Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Power of Story

Tonight we heard a powerful testimony at our Celebrate Recovery meeting. The best thing about a testimony is that it's a true life story. I can bore you with statistics about the realities of addiction all day long and it won't mean a thing. But when I tell my story or you hear the story of another addict who's found a whole new life through recovery, that has impact.

The story of an addict is a story of pain, abandonment, abuse, loss and struggle. So when you hear someone tell their story you are also hearing your story. You begin to realize you're not alone in the life experiences that have been so devastating. You start to sense the tiniest glimmer of hope that if someone with a story like yours can find a new life in recovery, then maybe you can, too.

The thing is, to hear the stories of those in recovery you have to go to places where recovery happens. Celebrate Recovery is a great place but any of the addiction links over there on the right will take you to places where you can find help. Go there now and start the process of seeing your story in the context of the bigger story of successful recovery.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Relax, You're With Family

I'm attending the Celebrate Recovery Leadership Summit at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA this week. Nearly 3600 attendees from churches of all sorts of denominations, communities and sizes all joined together by a common bond. Recovery. It's interesting, but when you get thousands of recovering addicts together all the other labels fall away.

Today I had the privilege of hearing the stories of two other men at the conference as we shared together in small group. We shared things with each other that few, if any outside the circle of recovery know. Let me explain. We met each other for the very first time and, within minutes, were sharing deep, personal, painful details about our lives. Why? Because we are in a safe place where this kind of vulnerability and honesty is not only invited but expected.

That's what true recovery can do for you. It can give you a whole new family like most of us have never experienced. A family that genuinely cares for you and about you. A family that accepts you no matter what you've done or where you've been, and I mean no matter what! Recovery is the safest of places for you to begin the rigorous work of healing the deepest hurts of your life.

You're welcome to join the family. What's keeping you from us?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Celebrate Recovery Summit

I'm headed to the Celebrate Recovery Summit today. It's an annual gathering of folks from around the world who have a Celebrate Recovery ministry at their church or are looking to start one. Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a Christian 12 step program that is open to anyone with a "hurt, hang-up or habit".

If you're struggling with addiction and looking for a safe place to begin working through the 12 steps, I highly recommend CR. It's not for everyone. You may need the stronger, in your face approach that can be found in addiction specific groups like AA or NA. Whatever it takes to get you moving out of addiction you need to start!