Emma + Josh
Author Paula Friedrichsen opens up to Simple Grace about a dangerous opioid addiction that was destroying her life until God led her on a miraculous journey to healing—body and spirit. Here she tells how she leaned on the Lord during her battle with the addiction and how He never left her side through it all:
With tears streaming down her face, Paula Friedrichsen sat on her porch swing at 4:30 in the morning as a wave of shame flooded her heart. In the past 14 days, the wife, mother of two and prominent church leader had taken 90 Vicodin (an opioid painkiller) pills. I’m killing myself, Paula thought hopelessly. But what terrified her the most was that she still wanted more. Soon, Paula was showing up high on opioids to church functions, family outings and work.
In the midst of her battle with addiction, Paula says God never left her side. “Even when I’d fall—like popping pills just to get buzzed—I’d still try to fall toward Him,” she says. “Sure, my shame made it difficult to face Him, but He was really the only One I could turn to.”
Paula suffered in a dark prison of addiction for two and a half years, but the night she sat on her porch swing, begging for freedom and surrendering to the Lord, she says something amazing happened. "In that moment, I heard God challenging me to stop taking pills forever," she recalls. "I believe He was saying that if I stopped completely, He would heal me fully. I truly couldn't imagine how on earth I'd quit, but I knew it was God's voice."
Find out more about Paula's journey in our January issue, on sale now at Walmart, Barnes and Noble, in select grocery stores, and also digitally on Kindle and Nook. And check out her new book, A Season of Breakthrough!