When I started recovery several years ago, I was hungry. No, I don’t mean that I was literally hungry for food. Although at Thanksgiving time, that would be a natural assumption.
I was hungry for change. The hunger for change didn’t come without the need for healing. Unfortunately, it didn’t (or doesn’t) come overnight.
My hunger for change came at a high price. I gave up friends. I gave up a lot of evenings, and yes, even family time, as I started attending recovery meetings and other healing classes. The material I learned and the recovery relationships I developed were well-worth the sacrifice.
We all came hungry, and were well-fed.
Who were these hungry Christian peers? We were from varying social and economic backgrounds. We lived in and survived dysfunctional and abusive relationships. Most of us looked like we had it all together. We wore lovely masks. Despite our differences, there was a sense of unity and a common bond—to fill the hole of emptiness.
Deep inside we were all broken and hungry.
I’ve been thinking about these things because I have recently taken the plunge into co-leading a step study group. I am encouraging the participants in the group to reach out to others in the recovery process. I am re-evaluating the support team I have around me and praying about whom to ask to be my sponsor.
I am also pondering my own role as a potential sponsor. I consider the relationship that is built between a sponsor and a sponsee as a sacred bond. It is often in the context of that relationship that we reveal some of our hidden secrets for the first time. And that can be scary!
When we start our recovery journey, we often have wounds due to trust that was broken with authority figures or family members. As we start to develop new recovery relationships we are taking new risks and building our trust muscles again. So it is important to have some of the expectations of the relationship spelled out in advance. (Celebrate Recovery recommends using a Sponsor Agreement.)
My first sponsor was a very busy person and wasn’t generally available when I reached out. I knew that going into the relationship, but being a first-time sponsee and at my bottom, I was pretty needy. I had to build a big accountability team around me and learned to lean on them. (Click this link, Sponsor Bulletin, for more information on sponsors and accountability partners.)
Even though the phone felt like 100-pounds, it wasn’t really. I had to learn to reach out and call multiple people—until I could get an answer on the other end of the phone. It was very stretching for me.
People are people, and they can’t always be there for you.
If you are new to recovery, or just wondering what it is all about, come ready for change. Be prepared to stretch yourself, meet new people, and learn new ways of relating.
Come ready to do the inner work that is needed for living victoriously in Christ. Come hungry to the Table of Life.
And like the Thanksgiving feast that is around the corner, don’t rush to be the first one done.
Savor the food (victories).
Leave room for dessert (self-care).
Get to know the cooks in the kitchen (those who are feeding you spiritual nourishment).
And be grateful for the time to prepare the meal (your healing journey).
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau. ©2014 CelebrateRecoveryOnThePlateau.org