Tag Archives: christianity

Christian Recovery…

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I have started in a recovery program…a Christian Recovery program. It is called Celebrate Recovery (CR). I do not have a drug problem or a problem with alcohol but I am in recovery. In the beginning I wasn’t quite sure why in the world I was there. But there I was coming off the most public of my panic attacks and I knew something had to give. I had thought many times about attending CR I never really thought I “needed” it. But I had made a promise to attend and I did.

I am about 2 months into attending CR and I have learned a lot but last night through the flowing tears while listening to the testimonies during chip night, I came to a realization…I wanted to be there. I want to be receiving a 30-60-90 day chip and to experience that kind of accomplishment. One particular thought that I had, was how wonderful it felt to close my eyes and sit in one of the pews I have been sitting in for the past 30 years and to be consumed by the warmth and comfort of the worship. To be surrounded by the familiarity of my home church, and then something else  struck me…I am extremely grateful for First Baptist and the role it has had in my life. I have experience extreme highs and lows in those walls, I have met people who forever changed my life there. I watched my mother faithfully serve, I have seen my siblings be baptized, married, and dedicate their babies lives to the Lord in this place. I remember looking out into the audience during pageants and watching my moms lips moving (reciting my lines) as I recited my lines and having to turn away so that I didn’t laugh and mess up. When I was a teenager I watched my father so determined to start his walk with Christ separate hand after hand making his way to the front of the church to dedicate his life to the Lord and then be baptized,  I dedicated my life to the Lord in this house of God, I was baptized here and I dedicated my Peanut to the Lord between those precious walls. I know that they are just brick and mortar I know that the plaster has no meaning or significance in the Kingdom of Heaven…it is what has happened between the walls of First Baptist…its the lives that have touched mine, the inspiration from the pulpit and from the beautiful souls God put in my path there. I realized somewhere very deep why God asks us to have fellowship with other believers and to have a church “home”. It is of vital importance to our hearts, minds and souls. I didn’t want to attend CR at my church I didn’t want people I know to see my ugly, my pain and my reality. I thought that the judgment would seep from their pores and that I would feel shamed for needing to be there. But God’s true family has nothing to do with those things, those thoughts and feelings are used as tools by the devil to drive a wedge into the Kingdom of God and between His people. And I have found no hint of that just understanding and acceptance.

And now I am starting on the path to recovery from my hurts, my bad habits and the things that have kept me in a place of panic, anxiety, shame and extreme pain. What better place than where I feel most at home? Where I can come as just me before my Lord and ask for help from the great physician. Recovery is not just for people with chemical dependency issues. It is for the beaten down and broken. It is for the hurting and desperate. And it is for me. I have more issues than I can even list! But, the way I see it is that I am starting somewhere and the road to healing is leading me back home in the arms of  God.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Something was said during a lesson (during CR) awhile ago, the speaker was taking about pride (I think) and he said…”do you want to be right or do you want to be well?” This spoke to me somewhere very deep and for me I want to be well. During this whole process I have started to listen to Christian music everyday at work in the car it was a small change that has made a difference not only in attitude for me, but also for my daughter, it warms my heart to hear my Peanut sing praises to her Heavenly Father. ❤

A particular song has spoken loudly to me is Strong Enough by Matthew West the lyrics are as follows…

Strong Enough”

You must
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us
Well, maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God and you are strong
When I am weak
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Oh, yeah
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be I give up I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough…
by Matthew West
Jenness
c/s
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Day 19-Perspective

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Isn’t much of life about “perspective”? I looked up what perspective means and dictionary.com defines it like this…”the state of one’s ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship.” A meaningful interrelationship…to me that implies you must have a connection with a subject or relationship to a person to have a meaningful perspective. Ok so with that being said I would like to detail a specific struggle I have with blanket prejudice and judgement. A terrible and ill-advised joke came across my Facebook and though I wholeheartedly disagree with the premise behind it I am going to share it in an effort for perspective as to what sparked my ruminating on the subjects I am detailing today…”Obama voters are like Christmas lights….. half of them don’t work & the other half aren’t very bright.”  This horrible and off-color joke was posted by a (self-proclaimed) Christian. And it sparked some heated debate and I am sure some hurt feelings. And for me it spurred me to think and process why someone would put something so obviously inflammatory on such a public media. The conclusion that I have come to is that they seriously lack perspective. It doesn’t matter who I voted for I am offended by this because it is an assumption about a certain perceived class of people…I am a single mom of a 5-year-old fatherless daugther…I lost my job of 2 1/2 years due to closure because of lack of money to keep it running. I am here to tell you I was at first to be embarrassed to apply for assistance, I do not want to rely on food stamp, Medicaid and housing. But here is a little perspective…my pride has nothing to do with what I have to do to take care of my child who didn’t ask to be born into this situation. I will beg, borrow, and steal to make sure that she doesn’t have to sleep in our car or go days without eating because her Mommy can’t find a job. I will use my food stamps without embarrassment at the grocery store and I will be eternally grateful for the provision of a roof over our heads because God provided these things for us. I cried from joy when I found out that after 4 years on the waiting list I was accepted for housing assistance. This is a time in my life where I need the help and I am eternally grateful I live in a country that provides me a way to take care of my Peanut girl. I am extremely grateful for the agency that helps us meet our housing needs. After all the hoops I had to jump through all the waiting and stress of not knowing how I would take care of my child if some help didn’t come through, upon receiving the acceptance letter relief came not shame. I am not an uneducated, white trash, drug addict that is sitting around waiting for a hand out. I am a woman, a Mother in need of help. I am trying to educate myself so that this is a temporary station in life, and I am trying to get the best education for my daughter so that she has more opportunities in life then she knows what to do with. There is an assumption that all people who need or accept assistance like food stamps and Medicaid are second class, lazy citizens. Tell me this…if you lost your job, or you had an injury that took you out of commission for a long period of time and you had no way to make ends meet what would you do to take care of your most precious gift…your child or children…I suspect that you too would most likely beg, borrow, and steal or give your right arm and leg if you thought it meant that they didn’t have to suffer even one night. Just because people have to ask for assistance doesn’t mean that they are inherently lazy, stupid or unwilling to work for what they have. Living in today’s world is hard enough why not build up one another up instead of tear each other down with intolerance and judgement. The fact that this particular post came from a Christian (as I mentioned before) is extremely disheartening because the God I know doesn’t deal in hatred and prejudice. His disciples were compromised of  men that were considered the lowest of the low tax collectors, fisherman, and murders. They now sit at the right hand of the Lord. Christians are in constant attack and scrutiny in the media, the classroom, and world. So…why add fuel to the fire? Why give non-believers a reason to hate Christians even more?  Hypocrisy has nothing to do with Jesus I do not see how spewing venom and  extreme opinions ever won someone over to your side of a matter.  Though I highlighted a specific incident that triggered me, this post is in general and I’m not trying to call anyone out or  hurt someones feelings. I think in general when people lack perspective they tend to be more judgemental and say things about subjects that they are not fully informed about and a lot of times it just comes off not sounding very intelligent (despite being intelligent people). I know that I in the past have done the exact same thing. Being that I have strong and passionate opinions I will most likely do it again. But, what I hope is that by talking about things openly, recognizing my own faults and failures, that I can improve and do better tomorrow then I did today.

Jenness