From DUI to Finding her True Identity in Christ with Ginny Priz

Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Ginny Priz.

Ginny was born with her right arm ending just below the elbow. She always trusted God with her physical body because her parents told her this is how God wanted to make her. However, it didn’t go well with every other part of her life and she had trouble trusting God. She struggled with drinking and after getting a DUI, her identity came crashing down and it was a turning point that began a deep healing in her life. She is now an author and speaker and her passion is to let all women to know there is hope because God’s promises are true! She will share her story in today’s podcast.

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Transcript:

SHELLEY. Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Ginny Priz. Welcome! Ginny.

GINNY. Thank you Shelley, I’m so glad to be hear.

SHELLEY.  Yeah, I’m really excited to hear more of your stories as well and I think it’s going to be a really powerful one for our listeners. Just to kind of get started I’m going to share a little more about your background and then we’ll dive in to the interview.

GINNY. Great.

SHELLEY. Ginny was born with her right arm ending just below the elbow. She always trusted God with her physical body because her parents told her this is how God wanted to make her. However, it didn’t go well with every other part of her life and she had trouble trusting God. I think a lot of us can relate to that (LOL).

She struggled with drinking and after getting a DUI, her identity came crashing down but it was a turning point that began a deep healing in her life and she is now an author and speaker and her passion is to let all women know there is hope because God’s promises are true! She will share her story in today’s podcast.

So just to get started Ginny, tell us a little bit about what the broken crayons looked like in your life.

GINNY. Well Shelley you mentioned it a little bit in your introduction – when I was growing up and after college I had really built my identity as the responsible girl. I fit in to this box, I was responsible I was always wanting to do the best that I ever could and that put a lot of pressure on me. I was very co-dependent on other people looking for their approval and really constantly just looking to everyone else then and even though I was a Christian, I would consider myself a Christian, I would look to other people to know that I was loved rather than looking to the Lord. So in 2011 I moved away from all of my friends and family took a brave move and we’ve got to Tennessee.

SHELLEY. Wow!

GINNY. And I just thought O God now taking care of me, He brought me to the dream place where I wanted to live and everything’s going great but of course you know I wasn’t ready for awakening He asked to stop drinking while I was driving down the Tennessee in prayer on the road and I say “uhm maybe” (LOL) and of course I didn’t.

SHELLEY. Wow! So He gave you a warning, you know a chance to stop.

GINNY. Yes. And I thought about it and I said well wouldn’t that be nice but I did not certainly take those steps to actually stop it was easier to continue drinking. And 6 weeks later I got a DUI and that shuttered my identity of being the responsible girl here I was in jail going what has happened to me.

SHELLEY. Wow

GINNY. For me specifically it was the worst thing that could ever happen it meant that I was no longer responsible so then who was I. I was single I was alone and I had spent so many years trying to numb out the pain of the idea of never being good enough that I had really just kind of turned to alcohol so that was – when you say broken crayons I think of my just broken identity.

SHELLEY. Yeah – and how long had you been drinking at that point?

GINNY. Oh well I had been drinking ever since I was a teenager. Of course you start to get it a taste in high school and then you go from there, and I had really, it had never been such a big deal except after I had graduated college actually its probably I went through some big heart breaks that it really started to ramp up for me.

I really turned to alcohol because I thought if I was alone then I must be unlovable. And then that idea kind of was enough to keep me to want to stay as numb as possible for as long as possible.

SHELLEY. Yeah – and I think that’s an important thing to bring out because I think a lot of women struggle with that if I’m alone then I must be unlovable.

GINNY. Right

SHELLEY. And you know that is a lie from the enemy it’s not true but it’s so easy in our culture if you are not with someone if don’t have someone then you have that. Whether it’s a pain from some sort of relationships or other sorts of pain it’s so easy to medicate or to numb whether its technology and shopping and food or it could be something more like alcohol.

So what would you say was the turning point for you, you had the DUI your identity came crashing down you would have still called yourself a Christian at that time and yet you are going to other things outside of God. So what would you say was the turning point for you in all of that?

GINNY. Well, there were couple of different things that happened. The first one I remembered just crying out to God in my bedroom and just on my knees not knowing what to do next or thinking how could anyone love me after this, how could anyone respect me, who would want to work with me I didn’t even respect myself so how could I expect anyone else to do that.

And what I decided in that moment was I looked to God and He showed me this image of I’m a hiker so I saw an image of rolling hills and things of the path going along it and He basically just said look Ginny this is your life and you’re just here, you know when you got a lot more ups and downs to go and this is just one moment in time this doesn’t mean it’s the end because I was so hopeless in that moment I really felt there like there was no future for me to be positive and he just showed me hey this is just one step in the process and there’s more to come so just keep going.

And that’s really when I decided if I could help one person out this whole mess then it would all be worth it. This terrible burden and pain that I’ve felt would all be worth it if I could help someone and of course God was gracious and generous enough to lead me to a 12-step program called celebrate recovery and that was really hard for me to admit, hey I’ve got a problem and I need some help but I was also determined to do it ever I could in order to help other people and it seems like the best way to do it.

And in step 5 I share with my sponsor my past and the things that have happened to me and the resentments that I’ve had what’s my responsibility versus other people’s responsibility and that was really the first time that I was able to see the patterns in my own life of avoidance and how much of my own pain that I had actually created by avoiding everyone and avoiding conflict and trying to make every – you know white wash everything and make it be better by stuffed down all of those emotion.

SHELLEY. That’s powerful, that’s powerful to be able to get to that point but its painful too (LOL).

GINNY. It is but after I was able to share those things and recognized oh this is my own, there a lot of my own fault and I have brought myself here and then I realized I didn’t have to own those things that other people thought about me. They didn’t make it true if someone else said something about me, I didn’t have to own that in my identity could really start to be base on God and His word and His promises and when He said about me that He made me perfectly in my mother’s womb and just going from there and all the other promises that He has given to us and saying wow I could finally start to see myself as He sees me rather than on how other people saw me.

SHELLEY. Yeah, and you said some really powerful things throughout that whole part of your story but one of the things you said is that what did you call it avoidance like you had a lot of avoidance and you try to just make it look nice and I think sometimes in the church we can go through that where its like okay I just want everything to look good or you know be that Christian, that good Christian person and I did that for a while where it was like I almost had like a split identity, you know I had this person but then I was trying to be this person and that avoidance of just stuffing it down eventually its going to come up.

And eventually we’re going to have to make a choice and you made a choice you chose recovery, you chose Christ and you chose to walk this path and I’m sure it hasn’t been perfect I’m sure its been up and down (LOL) but for those that might be in a similar situation where it maybe they had some hurts or maybe they feel unlovable or they have gotten their identity from other people and maybe they’ve just avoid it a lot of that and it just shoved it down, what advice or encouragement would you give to me them?

GINNY. Well for those people who are stuffing everything down and trying to avoid I would say feel your feelings. Feelings are not a symptom of shame or something is broken there, they are symptom of a deeper hurt and we need to feel them in order to process what we are going through and then be free of them and that’s the only we’re ever really free is by feeling them, processing them and letting them go.

In the meantime I think that for everyone this world is crazy and when we look around us with our eyes and we just see the world through our eyes then we’re limited to what’s here but the good news is is that if we keep our eyes on the Lord and we keep our eyes on Jesus and the holy spirit and how they are all working in our life then we can see the bigger picture of where we are in this process and our life here is tiny compared to eternity in heaven which is promise to us and that’s where really need to keep our eyes so that we can keep loving each other here, loving God and then saying hey this isn’t the end, this doesn’t have to be- the be all end  all of everything. God has so much truth and grace, and peace, and joy, and if we just trust in Him and keep our eyes solely focus on Him.

SHELLEY. Yes, and I like what you said earlier when you said God reminded you that this is not the end, this is just a piece of your journey like on a hike and my husband and I are hikers we lived in the mountain’s of Colorado (LOL) but its just one part and sometimes we can allow failure to just completely become our identity or stop us or just get stuck there, so I love that encouragement. Now is there a scripture that’s really meant a lot to you throughout this time?

GINNY. Yes, absolutely its Ephesians 1:4 and it says “Even before He made the world God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes and I love that because it tells me 3 different things that tells me that I was chosen, that I was loved, and that I was seen.

SHELLEY. Oh wow

GINNY. And that’s for all of us that we are all chosen, love and seen by Him.

SHELLEY. I love that, I love that. Someone need to hear that today, you were chosen, you were loved, and you were seen and that is so powerful. Well I just love what God is doing in your life he is now using you as an author and speaker, you’ve written a book can you tell us a little bit about that?

GINNY. Sure! The book is called “Ditch the Drama” and I really walked through this serenity prayer in there. The subtitle is actually called “How to access God’s promises of joy and peace no matter what the world throws at you.” And it’s a breakdown to serenity prayer starting with God on how important He is and then laying down all those things that we cannot change, that thing how much He actually loves us and then taking responsibility for the things that we can change, our perspective, our mind and then there’s a lots of wisdom principles in there that we can use to walk through difficult situations especially when our emotions are going crazy and what’s going to keep us centered through all of that.

SHELLEY. Now someone has connected with you and wants to contact you, how can they connect with you online?

GINNY. Sure. I have a couple of websites its ginnypriz.com is an easy way to get to me G I N N Y P R I Z dot com and then the book has a website called ditchthedrama.net.

SHELLEY. Alright, awesome! Thank you so much and I just love your story too because I have a background in physical therapy so just your whole story about your arm and just accepting how God had created you and everything its just inspiring. So thank you so much for sharing your story and I know that our listeners have been impacted.

GINNY. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me its been lovely and as I said He created me in my mother’s womb and therefore I am masterpiece.

SHELLEY. Yes, and amen! I appreciate all of you listening and in joining us today as well. If you are someone you know has a powerful story to share I would love to feature you on the podcast, you can apply to be featured at shelleyhitz.com/story and we will see you next time, bye!

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