look normal. It doesn’t always seem comfortable. Sometimes it’s awkward. But when we move when He tells us to move, heaven shows up!