Thirteen years ago, I was a very different person.
If I could go back, let’s say 15 years, I honestly don’t think I would change a thing about it.
Fifteen years ago I was in college, making really poor choices, doing really dumb things, but I still don’t think I would go back and change it.
Not because I enjoyed every moment, not because I’m happy with the things I did, but because those things shaped who I am today.
The drunken and high nights, the morning hangovers, the bad relationships and heartache, the REALLY bad relationships and TERRIBLE heartache, the lying, cheating, stealing and immorality; the gossiping, oh my goodness the gossip that happens in college.
I hate that I participated in all those things, but if I could turn back time, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I am part of a program at our church called Celebrate Recovery. This program has taught me that even though I have hurts, bad habits, and hang-ups, God wants to use me and all those things to help others. I’m grateful for this Biblical 12 step program. I have gone through four 12-step studies and am currently on my fifth.
God has changed my life drastically. I have 13 years of sobriety from alcohol and drugs. I struggle with anger and codependency, but daily, with God’s grace, I work through both.
Before I got married, God allowed me to be single for 5 years, and I worked on ME, in hopes of finding some healing before my future husband came along.
If I hadn’t done that work on myself, I don’t think that we would still be married. The Mister has also done all this hard work in his own life. Without this hard work, we wouldn’t have the relationship that we have today. It’s not perfect, but it is beautiful (and it could be way worse).
I work very hard to tell the truth and if I lie, I can’t go very long without confessing that I told even a little white lie. I have also learned not to keep secrets about my life. I work hard to live as transparent a life as possible. If I don’t have secrets, then I don’t have to worry about lying to anyone.
I don’t steal anymore, and my moral purity is kept in check by accountability partners daily/weekly. In the past, gossiping hurt me over and over again. People gossiped about me, and I gossiped about others. I work hard not to waste my time stuck in that anymore. I’m far from perfect, BUT with God in my life and in my heart, I can now easily say, “Oh, is that what that person did/said? Have you talked to THEM about it? No? Well, come with me, let’s go talk to them.” That stops it in its tracks.
God has used all those things to mold me and make me into the woman He wants me to be, and He’s still working in me and on me.
I recommend this program to ANYONE – if you’ve never had alcohol or drug problems, I STILL recommend this program because the truth is that we have ALL been HURT at some point in our lives. Those HURTS make us bitter, they make us angry, they make us unforgiving, they make us codependent, they make us sad and they have turned us into people we have trouble looking in the mirror at. When we can come out of denial and admit our hurts, our habits, and our hang-ups, God can take all those ugly parts of our lives and turn them into something beautiful – something useful – something we don’t hide in the back of our hearts and minds. He can use them to HELP others.
If you have any questions about Celebrate recovery, I’m happy to answer them. I am currently the assistant to our Celebrate Recovery pastor and would be happy to help you find a CR near you.
Do you think you could benefit from a program like Celebrate Recovery?