The death of her mother caused Lyndal Subritsky to reach rock bottom, but God had a plan for her to lead her to an amazing new life, she says.
In 2011, my mother passed away. I was not aware that I was an alcoholic, but I was at rock bottom and I went down further—I was petrified of my own shadow.
By the time I walked into AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) I had nothing. I had driven away everyone who loved me. My body was shutting down, I was a physical and emotional mess, angry and violent. The only thing left was my mind, and that was going insane.
One night I screamed out to Jesus for help. I fell to my knees and screamed that I would do anything to take away the madness. That night, I surrendered my life to him. From there, doors started to open. I got into the Salvation Army Bridge programme and I haven’t looked back.
I was the youngest of seven children and I faced hidings and abuse from when I was very young. At 12 I got in with the wrong crowd and got in with alcohol. I loved my mother and father and they did the best they could by me, but they were broken. They didn’t know about the abuse. To me, ‘God’ meant ‘rape’, because one of the men abusing me was a supposed man of God.
Alcohol gave me an effect I had never experienced—of peace. I felt bulletproof and safe. I kept chasing that high, but I never got it back till I met Jesus. I met my husband at 18, without whom I wouldn’t have been able to raise our four children in a safe environment. He is an amazing man who stood by me. But I ran. I was still looking for that high and creating havoc for anyone and everyone around me.
When I reached the Bridge, I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. My mother was Maori and I was brought up to believe my father was Pakeha, but found out later he was part Maori. I was raised with nothing to do with my Maori side—which was that generation trying to protect me.
Part of the Bridge programme was about looking back through your whakapapa. It showed me how the addiction had come down through my family and helped me admit I was an alcoholic. It also helped me connect with who I was.
Salvation Army officer Captain Hana Seddon journeyed with me and invited me to Recovery Church, which helped me connect with God. Now I know life. No one told me life could be wonderful, happy, safe and without fear.
Today, I serve in the Whangarei Salvation Army foodbank and I’m a leader in the corps’ Maori Ministry doing anything I can—outreach, hangi, waita groups, discipleship classes—my purpose is to serve the Lord. I am privileged to be able to lead families to the Lord through my work.
My husband, children and grandchildren have joined me at church. We will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year and we’re hoping to renew our wedding vows. I’m so grateful to God for this day, that God had a plan for me—like it says in Jeremiah 29:11, ‘plans for good and not for evil, for a future and a hope’.
by Lyndal Subritsky (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 6 May 2017, pp11
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Get help to overcome an alcohol problem | www.salvationarmy.org.nz/Bridge