A big part of setting personal boundaries in our lives is knowing how and when to say no. None of us like to say it, but there are times when we have too. As I completed the 12 steps and applied the principles of recovery to my life I set personal boundaries. Set for my own recovery and well-being. Not everyone liked them, I didn’t like some of them but they were and continue to be necessary to maintaining continuing spiritual growth. Alone time with God for me is imperative to me being able to function daily for Him, How is it with you?
Psalms 51:13 Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home.
A man helped his son complete his science project for school. This usually means him doing it, his son watching, him explaining it, his son taking notes.
It also on occasions includes the son spitting his dummy and stating “I can do it better without you’. Only to come back later somewhat subdued with the question “Dad can you please help me?”
This story reminds me so much of my early relationship with God. Asking for His help, getting frustrated because He didn’t do things my way. Deciding I knew best and trying unsuccessfully to do things my way. Then having to come back and humble myself before God and do things His way because He is God (my heavenly Father). He not only knows what’s best for me but He also always wants the best for me.
Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
James 1:9-10 Humble believers should be proud because being humble makes them important. Rich believers should be proud because being rich should make them humble.
In 1987 I first entered ‘Recovery’ in a 3 month live-in rehabilitation programme in Western Australia. I stopped drinking and using drugs – I learned the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, attended meetings on a regular basis (even started a couple of new ones). But I had a problem, that problem was ‘false pride’ You see I had lived my life believing God was for the week and I never saw myself as being weak so I had no place in my life for Him. Although I believed He was in my life, I never believed in giving Him control of my life, nor did I ‘humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings’ I knew I had them but believed it was up to me to change them. As a result of my wrong beliefs and attitudes I drank again. However, because of what I had learned in A.A. I knew I had to do something to STOP So I did a geographical to to South Australia. Where I again moved into a live-in rehabilitation programme The Bridge Programme There I learned of my need for God, a personal relational need on a daily basis. I learned to LET GO of the false pride that prevented me from achieving lasting life recovery and to LET GOD into all the areas of my life I had not permitted Him into previously. The reuslt is I am now in my 21st year of a lasting, loving relationship with Him and I still go to Him daily and ‘humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings’
In John 14:1-4 Jesus says “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” Today because of the letting go of false pride I am certain He is preparing a place for me and when everything ready He will come and get me so I can live with Him forever.
On the 11th of November 2007 I was asked to share a Testimony as part of the message at our Church on how I healed the hurts in my life. I prayed, I paused and I wrote and this is what I shared:
STEP 1 : – Was accepting regardless of circumstances and my previous beliefs, the mess my life became as a result of my addiction to alcohol was all my own doing. The choices I made and the actions I took were what made me become an alcoholic.
STEP 2: – I made a commitment to change and was prepared to do what was necessary to make my life better.
I remember when I first arrived at The Salvation Army’s Bridge Program one of the staff saying to me “every time the bus leaves this property, to a group, to church, on an outing etc make sure if you have the opportunity you are on it” I never knew then bu what that person was saying was ‘IF YOU WANT TO LIVE DIFFERENTLY – YOU NEED TO ACT DIFFERENTLY’ you need to get involved. So from that day on I made sure every time the bus left the property I was on it.
Through being on the bus I was exposed to a lot of Christian fellowship and began to develop a desire to be a part of the JOY I saw in Christan individuals.
STEP 3: – I learned the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous from a Christian perspective and applied Christian principles to my life.
This was not always easy because when I came to recovery I was physically, mentally and Spiritually bankrupt. Through conversion and the power of the Holy Spirit in my life I learned to rely on God to help me to change the things I couldn’t.
Psalm 143:9-10 (NIV) ‘Teach me to do your will for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.” For the early part of my Spiritual walk that was all I asked of God, to reveal His will for my life and lead me where He wanted me to go.
Amazingly through reliance on Him, God opened doors and directed me in the path He wanted me to take.
I found myself becoming involved in a home fellowship group. A place where I learned a lot about the Bible through discussing it with others, a place where I developed life lasting friendships. I also became involved in a support group called ALCOHOLICS VICTORIOUS, which gave me opportunity to discuss the 12 Steps and the recovery process with others in recovery.
I became a soldier and an employee of The Salvation Army. Through my involvement with The Salvation Army I was given the opportunity for my story to be featured as part of the first National Alcohol Awareness Week. This resulted in my story being featured in newspapers all over Australia, which in turn resulted in an opportunity to be features in a Christian Television Association commercial that ran on South Australian television for several months.
Through AAW and the commercial I was given many opportunities to speak at many groups of different people about my faith in Christ and my recovery from alcohol. I have had so many opportunities to share the love of Christ with others for which I am so thankful. Not because I am anything special but because of the changes God has made in me through the power of the Holy Spirit living in and through me.
The physical, mental and Spiritual hurts in my life God healed through teaching me ‘IT’S NOT ABOUT ME; IT’S ABOUT HIM’ I made a promise in my life to follow where God leads me and I try daily to live that promise.
Philippians 4:13 (TLB) “For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ, who gives me strength and power.”
Psalm 25:5 (TLB) ‘Lead me: teach me: for you are the God, who give me salvation. I have no hope except in you.’
Today I have a God given passion to help people suffering from addiction. I do it partly through Living Life Recovery, ‘Church for People With Addictions’ run at Belgrave South Baptist Church. I do it in a number of other of other ways too. I do it because of a command Jesus has given too us all in the Great Commission to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES. God in His wisdom made us all different, with different gifts and abilities in order that we are all equipped to reach different people to share His live with.
In my life God put the right people at the right time under the right circumstances to help me become the person I am today and I give Him thanks and Glory for the things He has helped me achive in my life.
Maybe He has also helped you in a way that you wish to share with others via this Blog?
Living Life Recovery is a God given mission, delivered to me through The Forty days of Purpose I participated in as a member of The Salvation Army at Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia in 2005.