CRA Christians in Recovery (anonymous)

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Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
31,370
9,483
113
#43
I experienced one of my first memorable encounters with God while I was still running from Him in disobedience, rebellion, and defiance. I consider myself to have been lost at that time from my present perspective, but God knew exactly where I was. Thirty one years ago (March, 1988) my marriage had broken down following two first-trimester miscarriages, and a still birth that occurred less than two weeks before the nuptials. I also had a lot of baggage from my past that I had been unable to deal with/"put closure" on, and had been in active addiction using mind and mood altering substances for decades, though self-destructive behaviors had started earlier.

It was around Passover in 1988, and a neighborhood evangelical Christian church was showing a movie on the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. I had been brought up in a fairly strict religious environment but did not know Jesus, and was curious, and living in a world of fairly continuous and ever increasing emotional pain, so I went. As I sat in that church after seeing the first or second part of that movie, I am not sure at what point the following happened: my whole body was filled with the Light of God's unconditional love and forgiveness for me and all I had done, all the ways I had messed up my life, all my failures and mistakes bathed in the Light of His absolute understanding of how and why I had become the person I was. I wept bitterly. I felt so broken and so lost and so unredeemable, but most of all I felt unworthy. And of course I am unworthy.

Even after that, though it was a cherished experience to know God loved me, I did not believe in "that" God. I entered into a spiritual seeking phase, and carried on in that for another fifteen years until God clearly called me out of what I was doing as a professionally practicing pagan. Even after that, even after that clear calling out, my stiff-necked stubbornness was so set against organized religion, the Bible, and Him, that it took another year following the calling out for me to surrender my life to Him.



Meanwhile: I first got clean and sober in 1994 after crying out to God for help - the God I did not
even believe in at the time. Within days I was clean after 24 years of drug and alcohol abuse.


I was using drugs and alcohol in an attempt to help me cope with my inability to cope with life... life on life's terms, as they say :) I used drugs and alcohol "recreationally" for twenty four years before I cried out to God for help. I was not asking for help to quit using, because I liked using drugs and alcohol. I was asking for help with another issue, one I saw causing me untold pain repeatedly in my life, but, within days of crying out to God for help, I was clean and sober.

That was in 1994, when I was thirty nine years old. I had almost died numerous times as a result of using drugs and alcohol, and stood on the precipice of desiring to die/kill myself more than once, also. Turning my life around was made much easier by joining AA and NA. I also sought guidance from other fellowships, various counselors, psychologists, and therapists. The program offers a place to listen to others share their experiences, strength, and hope, as well as giving you a venue to share your own, as well as struggles, sorrows, challenges, conflicts, etc. I was going to AA meetings for quite some time just to listen to others articulate things I could not put into words for myself, before I ever put down the mind and mood altering substances.

Many people don't realize it, but the whole purpose of the program is to help people establish and maintain a personal relationship with God. I was not a Christian; I was a spiritual seeker for many years, in hard rebellion against the traditional God, Christianity, and organized religion. I did, however, work the steps, learned to pray, ask for help, take suggestions, and lean on the fellowship for extra support when I felt I needed it, and it in turn gave me many friends and acquaintances, lots of inspiration, guidance, and direction. I did eventually surrender my opposition to God, for God powerfully and profoundly revealed Himself to me in various way numerous times over the years. The Biblical promise came true: If you seek sincerely, you will find :)(y)

Thank you, Jesus :love:
 

BarefootTX

New member
Mar 31, 2019
7
14
3
San Antonio, Texas
#44
I see a lot of myself in that post. You are the prime example of "if you want what we have"! Glad there is someone in the rooms like you. I came to scoff and stayed to pray.
 

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#45
12 step recovery fellowship programs are a great bridge for many persons like myself who don't feel worthy or good enough to walk straight through the front doors of a church to find our way to God
......When you are in a bottom it just feels like to big of a leap or a place to far away.
.......So it is good a lot of recovery groups meet in church basements or spare meeting rooms....when I started going churches even let us smoke cigarettes in basements as long as we didn't burn the place down and cleaned up after meetings.....
......being involved with set up making coffee greeting etc. and clean up is also a helpful experience .....
To bring one out of their self.
.......I became involved with service work had prison and detention facilities clearance.
Instead of getting locked up for being a drunk God turned me around and by the good grace of God I was carrying the recovery message to those still suffering....
......It became a work of ministry speaking to people witnessing what Gods love and power had done for me.
......And it served to help restore my self esteem to feel useful to others......
......selfishness was a personal issue for me and doing service teaches both humility and that your true measure is in your usefulness to help others.......
........And if you're focused on helping others you don't have that self centered self pity that makes you ill of mind.
......People actually were even interested in having me speak at open meetings....
.....Which was a big leap out of self centeredness.....In the beginning I told more of what happened. ...and I would apologize up front and say I hoped the folk didn't leave sicker than when they came.....lol ......but it changed with my sobriety over time where I was speaking more about how great God is and how he was turning my life around.....
......It was God who gave me the faith and his strength to go to work for my self instead of someone else.😀
......God has taught me his word well enough that today instead of hiding from Jehovah witnesses I go in the house and get their Red Revelation publication and make them explain all the false prophecy in it...lol
......Most of them haven't read it though and I may have converted a few or tripped them up unintentionally.....lol
😀
 

Susanna

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2013
4,967
1,414
113
#46
Howdy! What have you done to curb these things that are setting you back? Has it made things unmanageable?
It has made me choose living a life on the edge, sort of...military, law enforcement, always located wherever things easily got crazy. God helped me through all that, so now I’m a grandmother, but the urge to go out there fighting (literally) is still there. So I’m still seeking adrenaline instead of sitting in a rocking chair where my daughter thinks I ought to be lol.
 

Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,082
2,338
113
#48
12 step recovery fellowship programs are a great bridge for many persons like myself who don't feel worthy or good enough to walk straight through the front doors of a church to find our way to God
......When you are in a bottom it just feels like to big of a leap or a place to far away.
.......So it is good a lot of recovery groups meet in church basements or spare meeting rooms....when I started going churches even let us smoke cigarettes in basements as long as we didn't burn the place down and cleaned up after meetings.....
......being involved with set up making coffee greeting etc. and clean up is also a helpful experience .....
To bring one out of their self.
.......I became involved with service work had prison and detention facilities clearance.
Instead of getting locked up for being a drunk God turned me around and by the good grace of God I was carrying the recovery message to those still suffering....
......It became a work of ministry speaking to people witnessing what Gods love and power had done for me.
......And it served to help restore my self esteem to feel useful to others......
......selfishness was a personal issue for me and doing service teaches both humility and that your true measure is in your usefulness to help others.......
........And if you're focused on helping others you don't have that self centered self pity that makes you ill of mind.
......People actually were even interested in having me speak at open meetings....
.....Which was a big leap out of self centeredness.....In the beginning I told more of what happened. ...and I would apologize up front and say I hoped the folk didn't leave sicker than when they came.....lol ......but it changed with my sobriety over time where I was speaking more about how great God is and how he was turning my life around.....
......It was God who gave me the faith and his strength to go to work for my self instead of someone else.😀
......God has taught me his word well enough that today instead of hiding from Jehovah witnesses I go in the house and get their Red Revelation publication and make them explain all the false prophecy in it...lol
......Most of them haven't read it though and I may have converted a few or tripped them up unintentionally.....lol
😀
"Welcome!........Thanks for sharing!........:)
'Praise God'......:)
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
31,831
9,840
113
65
Florida
#50
Im just grateful when I finally made into AA the steps were uncomplicated and fewest words ..... .
also went to a few NA meetings with people I knew even though alcohol was my chosen substance.....
.......only went to a few because their textbook had gone through three revisions and it was mass confusion and people weren't reading from the same books.
..........made me think I don't know how these folk will ever stay clean.......
.........so only AA for me after that.....100 meetings in 100 days to start off......
I worked it and it worked.
Honestly though I was a bit of a tough nut to crack....
........took me 9 months on my knees to get my moral inventory done.......
.......But the good Lord was faithful to keep me sober one day at a time like I asked and thanked him for.
..... I wasn't church raised but had a childrens bible and the fundamental. Truth exposure
and didn't suffer from higher power confusion.....The God of my understanding was Our Father who art in heaven and our savior Jesus Christ.....
..........When I finally completed my moral inventory and prayed over it.....his Holy Spirit came and washed it all away.
Healed me baptized me and removed the obsession to think insanely...........
.........I knew real gratitude and Peace serenity and love for the first time......1987........
........I understood that if God loved me and my worthless life that much......to come and heal me......as long as I continued to trust in him it didn't matter what happened the rest of my life......
..........Because he had saved my life......and it belonged to him.😀
......it takes whatever it takes for each of us to turn our will and life over to him.......we choose where are bottom is and when we are finally sick and tired of being sick and tired.......for me it took 7 dui blackouts dt's hallucinations failed relations shame etc.
..........I think if God could love a drunken fornicator like me then he can and does love everyone......
Keep coming back it works if you work it!!!
.......Fake it till you make it if you need to!!!
K.I.S.S.........keep it simple stupid!!!
When that stinking thinking starts.....tell it get thee behind me satan.. . ...and if that's not God......get out!!!
You can overcome by the loving mercy and true amazing grace of God one breath one step at a time.
..........line upon line precept on precept step after step......
By his Grace and for his Glory!
All praise be his!!!😀
I took note of the moral inventory passage. This is something we all must do on a regular basis as it is the integral part of any repentance (sanctification) process. It is hard to get to where you are going if your moral compass is off-kilter. Your testimony in your personal struggle was amazing and truly inspirational. Yes, often one must first hit rock bottom before any recovery and even be contemplated. The struggle is real but God is faithful and will neither leave or forsake you.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
7,250
4,890
113
66
lawton ok
#51
Unfortunately, we never can know where that bottom will be. As we zoom through life we never can tell that we've gone beyond the limit till we find ourselves tumbling down the road of life as if we are in slow motion wondering when it will stop.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
7,250
4,890
113
66
lawton ok
#52
Just for today.
Just for Today: Loving relationships are within my reach. Today, I will examine the effects of addiction on my relationships so that I can begin seeking recovery.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
7,250
4,890
113
66
lawton ok
#53
The road to recovery by Pastor Rick Warren.
Eight Recovery Principles based on the Beatitudes


by Pastor Rick Warren
R – Principle 1 : Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.”
E – Principle 2 : Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.
“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
C – Principle 3 : Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
“Happy are the meek.”
O – Principle 4 : Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.
“Happy are the pure in heart.”
V – Principle 5 : Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.”
E – Principle 6 : Evaluate all my relationships; Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve
 done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.


“Happy are the merciful. Happy are the peacemakers.”
R – Principle 7: Reserve a daily time with God for self examination, Bible readings and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.


Y – Principle 8: Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.
“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.”

All scriptures quoted from the New International Version
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
7,250
4,890
113
66
lawton ok
#54
My biggest problem with early half hearted attempts at recovery was not participating in my own recovery. I wanted the lord to take away my character defects without my cooperation or assistance. I didn't want to examine myself for fear I think of what I'd find. I wanted to ignore my faults and forget my sins. That unwillingness kept me sick. How many are like me. We want instant, painless results with out any real effort. Oh, I made fake efforts like comming in early to make coffee and pitching in a couple of bucks when the 7th tradition basket came around. They were hollow works that others saw and made feel like I was on the ball. They made me feel a little better but the real work I avoided like the flu.

Through prayer, meditation and practice I learned to start being honest with others first and myself later. Then being honest with another about myself beyond step 4, I felt like a ground hog peeking out of it's hole to see if it's safe outside. Avoid the step work usually leads to relapse but as we work the steps we find out who we really were, are and are becoming. A grateful member of society with a renewed faith in God.
 

SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#57
My biggest problem with early half hearted attempts at recovery was not participating in my own recovery. I wanted the lord to take away my character defects without my cooperation or assistance. I didn't want to examine myself for fear I think of what I'd find. I wanted to ignore my faults and forget my sins. That unwillingness kept me sick. How many are like me. We want instant, painless results with out any real effort. Oh, I made fake efforts like comming in early to make coffee and pitching in a couple of bucks when the 7th tradition basket came around. They were hollow works that others saw and made feel like I was on the ball. They made me feel a little better but the real work I avoided like the flu.

Through prayer, meditation and practice I learned to start being honest with others first and myself later. Then being honest with another about myself beyond step 4, I felt like a ground hog peeking out of it's hole to see if it's safe outside. Avoid the step work usually leads to relapse but as we work the steps we find out who we really were, are and are becoming. A grateful member of society with a renewed faith in God.
Amen......No doubt Bob ......just like we are told in scripture to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. In recovery we learn " Half measures availed us nothin "......resting on our laurels becoming complacent is dangerous if we haven't completed a thorough house/temple cleaning with rigorous honesty......difficult as it may be.....what place or accordance does darkness have with light....!
We can't move forward until we make that fearless inventory and clear the wreckage out of the way including admission of our glaring defects.....and making ourselves entirely willing to have God remove them.....
.......IF not they remain as a festering sore for satan to use to reinfect us.......and interfere in our recovery/walk with Christ....due diligence is in order.....acceptance that God has forgiven us also critical.
.......I was of a variety that I could accept that God had forgiven me....but struggled with forgiving myself!😀


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Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,082
2,338
113
#58
Amen......No doubt Bob ......just like we are told in scripture to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. In recovery we learn " Half measures availed us nothin "......resting on our laurels becoming complacent is dangerous if we haven't completed a thorough house/temple cleaning with rigorous honesty......difficult as it may be.....what place or accordance does darkness have with light....!
We can't move forward until we make that fearless inventory and clear the wreckage out of the way including admission of our glaring defects.....and making ourselves entirely willing to have God remove them.....
.......IF not they remain as a festering sore for satan to use to reinfect us.......and interfere in our recovery/walk with Christ....due diligence is in order.....acceptance that God has forgiven us also critical.
.......I was of a variety that I could accept that God had forgiven me....but struggled with forgiving myself!😀


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"Thanks for sharing. ....Amen, brother...........my Big Book is my bible...close by."...:)
And....Twenty-Four Hours a Day.".........:)
'Praise God'
 

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SIMON55

Active member
Feb 15, 2019
538
193
43
MO,OK,AR
#59
Amen......No doubt Bob ......just like we are told in scripture to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. In recovery we learn " Half measures availed us nothin "......resting on our laurels becoming complacent is dangerous if we haven't completed a thorough house/temple cleaning with rigorous honesty......difficult as it may be.....what place or accordance does darkness have with light....!
We can't move forward until we make that fearless inventory and clear the wreckage out of the way including admission of our glaring defects.....and making ourselves entirely willing to have God remove them.....
.......IF not they remain as a festering sore for satan to use to reinfect us.......and interfere in our recovery/walk with Christ....due diligence is in order.....acceptance that God has forgiven us also critical.
.......I was of a variety that I could accept that God had forgiven me....but struggled with forgiving myself!😀


View attachment 196844
Capture+_2019-04-01-15-21-44-1.png
 

Bingo

Well-known member
Feb 9, 2019
3,082
2,338
113
#60
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us
has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point
is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress.
We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after
make clear three pertinent ideas:
•(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

•(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

•(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
 

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