recovery in Christ when life is broken

Top 10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Recovery

 

  1. Attendance: Hebrews 10:24-25
    • Consistent attendance is a vital part of your recovery. It is how you get to know your group members and they get to know you. Let your leaders know if you will not be there.
    • Don’t skip large group. Worship is important. You will also learn a lot from the testimonies/teaching.

 

  1. Book Work: Proverbs 14:23, Colossians 3:23
    • Once you get behind it can be difficult to catch up. Find a time that works best for you and commit to spend about 30 minutes a day on the lessons.
    • Let your leaders know if you get behind – even by 1 week so they can help you catch up.

 

  1. Dating & Attire: 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, Romans 14:13
    • While going through the steps, it is best to not start a new dating relationship, as it would place your focus on that person rather than your own recovery. Prepare to be healthy so you can date well.
    • Honor the Lord with what you wear at re:generation. Clothing that is revealing, too tight, low cut, or short may cause other participants to struggle. Try not to distract others from focusing on the Lord.

 

  1. Mentor: James 5:16
    • Utilize your mentor. Contact them regularly and let them know how you are doing and how they can pray for you. Ask them questions. Be open and honest so they can help and encourage you.
    • A good mentor is someone who is of the same gender, a mature Christian, lives locally, and will continue to be in your life after you complete the 12 steps (see the “How Do I Choose a Mentor?” document).
    • If you are already in a Christian small group, consider choosing a mentor from that group.

 

  1. Accountability Groups: 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Psalm 133:1
    • Build relationships with recovery partners in your group. You may all be very different and have different struggles, but you can pray for and encourage one another through each step.

 

  1. No Gossip: Ephesians 4:29
    • Guard Against Gossip – keep what is said in group within the group. If you feel there is a biblical reason to share information beyond the group, always bring it to group/ministry leadership to handle.
    • Your leaders are not licensed counselors, but are committed to counseling biblically. They may need to consult each other or ministry leadership for wisdom, so they cannot promise to keep secrets. Trust them to counsel biblically and to only share information with those necessary to help your recovery.

 

  1. Participation: 1 John 1:7
    • Be open and honest with your group members, leaders, and mentor. Openly participating and sharing during group time and other times is part of the growth and healing process.

 

  1. Pray: Ephesians 6:18, Romans 12:12
    • Pray for your leaders, fellow participants, the ministry etc. Ask for prayer from them, too.
    • Pray daily for the person whose prayer card you pick up. Contact them to encourage them.
    • Pray the daily prayers in the curriculum asking God to change your heart.

 

  1. Memorize Step Verses: Psalm 119:11, Colossians 3:16
    • Each step has a verse to memorize so that you have an arsenal against the enemy’s lies. Work to memorize them each step. Use flash cards, an app or another preferred method to help you.

 

  1. Remember it is God Who Changes Us: Ezekiel 36:26, Philippians 2:13
    • Leaders cannot change your heart. We cannot change our own hearts. Only God changes our hearts.
    • Our job is to be willing and to follow God each step of the way wherever He leads.
    • Take this process one step at a time, focusing on your current step. Trust God for healing.

 

 

- Laura R., Watermark Plano re:generation

How Do I Explain To People Why I'm In Recovery?

I’ll never forget the awkward feelings when I started going to recovery meetings for alcoholism and my roommate would ask where I had been or why I couldn’t join him for evening plans, dinner, or to meet at a bar.

I used to hide my recovery book because I was ashamed of it…I was in 12 step recovery program and I didn’t know a single other person that was or had ever been. I felt like a failure at life—like I couldn’t figure things out of my own even though everyone else could.

I would give vague answers and dodge questions about where I had been or why I couldn’t join him, but I knew I couldn’t keep it a secret forever. So, one night I just blurted out… “Well, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been gone a lot and may have seen this book around the apartment. I need you to know I’ve been attending a 12 step program because I think I’m an alcoholic.” BIG. Cat. Out of the bag.

Gulp.

His response?

“Yeah, I thought that might be the case. I’m really proud of you. How has it been? Is it helping? Is there anything I can do?” Of course, I don’t remember all that verbatim…it’s been 11 years… but that was the gist of what he communicated to me…love and support.

 

This was surprising because it was my drinking buddy’s response! We drank together—for a decade. But there was MUCH more to our relationship than drinking. This guy loved me. He could tell I was hurting and he knew that I had a drinking problem. He was thankful I was getting help, never shaming or condemning.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t everyone’s response. Others said “You’re just going through a hard time; you can drink again,” or “You need to lose yourself in the bottom of a bottle of scotch,” or “Don’t overreact…you’re not an alcoholic - anyone who was going through what you are would feel this way.”  

Overreact? I was depressed, suicidal, living on a couch, and losing everything in my life…my house, my job, my relationship, my sanity. I needed recovery from alcoholism and much more.  So, I determined: I don’t care what other people say or think; I’m going to get help.

 

Let’s go back to the question now: How do YOU explain to people why you’re in recovery?

Simply. Humbly. And with certainty.

Then, don’t concern yourself with other’s responses. You aren’t responsible for their responses. This is how you could do it:

“Hey mom/dad/spouse/friend/roommate/employer-

Can I talk to you for a minute? I know at some point you’ll likely have more questions and sometimes I’ll be able to answer those, but for right now, I just need you to know that I’m in the middle of something right now. I want to ask for your support and prayers. I’ve realized that I have a serious struggle with ______________:

 

Pornography, sex addiction, an eating disorder, anxiety, control, relationship addiction, alcohol, weed, K2, meth, depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, rage, racism, unforgiveness, homosexuality, body image, workaholic, gambling, shopping, overeating, lust, pride, gossip, materialism, lying, worry, etc. (sorry if I left out your struggle – nothing personal – but there are too many to list)

So, I’ve committed to going through recovery. It’s humbling to admit this, and it’s not easy going through it, but it’s good and it’s helping. Would you please support me in this? I know you love me and would want to help, so I wanted you to know.

And what if they respond with:

  1. You don’t need that!
  2. What do you mean? Why didn’t you ever tell me?
  3. How could you do something so disgusting?
  4. You know that’s a horrible sin or crime, right?
  5. That’s not a problem; everyone does that – why would you go to recovery for that?
  6. That won’t help. So-and-so went and they’re worse off now!
  7. That’s for freaks and addicts; that’s not you!
  8. Or whatever else people say in their own confusion…

 

Re-affirm that you feel the need to get help and are going to do so. You do NOT have to refute their objection, shock or disapproval. Just express again what you feel you need to do. Remember, you’re not responsible for their response. For example:

“Thank you for listening to what I needed to share. If you have questions about it, you’re welcome to come with me to a meeting. But this is something I need to do. Someday I’m sure I’ll be able to talk about it more, but for now, thank you for supporting me in this.

 

You’ll be amazed at peoples’ response. They will support you, encourage you, champion you, pray for you, and maybe even join you. Yes, there were the few that tried to discourage or persuade me otherwise, but the majority – vast majority – were proud of me and excited for me. I began giving weekly updates about what step I was on to those who I knew cared. 99% of people supported me.

And you know what I’ve found? Talking about my struggle and going to recovery for it has been the greatest tool in my life for sharing with others about hope. I tell them about how I found salvation and a new life in Jesus Christ my Lord through my time in recovery. God has used my greatest struggle as His greatest tool to proclaim the hope and promise of a new life in Jesus. Go figure. He’s God right? He redeems everything!!! Even (especially?) telling people you’re in recovery for some struggle.

 

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

 

Share simply, humbly, and with certainty.

I have a new life in Christ and I’m recovering from alcoholism. All glory to God.

-John E.

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recovery in Christ when life is broken.