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I have learned to trust God. I have faith my past is gone. I have let it all go and given it to God to handle. This is just the beginning for me, though.
My journey through recovery begins with Christ and it continues with Him. I could not have started nor could I continue without His help and guidance through all of the steps of recovery. I may not be an alcoholic or addicted to a drug, but I have other issues to contend with as a result of living with addiction.
- Each day I must turn my need for control over to God’s care.
- Each day I must turn over my past shopping compulsion to God because He is enough to fill any void I have.
- Each day I must rid myself of co-dependency and be fully dependent upon Him to comfort me.
"Once is never enough, never is and never was, uh-huh,
Here and now is all that counts, here and now in large amounts, uh-huh"
~ Adam Ant, "Room at the Top"
In our culture today, there is a go-for-the gusto acronym, "FOMO," "Fear of Missing Out." I see it influencing our behavior. It declares we need to pounce on living life, taking advantage of every opportunity, going for our dreams.
But I also see its addiction message too, mainly reflected in the bender/binge concept with which some struggle. Each of us must deal with our individual vulnerabilities concerning substances, food, chaotic behaviors and relationships - and any other tempting vice under the sun.
Two events which spring to the top of my mind are Fat Tuesday and Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40
Internet surfer that I am, I recently came across a meme which could be described as a drama queen's motto:
"I don't want to be overdramatic. But today felt like a hundred days in hell."
Yes, within the faith community, it is often agreed eternal torment is some kind of reality, even if it is beyond our finite minds.
Nevertheless, we do ourselves a large disservice to ignore our own self-created and contained versions of this most unpleasant torture. For indeed, even those pious Christian versions of us need to admit something hardly "Christ-like" or flattering. Sometimes we like to create our own little Hells. And then we further enjoy tossing others - and ourselves - INTO them.
"Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit."
This sobering statement recently came to my attention. I don't know who originally said it, but it resonates, all the same.
It has personally factored in heavily as I have learned, firsthand, who was a part of my healthy support system...and who was NOT.
Indeed, this concept plays a MAJOR role for each of us as we navigate our addiction/recovery journeys. It is usually not too long in life, before we encounter the all too common cliché dysfunction of co-dependency, narcissism and/or exploitation.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Once I admitted my issues with control, trust, retail therapy, and co-dependency, I found the love of God waiting for me. Since I had not previously walked the Christian walk, I had a lot to learn. I am an overachiever and a perfectionist by nature, so naturally I wanted to know as much as I could in a relatively short period of time.
I dove in head first into studying God's Word. I prayed without ceasing. I thanked Jesus on a daily basis for saving me. I did everything right, right?
“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared." Exodus 23:20
I have a problem. Realizing I have a problem was not easy for me. From the outside looking in, I've always been the girl who had it all together. I had a plan and nothing would veer me away from it. Control over people, situations, and outcomes is the tool I used to cope with my deep problem. Shopping and racking up debt is how I covered up my emptiness.
Step one of my recovery journey began with admitting I have a problem with co-dependency and controlling others. I admitted I am powerless over my addictions, brokenness and sinful patterns—that in my own power my life is unmanageable.
I've not always walked the Christian walk. Days passed by without me giving much thought to how God figured into my life. Years came and went without prayer, obedience, or thankfulness. A Bible sat on a bookshelf gathering dust. Instead, I concerned myself with my expectations of others. This, of course, only led to disappointments. I constantly searched for material "stuff" to fill the gaping hole in my heart. The thrill of the sale item or shiny new thing lasted only a short time, then I was back feeling empty again.
If you are having problems in a relationship, you may want to consider and ask yourself these questions:
1. Does this person respect me?
2. Is this a person I can really communicate with?
3. Do we resolve conflicts well?
4. Do we both compromise in a healthy give and take?
5. Do we both take responsibility for the relationship's successes and problems?
6. Is there room for me to grow and change in this relationship?
7. Am I able to reach my own goals within this relationship?
8. Can I be honest and share my true feelings?
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The following are unsolicited, direct quotes from real people who have been ministered to by CIR. Though Jesus Christ, CIR impacts lives, saves lives and changes lives.
Thank you for the many many resources that have helped to benefit me greatly during a long period of recurring losses and depression. I know without a doubt that God led me to the CIR website, and the benefits received during my long membership will continue to be an invaluable gift of healing for myself, and others with whom I can share my uncovered strength and wisdom. Thank you CIR! ~Dolores
1. We admitted we were powerless over the lives of our loved ones.
2. We came to believe that Christ could change our way of thinking.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and lives over to Christ, COMPLETELY.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of OURSELVES.
5. We admitted to Christ, ourselves, and to another person the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have Christ remove all these defects
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.