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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Celebrate Recovery? Celebrate Freedom.




Thursday is recovery night in my life and with my schedule sometimes I get tired and see going as an obligation that just has to be done. I put on a happy face, lead worship, and try to encourage others.   Bob teaches on a principle ( or step) of recovery and then we have a small group discussion.  When Bob asks if anyone has issues or needs prayer, I usually don't feel the need to share my petty complaints and let others get ministered to. Part of tonight's lesson had to do with playing the blame game and Bob went off script and asked the group "What are you whining about? You know....You need some cheese with that whine? What are you whining about?" 

I shared with the group. Boy did I share.  I had to preface my whine with a disclaimer.  "Now I don't do this anymore.... I used to but I don't anymore... I don't whine about it.... I don't give voice to it... I try to stay positive but my thought life sometimes is caught up in this."  After the disclaimer I let loose with a the flow of consciousness of my internal monologue of my fears, frustrations, and failures,  As I confessed my inner most thoughts I admitted to the faulty logic and lies that my thought life was based on.  I said that I was addicted to unicorns..... I was enamored with the idea of things that didn't exist.  Walter Mittyesque fantasy and general discontentment with life and myself all got exorcised. You see as these illogical thoughts and feelings rise up, I was pretty effective at shooting them down and moving forward but I was fighting alone.  

That's where the power in community can really set you free. You need your brothers or sisters in Christ to know you are human too. You struggle with stuff like everyone else and in confessing it the power in those secret thoughts and frustrations are dispersed.   

Psalm 55:22 says "Cast your burden on the LordAnd He shall sustain you;" 

James 5:16 says "Confess your trespasses  to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." and 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says "Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up"

That is why recovery can set you free: community.  Those who isolate themselves hide their hurts, pain, and secrets.  God counsels us to come to Him with our burdens and to lean on one another.  God will never leave us or forsake us but sometimes we need to confide in one another and get healed.  

So many things happened at recovery that blessed me and I came out grateful for all I had taken for granted coming in.  I will be 8 months sober come Monday November 16th and I never thought I would ever want to be sober that long but as I walk this walk with the Lord I am further and further from the old man I used to be,  I am not white knuckling this sobriety I have learned that booze and drugs are simply a lie. Looking for comfort in anything without God is an empty pursuit. My heart is changing. I have a genuine desire just to abide with the Lord through His word, service and through community with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  If you are reading this and drink and get drunk on a regular basis, you have a problem. Surrendering to drunkenness is a response to fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. Alcohol is a depressant. You feel happy for a short time but it all ends in dehydration, pain, and confusion.  You are looking for rest.  Find it in Christ.  Take off the chains of addiction.  Set yourself free by putting your trust in Christ.   Jeremiah 29:13  "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."  When you seek God you will find Him. Seek the freedom only Christ can give. 

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