It has taken me a long time to recognize and accept how hard this whole recovery thing is. I keep plodding along, making constant yet small changes, growing bit by bit.
All of this is good news, and, I believe, is leading me in the direction God wants me to go. I am grateful for each step of recovery and healing I take. However, lately, I have been wondering if this slow but steady pace is what God truly wants for me and from me.
I recently read the following description of how God wants to purify and refine those of us in recovery:
“To this point in your life, you have in essence been living in a place where God no longer wants you to be. You’ve been residing in a ‘house built by pain’ that He no longer wants you to live in. He wants you to move out of this house and start building a new house, one based on His plans.” Names of H.O.P.E., Dr. David R. Grimm
When I read this, I began to wonder if God really wants me to be going the “slow but steady” path. Does He ask, first, that I truly rely on Him, and second, that I be very bold in my recovery steps?
We are told in Hebrews 12:1: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (emphasis mine). This would seem to be challenging me to take bold steps, to focus on ridding myself of all my hurts, habits, and hang-ups, and to go forth with full knowledge and faith that God is with me every step of the way.
Accepting the challenge to boldly grab hold of my recovery journey also supports my own intellectual desires for this process. At one level, I understand that recovery, like sanctification, is a lifelong journey. But, I must admit, there are times when I wish that I was “fixed” and that many, if not most, of my hurts, habits, and hang-ups have been processed and that I can get off this recovery wagon.
So, as I try to digest this, and make sense of it all, I believe that there is a balancing act that is needed. On the one hand, we need to heed God’s call to “boldly go where no man has gone before” (at least not where I have gone before). On the other hand, I need to acknowledge my limitations (at least the actual ones, not the ones the Enemy gives me) and proceed at a pace that accepts them.
The prayer I have for myself, and for all of us in recovery, is that we seek God’s will for us, discern how He would have us approach this part of our life journey, and gratefully accept all that God has presented to us.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace…
(From the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr)
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.