November 22, 2016


I will be turning twenty-one in the coming week. I am joking that although twenty-one is supposed to be the "fun" birthday, it will be my most "adultiest" birthday yet as I will be leaving for work at 6:00, and after my shift, I will be signing up to pay for my own insurance. Another way it will differ from the typical coming-of-age celebration is that I will not be having my first drink, either.

I have lost two family members to alcohol, one to addiction and one to someone else's addiction. I decided when I was about eleven years old that I would not drink, ever -- not one drop. Since then, I refused champagne multiple times and generally preferred not even to consume food with alcohol in it (even though the alcoholic content was cooked out). I was perfectly content with my decision until about two years ago, when I rethought many of my decisions and convictions.

I had believed that the best way to honor the relative I lost and the uncle I never met would be by my personal abstinence. I didn't begrudge anyone else their choice to drink or not drink. I simply decided that for myself, personally, I would not drink. And while I still do believe that is a good way to honor them, I think another way to honor them is by this: If I do drink, by drinking responsibly (not in excess, but in moderation). I think that more dishonoring to them is listening to music, reading books, or watching movies that glorify or make light of drunkenness -- I think it is sad that in my attempt to do good, I got lost in my own rules and regulations ("I will not drink -- ever") and lost the heart of the matter ("What does God think about drunkenness? What are ways that I can honor God in the music I listen to, books I read, and movies I watch? How can I be a good steward of my body?" etc.).

I do believe that it is a sin to be drunk, and I never want to be so for spiritual reasons along with my personal convictions and health concerns. While I still stand by my original decision never to drink, I also am content with my current decision to have a drink once in a while.

But when I turn 21, I will not have my first drink on that day. My birthday, besides being filled with "adulting" will be a day to honor those my family has lost.

I truly hope I do not offend anyone by this post. I may be a little excited to try my first drink, but I wanted you to know that behind that excitement there has also been much thought, because it is a responsibility that I do not intent to take lightly or flippantly.
 photo kara.signature_zpsludd1qzl.png

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for making my day!