Asbury United Methodist Church
Monday, May 20, 2013
The Problem ::
Sometime in our past, perhaps as a child, we were hurt in a way we were not equipped to handle. Some of us were neglected, rejected or abused by someone close to us. This hurt, along with a loss of trust and innocence gave us a wound we were unable to hide from.
To deal with our pain, we sought ways to cope, some healthy and some not. As our wounds remained hidden, over time, they grew deeper and more painful. As we continued to medicate the pain and stress in our life, we began to exist in an altered world where more and more of our time and energy focused on supporting our habits.
By the time we came out of denial, our coping mechanisms had taken control of our lives. They were no longer a solution to the pain, but had become destructive problems that were hurting us and those around us.
For some of us, we used alcohol; for others it was drugs. For some it was another substance or behavior. For each of us, it stopped being a help to us and became our master and god.
Ten Signs that You May be Chemically Dependent ::
Source: I Can't Be an Addict, I'm a Christian by Melinda Fish
What is your score?
Did you answer YES to two or more questions? If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol or drugs.
But again, only you can decide whether you think Celebrate Recovery is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking and using drugs ourselves.
Celebrate Recovery does not promise to solve your life's problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without drinking or using one day at a time with the help of our Higher Power, Jesus Christ. We stay away from that first drink. If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. And when we are free of alcohol, we found that life became much more manageable, with Christ's power.
The Solution ::
We admit we cannot continue in the direction we were headed and our life was unmanageable. We see how our attempts to solve our problems and control the world and those around us have failed miserably. By accepting that we cannot fix ourselves, we reach out for help. As we abandon our need to control, we find the real solution: Surrender to God and his son, Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord is the key we are seeking.
By consistently meeting with others who were caught in a similar cycle and hearing the hope they have found, we will be able to achieve sobriety. As our sobriety grows, the fog of the fuzzy world we were living in will lift, allowing us to gain perspective on the source of our pain. As we continue to meet and turn our life and our will over to the care of a loving God, we begin to truly live life again.
We continue to work through our feelings in the safety of our group. We see the hope that God provides through his inescapable love. By continuing to share openly and honestly and by listening, we find new and healthy ways to cope, no longer having to rely on our dysfunctional, compulsive and addictive behaviors as a temporary fix for our pain. We are here to help each other find our way to recovery through surrender, and in turn, develop stronger relationships with others and with God.
I'm VERY thankful to report that I have been sober for over 7 years now! I am now continuing the recovery process through Celebrate Recovery that began only a year ago for me. As I reflect on how my original "Recovery Issue" was Chemical Addiction... I now realize that God's Plan was to "grow" me in ways that I couldn't have even imagined!!! For instance, when I first heard that I'd probably be sharing my Testimony here & in front of our Church ... I told everyone that it would have to be done by videotape because being on stage, speaking into a microphone & revealing my deepest, darkest secrets to friends, family & complete strangers was DEFINITELY NOT my idea of "fun"!!! But, by persevering through this Recovery Journey, I've been able to personally experience God's Healing Power in a Step Study, which is where I was FINALLY able to COMPLETELY take off my "mask" and be honest with other people, who struggle, about the areas of my life that are "out of control"... it was in that environment that I was able to "clean out" the deep, dark, festering wound that a 25 year old abortion had created... it was there that I was FINALLY able to acknowledge and grieve the death of my unborn child... it was there that I was able to walk through the amends process by writing a letter of repentance and sorrow to my child... it was there that REAL HEALING was able to begin and just as with ALL "hurts, habits & hang-ups"... the "scar" is still with me, but the "wound festers no more"... it's been "cleaned out" and forgiveness and healing have brought a new Joy & Peace that allows me to stand here, on stage, speaking into a microphone, revealing my deepest, darkest secrets to friends, family & strangers & BEST OF ALL, to PROCLAIM what I KNOW to be TRUE... that JESUS CHRIST LOVES me, FORGIVES me, wants me to forgive myself and He has set this Captive FREE... and... I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!
-- A Woman in CR
Participating in Celebrate Recovery the last 2 years has been such a rewarding experience. It has shown me that once I gave God room to work in my life, to remove my biggest mountain, there were plenty of mole hills to encounter. I thought my problem was only alcohol, but now I know different. Everyday I work on my shortcomings and, yes, I still have many. I pray for progress, not perfection. The second principle says 'Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover'. Regardless of my past, my hurts, habits or hang ups, I know that I am accepted and loved by my God and by the people walking this journey with me. I now try to carry this message to others and share in His grace. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says 'Keep on asking and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened.' God opened that door for me at a time when I could not do it for myself. So much credit goes to the people who stood by me and the programs that He put in my path. Now my reliance is on His will and I pray to stay surrendered and turn it over to Him each day.
-- A Man in CR