Where We Came From & Where We Go From Here.
Some of us come from families in crisis, which made chaos and dysfunction feel normal. In that environment, we learned to distrust others and distrust ourselves. Our longings and dreams became liabilities, and we masked them with other feelings like anger, shame, guilt, fear, and anxiety, or we became emotionally flat.
Our choices and behaviors brought us into conflict with powerful people and we learned how to manipulate to get what we wanted. We ran and hid. We lied and circled; the drain of life. We told ourselves that we had failed, that we were incompetent-- other people have nice homes, a new car, a job, an intact family, good friends, and money in the bank. We concluded that we must be bad, defective or broken.
Some of us come from healthy, loving families who did all they knew how to do to help us. Despite this support system, we made decisions and choices that lead us into the company of "friends" who introduced us to drugs and alcohol. It was exciting and rewarding at first, but soon came a harsh taskmaster; lies and choices that got us to places we never imagined we would go.
But then, in a truly heroic way, we discovered a path that presents us with an opportunity to risk everything we knew about how life works and take a different path. We took a stand and said, "Not today; today I will believe in a loving and personal God who has a plan for my life and a place for me in His epic rescue of all mankind."
Friends we knew and loved began to die. Arrests and forgotten promises made in jail cells became part of a growing realization that we were enslaved and headed to prison or death. We began to feel desperation, despair, and doubt. But then, somehow, we began to dare to hope again. We started to realize that change WAS possible, but only when we allowed it to happen. So, in a truly courageous act, we turned to a pursuing God and embraced a recovery process.
The good news is that our wounds can heal and we can become strong again. As long as we are alive, it is never hopeless or too late to let the healing begin. We can go places together that we can't or won't go alone. So together, in the company of men who have offered a long obedience to God in the same direction, we, one day at a time, choose life and recovery and restoration. Let it begin!