When I first heard about Christian recovery programs I honestly believed recovery was for the people with the “bad” problems- drug addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction, etc. I never actually thought the problems I had were “recovery worthy” and that my issues were petty in comparison to others. I thought I could handle them on my own- after all, I was a Christian and my problems weren’t that bad. I had always been able to manage them easily and I didn’t see a need to waste my time with recovery.
What I didn’t know at the time is that God was calling me. He was calling me to a 12 step recovery program called re:generation. I also couldn’t imagine at the time how re:generation would begin to transform my life in just a matter of months. When I came to my first recovery meeting, I was fairly certain that the only thing I needed to recover from were those few years in college when I went to too many parties and had too much to drink. I had my life under control; I had a loving husband, a handsome son, a job I loved, and a nice home. However, there was something about my life that no one else knew. Despite having all the things I thought would make me happy, I had no joy.
I thought back over my life- to a happy childhood that was tainted with the pain of rejection from my own mother, to my teen years when I had struggled with the embarrassment of not having money to buy nice clothes, to my early adult life where I had spent late nights at the bar, doing anything for a thrill. I began to think about what I wanted for my life. I wanted joy. I wanted something to relieve the heavy burden of the pain I had been carrying around for so long. I have heard it said that “hurt people, hurt people” and I could not bear the thought of hurting my own sweet little boy, even unintentionally.
Not long after coming to re:generation, I knew I was in the right place. I longed for freedom from the shame of wasted years, from the bitterness of unforgiveness, from the anger and anxiety that I struggled with on a regular basis. God showed me that after all those years of trying to relieve my pain with one thing or another that I had simply been masking the symptoms instead of searching for the true source of pain. I began going through the steps of the program. I learned that I could not manage my life on my own and that all this time I had been fooling myself into thinking I had everything under control. The Lord was revealing things to me I didn’t even know I struggled with, and with the support of my step study group, I was able to identify the real issues in my life I needed recovery from.
I am such a believer in Bible-based recovery programs like re:generation. I know there is no better place for me than in recovery. The people in programs such as these are all struggling with the same problem- a sinful nature. They are there because they want to be healthy. They want to live in accordance with God’s plan for their lives. While we all have different issues, we all have the same needs. We all need Jesus Christ. We all need to be in the fellowship of other Christians. We all need relief from our hurts, habits, and hang ups, and we all need recovery.
I know that I will never arrive. I will always face a struggle because of my sinful nature, but I am determined to live a life full of joy, to live a life free from the burden of pain and in order to do that, I must surrender and acknowledge before God that I can’t do it on my own. I encourage you to work with us to make GFC a healthier church by joining us for recovery in Christ. If you are hurting, if you are burdened, if you have ever experienced sin, you have a reason to join us for re:generation. I hope to see you there!
>> If you're ready to take a next step, learn more about re:generation online or stop by on a Monday night in the Upstairs Auditorium from 6:30-8:30pm.
Posted on Thu, August 14, 2014
by Brooke Jones