Tag Archives: hope

Resurrection is a recovery promise

Hi!   I have some great news to share!  On Saturday, July 28th, I married my lover and best friend, Stephanie.   That this day came to pass is a miracle deserving of many words to describe but I want to share at least a few thoughts this morning.

On Saturday we stood before each other, surrounded by our children, presided over by my dad, as we read to each other vows we had written ourselves.   Getting to write down promises to my bride was something I couldn’t have imagined being able to do this time last year, but here I was, sober and present and in love with this woman with whom I knew I wanted to share all my life.   And I got to hear her vows to me, describing a man that she somehow, by the grace of God, was able to see beneath all the junk through the last couple years.   She described a man who, with the help of God and my program, I am fully capable of being and, more importantly, I love being.

My wife has been instrumental in showing me unconditional love – the love of Christ – so much so that we both had the word agape tattooed on our wrists to forever remind us of the love God has shown us both, even at our worst, and the love we desire to show to each other with God’s help.

I’ve written before about how there was a time when I believed I deserved a piece of shit car because of the wreckage the choices I made in my addiction caused.  When we are acting out with our drug of choice it is impossible to think we are deserving of anything good.   I shared how Stephanie was with me then and loved me through those days.   Standing before each other Saturday, pledging ourselves to each other, I knew in my heart that I am loved and capable of giving love in return.   What a gift that is!

It was important to us that our kids witness this ceremony as we acknowledge our dependence upon God to continue resurrecting our lives, restoring our hearts, and redeeming past hurts.   I wish I could adequately describe to you the pain that permeated our lives just a few short years ago which, at that time, seemed like it would never end, because if I could you would marvel like I did as I watched my son Maddox hug my new wife and tell her how happy he is that she married his dad.    You’d know the miracle it was to see them gathered together, holding hands, promising to love each other as we formed this new family and marked the occasion by each of us pouring different colored sand into a heart-shaped vase.

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Recovery is a resurrection miracle and it’s promises come true if we continue to desire them and work for them.    Today I am so very grateful that my wedding day celebrates the love my wife and I have for each other as well as the beauty and joy of lives restored by God’s relentless love.

If you are reading this and you are someone pursuing recovery, you know this to be true.  If you are someone still running from it, as I have done many times before, my prayer for you is that you find a ray of hope here.   No matter how helpless and hopeless things may seem right now, no matter how undeserving you may feel you are of love or joy, no matter how far down the scale you feel you have fallen, I want you to know you are not alone.   You are loved. You are worth recovery.   God has not forsaken you or forgotten you.    A new story can be written in your life if you will allow it.   The things you are holding onto today which you know deep down are not giving you life can and will be replaced by something – Someone! –  that can and will give you life.    These promises are true for anyone who desires them.     I am praying for you now.

 

 

Hope Dealers

Every Thursday night I get to be part of an extraordinary event.  Each week over 100 people gather to share their struggles and their victories over addictions, compulsive behaviors, relationship issues, grief, pain, loss and more.   Recovery at Dayton, part of the Recovery at Cokesbury Network, is changing lives in our church and in our community in amazing ways.

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There are a myriad of ways in which this ministry is touching the lives of those who have long been overlooked or forgotten or ignored but one of the major ways is that it offers a fresh start to every person.   At Recovery at Dayton everybody matters.  I get to tell people every week that while they may have been dealing or been dealt all sorts of things in the past, here in this place we deal two things: Hope and Freedom.   And we got it in spades.

Why? Because we believe strongly that Jesus is in this place and he is the champion of hope and freedom.   His mission is to set people free from their captivity and to bring rest and peace to the weary.  He has an abundant supply of mercy and hands it out generously.   And even if you don’t believe in him he believes in you, enough to die for you, and if you will keep showing up he will show up in unexpected ways and move in on your life and everything will change.

This past week I got to hand out 15 white chips of hope.  These chips don’t require any time of sobriety.  They are given to those who desire to receive the hope and freedom being freely offered and desire to begin a new life starting today.   One of those 15 who came forward was so grateful to be dealt some hope that he took a picture of his chip and posted it to Facebook:

hopeI want to offer you the same chip today.  While I can’t give it to you personally, I want you to know that Jesus is present and has been calling you.  That you are reading this blog is evidence of that.  He has something he wants to say to you and it’s this:

I love you.   I gave my life for you when no one else would look at you.  If you will start doing life with me you will know freedom like you have never known before.  Just take the first step.

It’s our failures and mistakes and our brokenness which qualify us for this chip, and for Jesus’ love.  Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God (Matt. 5:3).  If you are tired of being sick and tired then you are in the perfect position for Jesus to change your position.   Take that first step and receive your chip of hope.

What next?

Find a group that can support you in your walk.   Find a local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or SA/SAA (Sexaholics/Sex Addicts Anonymous) group in your area.

Check out our Recovery at Cokesbury link for additional resources as well as information on how you can join one of our meetings if you live near one of our campuses.  You can also view online all the recovery teachings given each Thursday night.

For those struggling with pornography/sex addiction you can also join one of our online support groups at X3 Groups. I lead one of them on Monday mornings, but we have awesome group leaders leading numerous groups all week long.  We also have support groups for spouses!

You can’t walk this walk alone, and the good news is you don’t have to.  Take your white chip of hope today and take your first step towards freedom with others.

Please email me if you need some help in finding a place to connect.  I’d love to help:  recoveryatdayton@gmail.com