Tag Archives: recovery

The Beginning of the Unbecoming

I didn’t know how writing a memoir would be such an intensive process.  I didn’t realize how much raw emotion would surface as I pondered my life and where I wanted the writing to go.  I only knew that I had to write.

Beginning to Write

I didn’t always know what I would write about.   I only knew that I had to write.  I had to find a way to deal with the tidal way of thinking about being undone.

Continue reading The Beginning of the Unbecoming

Stuck in the “to”

Angels cry holy, holy, holy at a new facet of God revealed to them.  I am amazed at how much more I am learning about walking with God.  The longer I live, the less I know.  It becomes ground for God to plant more of Himself in me.  Listening tonight to the Gateway Singles Pastors share vision for 2013 is no different.  Have you ever had one of those moments of God-encounters where you knew that you knew that you knew you caught a new truth – a new facet of who God is and what He’s doing in your life?  Well, I have had several recently, and tonight was no different.  Let me first encourage you to keep asking, seeking, and knocking on the door.  God will answer.  He will reveal Himself to you, and you will grow to know Him more and in ways you could never have imagined.  I want so share with you new insight God breathed in me while listening to the vision for GSA ministry.

I love when God’s Spirit breathes on the bible, and it comes to life speaking directly to whatever is happening in my heart.  God is so good that way.  Nothing gets by Him, and He really does care about the things that concern us.  My prayer for practically all my life has been to know Him, to be drawn nearer to Him, to grow into deeper intimate knowledge of Him, and to love Him more.  He’s always answering that prayer even when I am completely unaware of Him.  He really does listen to the heart’s cry and prayer.

2012 was a rough year for me.  It was one of those years you’d rather toss in the trash because it was just that bad.  Though it was a horrendous, emotional, stress-filled, heart-breaking year it was still one of hope and restoration.  Change was the order for the year.  Change, change, and more change.  It was constant.  Some days it was obvious while other days it went unnoticed.  But change was and is happening on a deeper level in me.  It is change that I cannot do for myself.  It is change that I can only be willing to subject to.  It is change that only God can initiate, process, and complete.  2012 was a year of God doing in me what I most certainly could not do for myself.

I used to wonder how I could change myself.  I was doing all the work and reaping none of the benefits.  What I was doing just wasn’t working.  Why?  I was doing all the “right” things, reading all the “right” things, and even praying all the “right” things.  What was missing?  Surrender.  I was trying to make “forever” changes that were simply inhumanly possible for me to do.  It wasn’t until I learned what real surrender meant that I began realize and understand that there are things only God can do, and there are things He cannot do for me.  I’ve learned that I limit God’s power in my life when I don’t surrender to the way He wants to do things.  The hand of God could only do the change I sought because it was a change in my heart and spirit.  This is made possible only because of the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus.  What I had really been trying to do was save myself without any help.  It just doesn’t work.  If you think it does, then you’re working under the popular self-help deception that you can save yourself and do enough to make long-lasting change happen in your life.

My fault? I was trying to change my glory to His glory.  I was trying to change my heart to look like His heart.  I, I, I…failed…miserably.  This is not a change I can do.  It is a change I must surrender to, but how?  Romans 12:2 tells me to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  Ephesians 4:20-24 and 5:1 tell me to put off the old man, to put on the new man, imitate God.  Philippians 2:5-11 tells me to have the mind of Christ and humble myself.  Colossians 1:9-18 tells me God is the one who qualifies us, and through Him we are held together.  God is in charge of change that is deeply seated in us.  Only He can cut to the root of any issue that has bound us.  Only the blood of Christ is enough to cleanse, heal, and restore.  My hands can do nothing to add to what God has already done.  I am humbled by God’s grace and longsuffering.  I was stuck in the “to” of trying to change my glory to His glory, but really this is only done by the work of His Holy Spirit.

I leave behind in 2012 my feeble attempts at internal change.  I now leave the work of “forever” change to God.  I choose to be willing to allow His Spirit to touch my spirit and to heal hurts I once deemed irreparable.   Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “but we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed in the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  God’s Spirit is the key – He does the work of transformation that makes us free and who we are meant to be in Christ.  So tonight I consider how God is moving me to the next phase from barrenness to fruitfulness, from the old wine skin to the new wine skin, from death, to life, from vain living to purposeful living.  God is God of the glory transition in my life.  I lay down my human glory that I might have, experience, and carry His immutable glory.  A little at a time…that’s how He’s been changing me and causing me to bear the image of His Son (1 Corinthians 15:46-40).  How about you?  Are you willing to let God do in you what you cannot do for yourself?  If you are ready, you will find peace and hope for the journey ahead.  You will find God making you more like Himself.

References:

Romans 12

2 Corinthians 3-4

Colossians 1

What Happens When…

This is what happens when you have no dream of your own – certain spiritual, emotional, and mental death.

YOU.

Become listless.

Forlorn.

Despondent.

Lethargic.

Careless.

Codependency will drain the life and dream out of you in such a way that you cannot function nor see beyond your troubles.

Take heart.

There is hope.  Christ Jesus can restore you to sanity.

Lord, Help.

Hold my faith.

Do in me what I am incapable of doing for myself.  This is my serenity.  This is my prayer.  Christ is my Hope and Restoration.

Drop that Impulse to Not Forgive

A lot of times we want to hold on to the hurt that’s been done to us.  I get that.  We want to cling to the unforgiveness and bitterness.  I get that too.  We are fighting mad, and we want to make the other person pay.  I totally get that.  But somewhere along the way, it breaks us down.  We lose it.  We break down.  We can’t cope.  We can’t hope.  We can’t move forward.  We lash out. We wash out.  We wipe out.  Our immediate impulse is to self-protect at any cost. The result – mental and emotional death.

It’s not always an easy road in recovery.  It requires an act of one’s will.  You must CHOOSE to change.  Steps mean nothing, if you don’t put them into action and believe that God will do in you what you cannot do for yourself.  This can become more and more of a reality for us as we moved through the first three steps; to put it simply—I can’t. God can. God please do.  We can give it all to God while dealing with the past, making confession, learning our character defects, and choosing to want to change.  We can have a new freedom.  We don’t have to rely on ourselves to fix the problem.  We don’t have to be afraid of the process because God is in charge.  We begin to realize there was no way we could control the outcome of our recovery—we learn that we have to trust, believe, adhere to, and rely on God to do the deeper work of changing our hearts.

When we recognize within ourselves that unforgiveness impulse, we have a choice to make.  Be free, or get chain and shackled to roots of fear, loss, bitterness, and shame.  In Hunger for Healing, Keith Miller wrote “in Step 8 we’re setting out to clean up all the bruised relationships and the pockets of guilt, pain fear, resentment, and sadness that are stored inside, stuck to our shameful past deeds” (185).  And in step 9 we seek to made amends with those we have hurt in our past.  It is a scary step, but it’s also a life-altering, freeing step.

To put it more precisely…Clean up the mess you left behind when you wrecked relationships and broke charity.  Own the hurt you caused.  Seek forgiveness and you forgive too.  Make amends. You’ll find a new freedom, and those old, heavy, blackened chains and shackles will be broken!

Reference:

Miller, J. Keith.  Hunger for Healing: The Twelve Steps as a Classic Model for Christian Spiritual Growth.  New York:  Harper Collins, 1991.  Print.

Amending – It can happen anytime

I think the best part about being a teacher is seeing students past and present, but especially former students, blossom into purpose-driven young men and women.  Their dreams are many, and their futures are so bright.  I couldn’t be prouder.  I am honored that God allowed me the opportunity to be witness to so many young people.  I’m even more grateful that God doesn’t allow us to get in the way of His sovereign work in their lives.

My prayer, Lord forgive me for any of the ways I did not honor you in my work and for speaking craziness to students.

To my former students, forgive me for any mean-ness, cruelty, sarcasm, disrespect, favoritism, ugliness or disbelief.  None of you deserve(d) to be to be treated that way. everyone of your dreams are valid.  No one has a right to laugh at them, to say it can’t be done, or to push you away from them.

May you have strength, wisdom, and peace to continue and reach your goals on this journey we call life.

Recovery is teaching me to live well, whole, and healthy with God and my fellow men and women.  Tonight I have a different perspective.  I can have impact on others, and I want it to be impact that brings God a smile and glory.  I don’t want to get in God’s way.  Now I ask for God’s wisdom and grace that all I do be please to Him even when things are rough.  That I might honor my King for all the days of my life is my one desire