Living on Purpose: Crystal Oertle Herorin – Addiction, Recovery, and No Shame

Living on Purpose: Crystal Oertle

Crystal’s story is not rosy, it’s not exactly what many want to hear. She is a recovering heroin addict, something that usually brings about much shame. But she courageously found herself on a stage in Columbus, OH, recording a TED Talks segment, sharing her story of addiction and recovery. She tells her story candidly and honestly with hopes that it will help at least one person, just one person make the decision to get clean.

Her journey doesn’t end on that stage. Crystal went on to live on purpose using her voice to help others break free from their addictions with “No Shame” through her blog Erase The Shame.com. Her decision to give back and help others was a decision to live on purpose. Devoting her recovery to encouraging others to follow her path and get clean with no shame. She is breaking barriers and stigmas so that more will be brave enough to come forward and get help.

Living on purpose requires healing our past hang ups, hurts, and fears so that we can help others do the same.

Thank you Crystal for living on purpose.

PURPOSE OF LIFE: ACCEPT YOUR GIFT

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are your works.” Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV

Uniquely Created

Being unique means you are one of a kind. You were not made from a mold but fashioned together very carefully. No other being exists like you. There may be someone who is similar to you that may have the same hair color, the same car or listen to the same type of music. But they are not made exactly like you in every way. That was not done by accident. You were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” To be fearfully made means you were made greatly with much intensity and thought.

For His Purpose

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:11 NKJV

Not only are you unique but also you are chosen for a specific purpose that works in accordance with God’s overall plan. Initially you may not know how you fit into the overall plan, which causes you to fumble around in darkness. But at some point in your life God starts to reveal things to you.

You may have discovered that you are a good writer and begin writing a book about your journey with God. You may have discovered you can write and compose songs and begin working on gospel songs for your choir. You may have discovered that you are able to understand and teach God’s word to anyone and begin teaching Sunday school. You may have discovered that you are able to soothe those who are hurting and begin encouraging others. You may have discovered that you are able to lead a group of people and became a minister.

But something went wrong and you began to doubt your ability and effectiveness. Eventually you stopped practicing your gift. You fell into a slump and life became unbearable for you as you began to stumble around in the darkness again. But you can recover from this minor setback because God loves you and has invested in your success, according to Ephesians 1:11, which states, “that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

Expression of His Love

New parents hold their newborn in their arms, gazing in awe at what has been created out of their love. They softly caress her face and check her hands and feet to make sure they are complete. They watch her as she grows and gets excited when she discovers her foot for the first time, then lovingly watches as she keeps putting her new foot in her mouth, exploring it. That is how God is with each of his children. He created you out of his love and lovingly watches you grow. He gets excited when you discover your first gift and watches as you learn to use it.

Just like the baby starts by putting her foot in her mouth, she soon realizes that her feet are not for eating but for walking. Sometimes you don’t know how to properly use your gift and may use it for the wrong purpose and begin to experience struggle. Continuously doing so may make you decide it’s not worth the effort anymore, so you abandon the gift.

Similarly, the baby, now a toddler, discovers she is able to stand and begin to move around the room if she stands up and moves her feet. She begins to experiment with standing until gradually she builds up to taking a step. This is an exciting time for both parents and child. But if the toddler has a bad experience during her discovery and practice, such as falling or getting hurt, she may experience a set back in perfecting her gift of walking. Without proper guidance from the parent she may try to abandon her gift all together because of fear.

Intimately Known

The parent plays a big role in helping the toddler feel secure and continuing to practice her gift until she masters it because the parent knows the toddler intimately. He watches her practice and anticipates the ways she may mess up, so he makes preparations to keep the toddler on track and avoid a major setback, by installing safety measures in the house. As a result the toddler is walking without assistance and secure in her ability to do so.

God knows you intimately and will do the same for you. When you find yourself struggling or fumbling around in the dark with a gift, pray and allow God to help you. Ask Him to show you where you got off track and then ask Him to show you the proper way to cultivate your gift. If you have developed a fear in that area, ask Him to protect you as you begin to practice your gift again.

Just like the parent does with the toddler God will, give you praise when you reach a milestone, caution when you are going in the wrong direction, encouragement when it gets hard, protection from the unseen dangers, and lovingly reward you when you get it just right.

Accept Your Gift

So take a minute to revisit that book you stopped writing, that song you stopped composing, those classes you stopped teaching, those people you stopped encouraging, that degree you stopped pursuing, or those sheep you stopped shepherding. Accept that God has given you this gift and that through Him you were fearfully and wonderfully made to fulfill his purpose through that gift. Turn your struggles over to God and ask him to show you how to start again, but this time ask him to be your guide and actively engage him through your process. You will find it is much easier to navigate your new gift with a little loving guidance.

The Godly Touch

The fast ended on the day before Thanksgiving. I have much to be thankful for as a result of the fast. Many times when you begin a fast you don’t really know what it will bring. You may start with one thing in mind, but end up with something totally different. For me this fast was about favor, but I did not know specifically what type of favor. But then it wasn’t really about me either.

I found favor in so many areas during this fast, but so did the people around me. I am so thankful to be allowed to touch the lives of others. God showed me how he allows me to do that during this fast. I really spent time in his presence hearing from the Spirit. God has really overwhelmed me with his presence. I love it when he is at work because it so smooth and natural. Flawless!

We traveled for the holiday and when we made the initial plans were not sure whether or rather how things would work out. But God orchestrated every step. From getting the rental car, which I got a bargain on, to getting the provision to travel and enjoy the trip. My children and I felt free and excited to have an experience that would bring so much joy to us. But for me it was about the greeting we received when we arrived. My friend’s family greeted us so warmly and made us feel very loved. Just like the prodigal son who returned home.

God taught me about the power of a Godly touch. How it can bring about healing and restoration. That is why there is so much power in the laying of hands because it acts as a conduit, a means of transferring energy from one source to another. You may ask yourself, “What do I have to transfer?” Just think about all that God has poured into you. When I think about what he has poured into me over this fast I realize that it is not just for me, but for me to share with others through the conduit he has activated. I know that God has anointed me to give spiritual life to those who are suffering and it is transferred through that Godly touch.

That is what God has done and what I will continue to do in my ministry. I will administer the Godly touch to those whom he tells me so that they can experience the life of freedom and joy promised by God.

Nothing Missing Nothing Broken

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.”

Third John 1:2 (AMP)

 

Yesterday I sowed a seed to a ministry. I do this often but this time it was different. This is a test of my faith. I know what level I am supposed to be living at yet I find myself with much less. I am not accepting this by any means. I know that it is simply a stepping-stone.

Did you know that as a child of God you are promised a life of prosperity and wealth? I don’t necessarily mean wealth in money and material things. There are many people who have a lot of “things” but are poor in their spirit and in other areas of their lives. I recently learned that rich means being fully supplied in all areas of your life. You are lacking nothing. Look at your life. Are you rich?

When I first heard this I felt a sense of relief because I have always had a wealthy spirit. I find accepting less is not comfortable for me anymore. When I got laid off, I moved in with family members. I did not understand this especially since I knew that I did not have to live this way. God has made ways for me in impossible situations before; surely he could have done the same this time. But here I am and it has not been okay. Now don’t get me wrong I am not ungrateful and am very thankful because he is taking care of me. However, I know the standard of life that God has for me and once you live it you don’t settle for less than that.

I am now looking to move on and I realize that I can’t go back to the life I lived before. God has set a standard for my life and by faith I expectantly look for him to provide for me according to that standard. I sowed my seed on behalf of my family that we would have the following:

  1. A strife-free home
  2. God will put me in the center of my assignment (purpose)
  3. God will give me a financial Boaz

I received this from Mike Murdock yesterday and it was as if God had crafted this just for me. These are the three areas I am poor in right now. Therefore I am expecting abundance in these areas because God said that I am not supposed to be poor in any area of my life. I am slapping poverty in the face and speaking abundance that will follow my children and their children for many generations to come.

Yesterday I visited a web site for a company that sold insurance. The parent company has been in existence since the early nineteen hundreds and on the site they represented the lineage of those who ran the company over the years, there were at least three or four generations. This is the type of legacy that God wants us to have. He wants us to get back to the days when we were able to pass the torch on to our children like Abraham did and keep the blessing going. That is what I am expecting.

What are you expecting?

Day 29 – Being True to Your Self is a Key to Success

I have been quoting a lot of Bible scriptures in the last few posts. God is always present in my life and the Bible gives me inspiration, direction and peace. I know that not everyone shares that but I am sure there is something that does the same for you. It may be the words of wisdom from a mentor, an author, a motivational speaker, a religious leader, Buddha or other religious texts such as the Qur’an. Whatever it is you should seek it diligently and use it to find the truth.

I gave both of my sons study Bibles for Christmas so that they could begin their journey toward their truth. Each Bible has additional content that is geared toward their age group. I have found myself drawn to my younger son’s Bible. It is the Guy’s Life Application Bible and written with extra text that relate to the issues of boys between the ages of nine to thirteen.  I really liked the scripture on the first page that states:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

Very adequate considering the Bible is geared towards young boys. However this scripture is not about a young boy. It is about a prophet named Timothy who was young in his ministry. Paul admonished him to not allow others opinion of him to lessen his self-confidence. He was chosen for the task at hand and was well equipped to carry it out. But people may look at his youth and think that he was not qualified. Instead he told him to become the standard, be an example in all you do and say.

We can be our own worst critics and may feel unworthy, under qualified or say to ourselves. “Who am I do this?” But I say to you “Who are you not to do this?” Let your light shine! Find your truth, your passion, that thing ignites you and brings a smile to your face and do it. Do it just because you want to, because you love to. If one of your friends or family members looks at you and says, “What are you doing?” Just look back at them, smile and keep going.

This happened to me the other day. I was feeling really good and I like to wear nice pieces of jewelry, different styles not typical ones. Well on this day I was wearing a choker necklace I have had for many years. I never wore it much because I did not have matching earrings. Well a few months ago I found a unique pair of matching earrings. I wore the set earlier this week. It looked good on me and was quite sexy.

Well a family member saw me wearing it and commented. They said, “Is that choking your neck?” “Why are you trying to be so fancy?” I did not comment, I simply smiled and kept going. I felt good in it and it looked good on me. I was not going to allow some else’s negative opinion of it to make me stop wearing it. In fact, I can’t wait to wear it again. I am setting an example and will continue to do so.

I am living my life on purpose, not by accident. I am doing things deliberately and with much passion. It was a decision I made a few years ago when I found myself suddenly single again with three children. The world is mine and before me stands a clean slate. Yes I made some mistakes but they were yesterday. Tomorrow is open for discussion. I want to enjoy my life and seek to do so. I no longer try to bury my passions instead I use them a fuel.

Find your truth, embrace your passion and use it to fuel your life! Get going!

Day 25 – Cycle of Failure Builds with Anger

Anger builds up because you are unable to forgive yourself or others for mistakes that have caused pain. Perhaps you were hurt and you are holding on to the hurt and the unforgiveness, which eventually turns into anger. You then become angry with yourself, your life, and the person who hurt you or even the world.

Do you know how many angry people are walking around in this world? Most are angry over things that happened many years ago. Anger that is not properly dealt with can become toxic to you and others around you. You will find yourself yelling at others when they have not done anything to you.

If you are a fighter you may find yourself always engaged in a physical fight over something minor. The anger that builds up during the altercation rarely warrants the actions. It builds from the deep-rooted anger inside you and becomes a boiling pot.

It is especially hard for women who are angry because they can sometimes be called a ?itch, a woman scorned. They are not pleasant to be around and you certainly do not want to feel their wrath. I remember the movie Delores Claiborne where the older rich lady never got along with anybody, only her housekeeper Delores. She told Delores one day that sometimes being a ?itch is all a woman has. What a statement to make about yourself. Indeed, when you are not able to conquer your anger and deal with your past hurts being a ?itch is all you will have.

So today I offer you this prayer to help against anger.

Heavenly Father,

I come to you in humility and lowliness of mind. I acknowledge my sin of anger and I repent and turn away from that way to walk in Your chosen paths of righteousness. I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness, pride, hate, rage, bitterness, resentment, strife, contention, taking offense, giving offense, misplaced hostility, indifference and all forms of anger in my life. Father fill me in all of these areas that were set free with Your love and Your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus Name I claim this victory today according to John 14:14.

Amen

Day 22 – Breaking the Cycle of Failure is a Key to Success

The path to success begins with letting go of past hurts and failures. This is my third time starting up a business. My first attempt was a full-time partnership that did not succeed and the second one was successful as a part-time venture. But now I am launching a full-time business again and I could dwell upon my previous unsuccessful business but instead I chose not to. I dealt with the reasons the business was unsuccessful, learned what I could from it and moved on.

But I have not done that so quickly in all areas of my life. I have found myself locked into this cycle where I would go through guilt, anger, fear and depression. I stayed locked in the cycle for many years feeling unworthy and depressed most of the time. It kept me from moving forward in so many areas. But I began to deal with the cycle and learned how to break out of it.

The Cycle of Failure

I call this the Cycle of Failure and it can keep you from moving forward into the freedom of success that exists for you. That is the freedom from bondage, from bad habits, from repeated bad relationships, from poor decision-making and from insecurity. I call it the Cycle of Failure because each time you complete the cycle and start it again you fail. The cycle does not lead to success it leads to insanity. Insanity can be defined as repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different result each time. This is the Cycle of Failure and it can be applied to many areas of your life both personal and professional. Maybe your career has suffered or you have recently found yourself without a job and began this cycle as a result of that. Maybe you have ended a relationship that is similar to one you ended several years ago. Whatever it is you have begun to recognize a pattern and have probably asked is this DeJa Vu?

Since this is a long piece I will break down the Cycle of Failure over several posts. For today I leave you with this prayer to help you begin to identify your Cycle of Failure and cast out the Spirit of Error and bring forth the Spirit of Truth.

Heavenly Father,

I thank you for allowing me another opportunity to speak with you. I pray that you forgive me for my shortcomings, open my eyes to see my Cycle of Failure and allow the Holy Spirit to assist me with the binding of the Spirit of Error that has followed my life.

Strongman called Spirit of Error, I bind you in the Name of Jesus Christ and declare that all of your works, roots, fruits, tentacles, links, and spirits, are dead works in my life including (specifically name those things/people). I bind you and loose you from me today to go wherever Jesus Christ sends you and command you not to come back into our presence again.

I ask you Heavenly Father to loose into my life today the Spirit of Truth according to 1 John 4:6 and Psalms 51:10.

In Jesus Name I claim this victory today according to John 14:14.

Amen

Day Eighteen – Following Your Calling is a Key to Success

I talk about change quite a bit. Perhaps its because nothing in the last seven years of my life has remained the same. There has been change in every area of my life. Not bad changes just major changes. Today my life does not look like anything I am used to. Next year my life will look even more different.

My goal is to live the life that God has already predestined for me. To surrender my wants and to adopt his will. I have been seeking what would please me and not God. Thinking that I could not do without those things I was holding on to so tightly. I can specifically remember that God told me to let go of something almost two years ago and I was disobedient. I did not do it. But that thing has since become something that I cannot stand. It has become something that is detestable to me. I know full well that my feelings about it will not change. I don’t know why God said to let it go but I will never know why if I don’t. Therefore today I surrendered it to God.

Season of Calling

My path is already laid out and it is very specific. There are many things that God has for me to do. They require all of my dedication and determination. January marks the beginning of that season. The season of calling where all that do will be related to the calling on my life. Every person in my life will have place in that calling. Not that I don’t still love my friends but I have to be obedient and focus on what God has given me. So I ask my friends to understand in advance that it is not personal. I still love them dearly but right now it is all about God and my calling.

Are you ready to prosper? What will it require for you to position yourself to follow God’s chosen path for your life? Do you realize that is your road to prosperity? Living your calling, whatever it is, is your path towards prosperity. If you want to learn more about finding your calling or being able to clearly understand how all of this relates to you, please contact me. I will give you a free initial consultation to help you determine your path towards prosperity.

Day Sixteen – Catalyst for Change

I put in a full eight hours today. I had lost two days of production earlier this week and I was determined today that I was not going to lose another one. I have a few minor touches to put on my project tomorrow and it will be complete.

I shut out all distractions today and set out to reach my goal. One thing I have learned is that when someone is determined to make something happen they do it without hesitation. When people make excuses, they are not determined. I have a friend who complains a lot about their current life situation, which they have been in for more than a year. I have stated to them several times that they were not desperate or determined to change the situation because they have not taken any action.

Your Challenging Place

We all have experienced being in a challenging place in our life. Some of which can place you in a state of desperation, because you become so tired and weary of that thing until all you can focus on is changing it or getting out of it. I have experienced that many times in my life.

God will allow you to be in a challenging place to push you towards change. The challenging place will become your catalyst for change. When you are at a moment where you get off track, all you have to do is recall that catalyst, which stares you in the face daily, and you will quickly reassess things and keep going.

But be careful to make sure that you are moving in the right direction and that you don’t jump too soon. Use the challenging place to your advantage to achieve your goals and make the necessary changes permanent. Don’t be scared of being out of your comfort zone because it is a great catalyst for positive change. In the event the change is not successful, you have not lost anything but gained infinite wisdom that can’t be erased. So embrace your catalyst for change and keep going.

Day Fourteen – Meeting Production Goals is a Key to Success

I had specific production goals for today and I did not get as much done as I had hoped. However I did come in and get some work done. I am working on some documents for my coaching business. The development of a business is a never-ending process. I seem to get to a point where I think I have what I need then realize it is time to develop something else.

I really have a lot to get accomplished before the end of this year. Although I have accomplished much more than I could have ever imagined this year, there are still some things I need to have completed before the end of this year so that I can start some new things in January. Therefore it is going take some discipline to meet my end of the year goals.

Being productive feels good and when I see the end product it gives me a sense of accomplishment. So meeting production goals is important to maintain an adequate growth schedule. Some may think that self-employment is easy but it is not. It requires discipline, dedication and determination. Without them you will never meet your production goals and your business will not grow.

Therefore you should make sure that you work hard to meet your production goals. When setting them you should pad the completion date just in case you encounter some obstacles. The main thing is to get it done, finish what you started. Not completing a goal because you are behind schedule is not acceptable. Meeting your production goals is an important key to success.