I came to Celebrate Recovery to help…

I came to Celebrate Recovery to help on the leadership team.  I had been sober 20 years and agreed to help with our small group addictions table.  It didn’t take me long to realize I hadn’t arrived and that I was as close to a drink as the ones who had one day clean, because it became more evident that I was in denial myself.  I had a hard time admitting that I was steeped in resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness.  I was 20 years clean and still on STEP 1!  I had to admit I had a problem and was powerless over it.

Daily I would try in my own strength to lay it down and daily I would fail.  I was stuck!  I would beg God to encounter me with his love, I would read the Word daily, I went to church somewhere almost every night of the week and got enough prayer to save an entire country yet I was getting worse.  I could not control my tendency to do the wrong thing.  All my striving got me nowhere.

One day my sponsor gently nudged me to forgive.  She said forgiveness isn’t saying that person is right or that their actions were fair but it would free me.  “It has been said that forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentments and removes the handcuffs of hate.  It is the power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”

So that is what I did.  I forgave.  I simply made a decision to forgive and let God handle all of the unfairness and hurt. I stopped trying to bring judgement myself and let God have his way in me and in the situation.  Much to my surprise, God freed me and began to change my heart.  It is God’s work to do!  My job is to submit to the changes he wants to make in my life.  We become so fearful thinking God is going to ruin our life somehow, when all along he if full of goodness, love and knows what is best to bring about a life full of abundance and peace.

Almost as soon as I forgave, he encountered me with his love.  He showed me his heart towards me and it wasn’t bad!  He gave me the impression that he loved me so deeply, right where I was at, even in my struggles.  And I had a sense that He would be with me every step of the way.  It’s the same for our small group at Celebrate Recovery.  They love me right where I am at, even in my struggle, and are there for me every step of the way.

Tammy T.

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