Yeah, this is a heavy first blog post. I do realize that. But what I am sharing here is a big part of what’s real in my life right now and ties in so closely with my tagline in dealing with pursuing that healthy balance in all areas of life, I thought it was fitting.
You’ve probably heard that introduction that is common to 12-Step programs before. I never thought I'd be saying those words! If you were to pass by me somewhere, you probably would never guess I am in a recovery program. I came to learn not long after becoming a parent ... never say never. Life has a way of proving you wrong time and time again.
The truth is that we change so much as we grow and mature. And then there's this idea that you don't really know what you would do in any given situation until you are in it. Any number of factors can influence which direction you might take, how you might react, etc.
My story of recovery has nothing to do with being a parent. It also has nothing to do with addiction. And I really don't have to share it publicly, but I enjoy helping others and believe strongly in the benefits of learning from another person's experiences ... those who are willing anyway.
It takes some humility, a teachable heart and a desire to improve one's own life to step up and do it. I have many, many faults, but those three things aren't my issues. In fact, I really enjoy learning from others. I enjoy sharing in experiences together, even when it's not easy.
And let me tell you that recovery from anything is not an easy journey, a journey that began for me at the beginning of this year, 2015. I walked into a Celebrate Recovery program in my area not really sure what to expect. When I think of recovery programs, my mind always heads right into thoughts of drug addiction. I've never even tried drugs, never drank the first drop of alcohol or smoked a single cigarette.
Again, let me reiterate, I am by no means perfect, nor do I pretend to be. Those particular struggles just don't happen to be mine, though, I do have many others.
Celebrate Recovery is a Bible-based 12-step program, started by a member of Pastor Rick Warren's church, to help heal hurts, habits and hangups.
That pretty much covers a lot of things! And if we were to be honest, every single one of us has hurts. Maybe your hurts haven't reached a point of crisis or impacting your daily life, but mine had.
As a survivor of abuse – and in my case, emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment – years of unresolved issues, to which I had tried to seek resolution, began spiraling out of control when my sister left an abusive relationship. The response from “family” to her situation made clear some things that we had started keying in on.
There is a contemporary Christian song by 7eventh Time Down called, Just Say Jesus.
Some of the lyrics go like this:
Life gets tough and times get hard and it's hard to find the truth in all the lies. If you're tired of wondering why you're heart isn't healing and nothing feels like home cause you're lost and alone just screaming at the sky…
That’s how my life had begun to feel. I heard about Celebrate Recovery, read about it on the program website and decided to give it a try.
Not long before my first visit to the program, a man at my church shared with me that he had been through a very similar experience as mine. Do you know that it felt like the biggest relief having someone who understood the things I had been through and was feeling?
This is how I knew I needed to give Celebrate Recovery a try … because there are small support groups where you can share your experiences and learn from others as they share theirs. It has been an absolute godsend and has helped me begin on the path towards healing from this very painful past.
So I wanted to share my experience with Celebrate Recovery for those who may not have heard of it or for those who may have heard of it but for whatever reason have not given it a try yet. I want to encourage you to find a program in your area, give the leader a call and just chat for a few minutes to find out the details of that program like when they meet, if they have childcare, and if there is a small group for your particular struggle. And then, commit to going for 3-4 weeks.
The format of the one I attend is that we eat supper, have a brief worship and large group time and break out into small support groups. After the groups, there is a gathering time for mingling with others. I have not been able to participate in that last part because I need to pick up my children from the childcare area and home for bed.
You may find that it's not for you. But one thing you can be guaranteed of…. you will not know for sure until you give it a try. What if it could make the kind of difference in your life that helps you begin to heal or recover from whatever struggle you have and that sets your life onto a totally different trajectory than what you are on right now?
As the tagline of my blog says … I believe strongly in the importance of finding a healthy balance. My emotional wellbeing had gotten way out of balance, and I knew I needed to address that. If you feel that same way, do something about it. I know it is easier said than done, but if you will just take those first few steps, they may be the hardest. But it’s worth it for your health and wellbeing.
Do you know someone with a hurt, habit or hangup that they've been putting off addressing?
Shared at Titus 2sdays