Tag: Grace

Gratitude

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Can you remember that cheesy 90’s drug prevention commercial that no one actually learned from?
“This is your brain.” “This is your brain on drugs.”
(*cue egg frying sounds)

Imagine a heart exploding, and a voice like Dennis Haysbert’s, “This is your heart. This is your heart on God’s Grace.”

That’s sort of how I feel.

Just when I feel like my heart and soul could not possibly feel more excited to be alive- and able to give back, I learn something new about the way that we are all wired as humans and I am giddy all over again.

The more that I am learn about Human Anatomy & Biology and the affects that psychoactive chemicals have on us after they are put into our bodies, I can’t help but melt with gratitude and curiosity. It is only God’s grace that has kept me alive through so many different situations.
As I sit here I can say that I have barely scratched the surface of the human brain, and the central nervous system and the heart… and I can confidently assure you that technically speaking, I should not be sitting here typing this.

No way.
But here I am. Living.

Also, equally important, here you are. Sitting there. Reading this.
Yes.
You.
I am glad you are here, and not just because you are here reading my blog post, but I am happy you are still here living your life here on this earth.

Our journey’s are so much bigger than I think most of us are capable of really realizing; we have a huge opportunity to make an impact on our communities and to leave our stamp on the world and family that we will leave behind someday.

Just wanted to share my gratitude.

And I hope that you are able to see that you are here for a reason.

 

Guest: Rob- Celebrates 2 Years in Recovery!

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    “My name is Rob Kelly, I am an alcoholic and addict!
    Today January 10th 2014 I celebrate 2 years clean and sober, this is the longest I have been clean and sober since I was 12 years old, & I am 51.”

    For me the journey into darkness began after being physically and sexually abused.

    I sought to fill the hole inside me with alcohol, drugs, sex, a successful career as a teacher, coach, and contractor, my marriage, as a parent, and an active Church member.

    Gradually I lost them all and I put a hand gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger… the firing pin dropped and hit the primer… nothing happened…

    I didn’t realize it but God had a plan for me.

    The pain and darkness, the desperation, the self loathing spiraled out of control.
    in total surrender I cried out to God!!!
    Help me, I cant live like this anymore, I want whats real!
    If you are real you have to show me!!!

    From that earnest plea, that small act of faith, God did respond in a way that changed my life.

    Today I have a peace and serenity in my life that comes by the grace of God, Jesus His only Son is my Lord and Savior and I have been redeemed through the salvation he supplies.

    There is hope in him, please know this.

    This is a very abbreviated version of my story.

    If I can share my story anywhere or help you or a loved one struggling in darkness please let me know.

    Remember my God always responds to faith. I am given a daily reprieve based solely on the maintenance of my relationship with the God that created the universe and breathes stars into being!!!!

    Thank you for letting me share.

    Rob.

    (If you would like to contact Rob, feel free to comment below or request his email address. You can do so anonymously)

Carrying Your Message.

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The step 12 that I am familiar with reads like this:
Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

I am sure the one you have memorized is similar, give or take a few words or phrases.

Maybe you don’t work a 12-step recovery, and that’s okay. You can still read and relate to this.

Two important things about sharing your message:

1. ) In early recovery carrying your message will help other people
but it will probably benefit you more than you are anticipating.

Most of us go in early on with a simple goal of encouraging someone-
well… anyone, or at least ….one person who happens to be listening to us.

The process & preparation involved in sharing in early recovery
is something that contributes and promotes more personal healing for us than we can see at the time.

*First there is the reflecting and writing part.
There is something really powerful about writing your very personal experience down on screen or paper with the intent to share.
It can be an overwhelming process, but overwhelming in a really, really great way.
It is almost too much goodness. Like, is this even real life?
It is remarkable how much has changed and how much peace we have found.
Just wow.

*Then, there is the reading it out loud to a room full of strangers who may or may not be there by choice part, that brings another level of self-healing.
Deep breaths and tiny prayers whispered before beginning won’t help you hold back the gigantic alligator tears that are coming.
They’ll come anyway.Keep speaking. Everything is still so fresh, and raw.
It is likely that a mixture of gratitude and disbelief will take over your entire body and there won’t be much you can do to stop it all from happening.
You are glowing and the happy is just seeping out of your skin.
You might have a wet sloppy tear soaked face and a runny nose, but
you are alive and this experience is surreal.

What you are really hoping is that one human hearing your words needs to hear these words.
That one heart out there is feeling a little bit of relief hearing how much you have come back from, and how resilient our spirits really are. Someone is connecting with your message. They hear you telling them how accessible and free grace is. They can see that the hard work won’t have to be done alone. Someone out there just might keep trying because of something that you say.If you can stand up there all sober and grateful, then surely, anyone can.

2.) The ways that you carry your message won’t always look the same. (and that’s okay!) 
Over time the way that you carry your message will shift according to where you are planted.
We all have a specific gift and different ways of connecting with people.
So of course how we connect with people will change and grow as we change and grow as people.

For me, as time has passed the focus of my story has shifted little by little.
It  has become less about me and the details of my specific journey as an individual,
and has become more about helping other people to embrace whatever God has in store for their lives.

We are everywhere carrying our message.
Some of us are more boisterous than others, but we are out there.
We are living and sharing stuff.
We have worked hard and have learned the value of living well; we strive to lead healthy lives, living as the best versions of ourselves. We are everywhere. All twenty threeish million of us.

Living sober has offered us the opportunity to uncover our life’s true purpose,
and we are free to take our message of hope with us wherever we go.
So embrace your story.
Allow it to change and grow with you.
Don’t be afraid to own your experiences.
Do what you can with what you have from where you are.
Take your message to other people.

I know there is someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say.


 

 

 

Recovery Is Real.

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HOPE:
1 of 10 guiding principals of in SAMHSA’s working definition of Recovery:

“The belief that #Recovery is real provides the essential and motivating message of a better future.
People CAN and DO overcome the internal and external challenges, barriers and obstacles that confront them.
#HOPE is the catalyst of the #Recovery process.”

#SAMHSA
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

#Recovery Principals

Churches & People.

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I did not grow up in church. I was more of an occasional visitor with friends on the weekends.

Although, there was a period spanning over about a year that my mom obsessed, revolving her entire (and I mean entire) existence around Catholicism, forcing my brother and I to go to what I think are called ‘CCD’ classes.
This was not because a major lifestyle change had occurred, it was more like a well-meaning obsession fueled by mania after my youngest brother passed away unexpectedly. Regardless, we still did not ever get ‘involved’ with the church by any stretch of the imagination.

As an adult, after I got baptized, I began attending a church. As a brand new baby believer, I was still learning about myself. I basically knew a few things. I knew that Jesus died for me. I knew a few stories about him, but I didn’t know much else.
I didn’t know  many stories from the bible, I didn’t know the books of the bible or how to pronounce most of them…

(After all,  I was also still detoxing. My brain was still just trying to process and come to grips with all of the gratitude that I was experiencing. I was still just surprised to be alive at that point and was still very uncomfortable at sitting at church on Sundays, I had just got comfortable with the idea of being in a church on a Thursday evening.)

I was still silently asking God if he was compleeeeetley sure that I was good enough to be there.
(Like maybe he had me confused with someone else)..

We ended up buying a house in another city and that meant I had to look for a new church to go to. After a few years of searching around, Googling, praying, visiting, and taking breaks from visiting random churches- we finally settled on one.

It was the first place that we had really tried to be a part of and get to know the people sitting in the pews.
I am not sure why I was so surprised when I realized that the place was filled with people a lot like me.
No, they weren’t all people who have struggled with addiction, but everyone seemed to have experienced some kind of struggle. No one in there was perfect.

Churches aren’t perfect. (Whaaaat?)
Ya. I know, right? It sounds obvious, like um- yes. Churches are indeed, filled with people. I am just not sure that being so new to the church culture, that I understood what it really meant. For years I had imagined buildings full of perfect people; people who came from good healthy homes, who I had no business interacting with.

But they are filled with imperfect people.
Imperfect people who love Jesus.

Churches are filled with people from different cultures, different cities, diverse personalities, temperaments, experience, sensitivity, emotional capacity, baggage, problems, regrets, age, color, style, tolerance levels concerning modernism, different preferences, and the list could go on and on and on…….

I thought that was the greatest thing.
That is what it is all about!

Bringing all kinds of people together in HIS name!
That is a great way to know that God is definitely a part of it.

I find it fascinating that I had always assumed that church ran itself?
Or that you had to be a certain type of person to belong to a church.
I was wrong.

No! We are all just a bunch of sinners who love Jesus, who are trying to do better.
We prayerfully take each day one day at a time, seeking consistent growth.

What I have learned so far is this. 
1. Most stereotypes are way off base.
It is not right to judge based off of assumption.
2. People aren’t perfect, and people make up what is the Church.
It is not the building, and God seems to like diversity.

Our only real duty is to encourage one another, pray for each other, worship and fellowship with each other, disciple and strengthen each other, and learn from each other, so that we can all grow into healthy and strong believers in Christ.

Our doors should remain open for the lost, the sick and the broken.

We have different abilities + gifts
and we are all on different parts of a path- different places in our walk

 

The church is the place where we come together- meshing our personalities because——-
we love us some Jesus.

We have the merciful and unique gift of salvation,.
God brings us together in HIS name for HIS glory and HIS purposes.
If we remember that, everything else should be able to be worked out.

I am truly grateful for the people that I have crossed paths with on this journey of mine, and cannot believe that God is this merciful to a sinner like me.
I am humbled and pray that I continue to stay that way.

So keep that in mind. It doesn’t matter where you came from, or if you have never been a part of a church. It is okay to shop around and find one that is right for you, and feel that you belong there- because you do.
And when you find the one that feels like home, don’t hold people to unattainable standards of perfection that don’t exist for anyone, including people who believe in Jesus.

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