Our Celebrate Recovery meeting tonight was great! Our mens group is growing by leaps and bounds. The women's group used to really out number us guys but lately it has been the other way around. Our CR meets every Friday Night at 7:00pm. The first 30 minutes is dedicated to praise and worship to get our minds right. The next 30 we have a lesson or a testimony.
The Lesson I gave tonight was on expectations. What do we do when someone we look up to in recovery or life fails us? Failure could be relapse or someone not coming through on a promise. When I first started attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings 3 1/2 years ago there were guys that wow! Just seemed so wise to me. They always had something really profound to say about recovery, the 12 steps or whatever. I was fresh out of rehab, my emotions were on a string flapping in the breeze. I really looked up to these guys. I had no idea how long they had been clean. Then one by one they started disapearing. After the meeting I would hear tales of relapse. The guys I thought had it together had gone back to their old behavior. This just messed me up completely. These guys knew the program and it seemed like they had it together. So I learned real quick not to put people in recovery on a pedestal. I learned to be discerning on whom I listened to. Soloman speaks of this in Ecclesiastes 7-5
It is better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool!
When people ask me about choosing an accountability partner or sponsor. I point out the folks who are walking the walk. People whose words match their deeds. Are they working the steps?Are they developing their concious contact with God Daily? Are they the same person at home as they are in group? Do they serve others or only themselves? Do they take recovery and give it back? If they can quote scripture all day long and yet wallow in their hurts, habit, and hang-ups can they really help you in your recovery?
What about that person in your life that relapses? Relapse is a return to old behavior, be it chemicals, pornography or going back to that unhealthy relationship. We get angry, we want to fix, we get the if onlys. If you think about it though, does a lifeguard get angry at the person he saves? This person who relapses is running towards death. How do we save them?
- Realize we are powerless
- Turn it over to God
- Pray for them
- Be there but, do not enable. We have to maintain our boundaries
We cannot save them anymore than my wife could have saved me. My wife could not stop me from using. She tried for three years. I remember the last time I used. I had gone nuts after I was out of my drug of choice. I kept hollering I'm going to die and go to hell! I am going to die and go to hell! My wife pulled me into bed and soothed me. After I was calm she whispered into my ear, "Larry, it's time to get some help." A second after that another voice "Larry, it is time." It was God. I managed to get a little bit of sleep and when I awoke I showered and went to work and proceeded to find out which rehab my insurance company wanted me to go to. I went, and since that time I have very rarely looked back. My higher power Jesus Christ saved me. I will close post with the verse I read to the guys in our mens small group Psalms 51.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according
Unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your Spirit.
Then I will teach other transgressors your ways; and sinners shall be converted unto You.