Life In Recovery: Testimony
Recovery is a lifelong journey. While it is a life of freedom, recovery is also a daily choice. I must believe that I am a new creation in Christ, that the old has passed away. I must allow God to renew my mind on an ongoing basis. I must choose to walk in this freedom and renewal every day.
There is a solution that manifests in the gifts of sobriety as I learn to change and walk the process of recovery and restoration. The daily choice to turn away from the sinful lifestyle and embrace God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit is the key on which this journey hinges. We have before us a vision of a life of freedom through submission to God and His will, contrasted with the past, mired in doing that which I do not wish to do, but into which I can be enticed by my old nature.
When I turn my back on the victim mentality, it is possible to resist the wrong thinking that can drag me back into fear and shame. I must embrace the gift that is sobriety. I must allow the transformation that comes with recovery in separation from the sinful lifestyle that manifested in substance abuse or obsessive focus on the work instead of the God who ordains it.
I have battled with addiction for over forty years, primarily to alcohol and cocaine but other things have triggered me as well. Drugs, alcohol, work, religion, codependency, women; I allowed them to become idols in my life instead of focusing on God and His love and provision in all areas. I have had stretches of sobriety and correct thinking, sometimes for long periods, but eventually, due to emotional pain, fear or shame, my thoughts would shift and I would begin to grab hold of false beliefs once again.
The relapse cycle starts well before I pick up that first drink. It starts with my making choices that stem from false beliefs. I lose sight of who I am in Christ, letting my eyes drift from focus on Him back onto myself or my circumstances. By walking this process out in the company of others, we all gain. We can encourage others in our times of strength and their times of weakness, and they in turn encourage us. This journey is best taken in step with others, which is the foundation for Christian fellowship. There is no condemnation, but rather a knowledge that all of us are fallible and need each other to walk this life of recovery.
When we keep our focus on God, all else falls into place. We can walk in righteousness, not through our own strength, but with the power of the Holy Spirit. We can encourage each other in our journey, helping us all focus on God to allow the Holy Spirit to change us. They can then turn around and encourage others who may be just beginning the journey into recovery. Together, walking side by side with other Christians in recovery, we gain strength, joy and peace through moving forward together. We become strong through our weakness when joined in commitment to each other and to Christ.
We are sanctified, made new and enriched. Our lives are transformed, our relationships are made whole and our focus on Christ allows us to move into new and vibrant life in the flesh because we are bonded in the Spirit.
The benefits are never-ending and the people in our lives; family, friends, church, community; all are enriched and blessed as a result of our recovery. It is our choice, but there are many that benefit.