Monday, November 30, 2009
recovery is christ centered step program that the austin stone has every wednesday night (similar to celebrate recovery). i have been going to recovery since january, when i finally admitted that i was living in anxiety and was out of control. god has used recovery to change my life, and while that is a beautiful and hard story, that is not the purpose of this post. i want to use this post to talk about what recovery is and who it is for.
i have several conversations with people inquiring about recovery and what it is and if it is for them. most people say, "i have been debating about coming to recovery, but my issues are not like drugs and alcohol." i totally get that. one of my major hesitations in coming (besides my big huge pride) was that i had this idea of what kind of people were going to be coming to recovery. my judgmental heart was thinking i was not like them, i had nothing in common with them and to be completely honest, did not want to associate with them. i know horrible to type out, but it was true, and i am getting the feeling that many other people have some idea in their mind as to what recovery is like and who will be there that just is not accurate. thankfully for me, the lord put several people in my life that were walking through recovery at the same time and i felt comfortable with them. at some point, he also showed me how prideful and arrogant all my thoughts and judgments were. that i do not get to decide if someone is worthy of my time or worthy of me to share my junk with. he also showed me that my junk was not less worse than anyone who was struggling with drugs, alcohol, or sexual addiction. i was quite convicted. i quickly learned that recovery is for anyone. anyone humble enough to admit they struggle and desiring to confront those struggles with the gospel in a community of other people who also admit they are broken.
the longer i have been in recovery, the more i realized that many of us have the same root sin and heart issues. our coping mechanisms are just different. some are more socially acceptable than others. programs like recovery have usually been for people who struggle with the sins that are less socially acceptable or more obvious, but really, recovery at the stone is for anyone who wants to get at the root issue, no matter what your coping mechanism is. for example, because i did not trust god or truly believed that he loved me, i looked to people. and when they failed me, i judged them to make me feel better about not being accepted by them. i lived in anxiety trying to please them and make them want me. to escape this judgmental anxiety that was my hell for so long, i turned to daydreams and let my thought life run wild. after all, being there was way better than being in the here and now. walking through a step study in recovery helped me pinpoint my lack of trust in god. after talking to many of my friends, i realized that we have similar root problems but we just turn to different things for escape, pleasure and comfort. some are just more noticeable than others.
i can hear all the objections you are thinking already, but only because i also had them all. "who will be there?" "what will people think of me?" "what if everyone is weird?" "i do not have time for this." "i confessed my sin and feel better, i do not need this." "recovery is for weak people" (yes i actually had this very thought). all they while i was hiding in my pride, guilt and shame.
i know recovery is not for everyone, god has used many other methods for healing his people for years, long before recovery was ever in existence. and i know it is not the program that heals, but rather it is the gospel. but, if you have a struggle that you can't seem to shake, that has defeated you for quite some time, that you have stuffed away and not wanted to deal with, i would encourage you to come check it out. oh it will feel awkward and you will most definitely feel uncomfortable, but i think you will also find a place where your sin has to be confronted with the gospel.
i am still in recovery even though i have experienced many victories, because a) i am not fully recovered and will not be until jesus comes back. and b) i love the community there. the community that knows me and asks me boldly about my struggles, all with the intention of pointing me to christ and steering me from my coping mechanisms! there is also so much encouragement that comes from hearing other people's stories and seeing the lord change their lives. recovery is important for me and others like me, who are not good at admitting our faults, our need for god, and our need for help. i like to always have it together but each week, when i walk through the doors to recovery, i am openly admitting that i do not have it together.
if you have anymore questions, please feel free to ask away! i would be more than happy to answer them.