A Safe Place

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It’s Thursday.  That means Celebrate Recovery Step Study Group.

*sigh*

Don’t get me wrong.  I love going.  It is the highlight of my week.  I’m part of an amazing group of women who have chosen to vulnerably share their lives with me.  And vice versa.  We can talk about the deepest stuff we’re enduring and no one tries to “fix” anybody.  Mind you, we pray for one another, but we leave the work of the Holy Spirit to the Holy Spirit. 

Following the guidelines from scripture, we bear one another’s burdens, confess our sins to each other, and pray for one another.

And we do the deep, deep, deeeeeeeeep work of looking at our lives.  Inside and out.

We’re on the fourth step of the twelve-step program: 
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Which corresponds to the fourth principle in Celebrate Recovery:  Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to another person whom I trust. “Happy are the pure in heart”

It’s the dreaded step.  The hardest one for most.  To actually look at all the events of your life and come to grips with what you have done, and what’s been done to you.  To get all the hurts out on paper, leaving nothing behind.  It’s tough stuff.

It means getting completely honest with yourself.  And to be perfectly clear, not many people want to do that.  It’s much easier to blame others than to look at yourself.  It’s much easier to stay in denial and pretend we’re victims, rather than realize how we may have victimized.

To take responsibility for my own part.

It doesn’t sound like it would be the highlight of my week.  But it is.  It is the most freeing time.  To be in a group of people who are doing the hard work of the body.  Sticking with one another through the toughest stuff.  Not walking away but coming alongside.  To encourage and build up each other through His Spirit working among us.  

To share without judgment. 
To be loved even when we’re unlovely.
To give compassion when most of us have only felt condemnation.

The church lived out.

Yaaaaay!!  It’s Thursday. 

If you could use a safe place to work out your crud, you might want to look for a Celebrate Recovery group.  It’s not just for the addict.  It’s for the Body.

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9 responses »

  1. Michelle,

    Thank you for sharing this. Our small group was talking about this very thing last night. One of the women is involved in Celebrate Recovery (initially for her own needs, but now helping to lead it)too. She was saying how it really is needful for EVERYONE, because we all have ‘addictions’ (basically any recurring sins) that plague us and we need deliverance from.

    It definitely IS what the church is to be about (Gal. 6:1-2 & James 5:16), and yet so infrequently (if ever) involved in.

    Sara Groves has a new CD (“Fireflies & Songs”)out with a song, “Different Kinds of Happy” that really speaks to your post here I think. Here is a link to the lyrics, but you might be able to listen to it another route too?? (The whole thing is available on iTunes, and I’d highly recommend it).
    http://www.saragroves.com/lyrics/firefliesandsongs/different-kinds-of-happy/

    Thanks for sharing your heart and desire to see ‘coming clean’ as a process to anticipate with joy =)!!

    D-

  2. Hey Laz! Thanks for your encouraging words here. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with CR, not knowing for sure what I was getting myself into, it’s been very helpful. I believe the “rules” help to keep it a safe place for hurting people.

    I just learned of Sara Groves. I’m sure I’ll love her song. She tends to speak my heart.

    I’ll be by to visit your blog when I have some time to ponder. You make me think! 🙂

  3. Michelle, It’s good to see that you have found a program that is helping you. Any type of recovery, overcoming, exercise requires being completely, and totally, honest in look back at your life.

    In taking responsibility for our past sins anything less than 100% isn’t good enough.

    I congratulate you for having the courage the to do this. As a Christ Follower your faith reminds you that you the Holy Spirit within you to help you find your way.

  4. Thanks, Ed. 🙂 It’s been a wonderful help to work with others who desire the same type scrutiny. Support is key. But yes, without the Holy Spirit I know I would not be alive today. He has carried me through this process…this life!

  5. It’s so wonderful that you have this community Michelle. You’re right- this is what church is meant to be- a safe place, a community of love 🙂

  6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE CR!

    We start step study this coming Sunday. I am praying for the strength to be able to deal with the truth God reveals in this process and excited that-that truth will set me (us) free.

    Love ya Sis.

  7. Hey, Gch!!!

    You’ll love the step study too, I feel sure. It’s not easy. It’s never easy to look at these things. But it truly is a safe way to work out our salvation.

    I love you, too. So glad you found a group in your neck of the woods. 😉

    Oh, and Hi, Rain. I didn’t see you there. It’s really wonderful to find a safe place. I wonder if the ministry has made it to South Africa…it does say it’s international. I hope all’s well in your part of the world. I’ve missed you, but I hope you’re enjoying Summer. 🙂

  8. Did I not know or not realize you were in Celebrate Recovery? That’s awesome! A friend of mine is looking at becoming involved as well. Proud of you for having the strength just to attempt to face things. I know from first and second hand experience that that is an excruciating amount of pain that you have to deliberately face. And I am immensely proud of anyone who has the guts to do it.

  9. I’ve been in CR for 10 months now. Recovery takes time and is very hard work. Looking at the stuff in your life and what brought you to where you are is never easy. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted…or the proud. It’s a very humbling experience, as I’m finding out each and every week. But, I hear that’s a good thing…so I’ll keep it up. 😉

    Love you, Sparkle. Thanks for your encouraging words.

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