Tag Archives: grace

Judging Others…

One thing I have learned first hand from 12 step recovery meeting rooms has to do with judgment. 

While I was spinning out of control on the codependency/addict merry go round, others didn’t understand what was going on and why I was acting like a crazy person. 

I’d ask for advise (while knowing what I should do) but frozen in being able to take action to change what was going on. And the merry go round went around and around and around again. In some ways it felt safer to do what you know. 

I felt like a crazy person. I didn’t understand what was going on. How did this become my life?

Part of codependency is about what others may think of me if they knew what was going on.  So I would take care of things and make it easier for others. I’d paint the picture of it not being THAT bad. Why? Because I didn’t want to be judged in a negative way or for those around me that I cared about to be judged. The shame I felt that if everyone knew, they would be disappointed in me somehow. Because I was disappointed in myself. 

But then I had to DO something and DO something different because I did not want to spin around one more time. With a ton of work and willingness, my heart started to heal and things started to make sense and more connections were made and my heart healed a little bit more.  

For me when I first started to go to meetings, I felt a lot of things but being judged was not one of them. As I heard others stories and where they were, I didn’t for a second judge them. I felt compassion and empathy and just wanted to love them along their journey. 

What a beautiful gift to share with others in recovery who also at one point may have felt shame for their behavior. Being in a space of not being judged. Being in a safe place to share the darkest of their days. Learning to heal and grow and learning to trust yourself and others around you again. Beautiful thing for sure. 

In the Book of Matthew 7: 2-5 it says this about being judgemental…...Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?’ 

Wowzers, pretty clear. Why do people do that? Because it’s easy. It’s easy to point out others flaws or sins and not look at yourself and owning your part. 

Reminds me of recovery sayings like….

Stay in your own lane.
Keep your side the street clean.
Keep your spoon in your own bowl.

Or in Romans 3:23 you will find….’For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,’

Yeah hello, everyone has fallen short and who am I to think that my sin is less sinful than someone else’s. Or that this persons sin is so much worse on the sin scale. (Is that a thing?)  Makes me laugh to think of times I thought that about someone or a situation. Because I didn’t understand that this is not how it works. 

I would not trade my best day on the codependent/addict merry go round for my worst day off it!!! 

I think this is actually called grace. Going to a year and a half of meetings, I have learned to give grace because grace has been given to me. 

I have learned not to judge because they didn’t judge me. 

My journey to serenity continues….

Meeting you where you are….

One thing I love is that God meets us where we are. No need to perform before we start over. No check lists to check off. Doesn’t matter that it’s the 1st time or the 100th time we messed up, we have as many start overs that we need. And the one that matters is the last one. 

What does the Bible say about starting over…

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

See not only do I get to start over but I am also forgiven for the past mistakes. The old had passed and the new has come! 

What does the Bible say about the future…

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

My future is bright because of Gods grace and love. 

As I continue to heal and grow in recovery (it’s 18 months by the way) I love the direction my life is moving. I love the friendships that I have with others in recovery. 

I was thinking about how much this blog means to me and how I love to share about my recovery. And was also thinking about how I’ve been able to use my artwork in my posts. Art work that I made a year before my journey to recovery started. God knew that I would be in this place and be able to use both of these creative outlets. 

What’s next for me in my recovery? 

I’m finishing up a step study, we have a couple of weeks left. We are planning on staying together as a group and do another study together. I was also asked to co-lead the next women’s step study. I am now part of the leadership team for CR and I hope to start to do more for our group, like be able to teach now and then. I am working on a book about my experience in recovery! It’s an extension from my blog. I am in the process of writing it now. I started a local group of bloggers to support each other. We meet twice a month. It’s a fun group and we all blog different topics. 

God met me where I was and sent the right people to walk me out of the mess and chaos that was my life and now the more I trust His plan for me, the more amazing things are revealed to me. Because I’m ready now. I’m ready to share more with others about what God has done in my life! 

Stay on this journey with me….the best is yet to be. 

My journey to serenity continues…

I Love You Like No Other

When I started to date my ex boyfriend, he started love bombing the second we reconnected. 

We went to high school together. Knew each other but were not really friends back then. Fairly small graduating class, everyone knew everyone.

He was watching me and I didn’t realize it. He was grooming me from the start. Commenting now and then, sending messages. Learning about my likes and dislikes. 

Telling me ALL the things I so desperately needed to hear. He like the things I liked. He did things that he knew was important to me. He added to my life by helping around the house and yard. Also added new things to my life like healthier eating, working out and meditation. 

I felt loved, and cared about and that I had a true partner. But I was fooled. He would tell me that he loved me like no other. And all this love bombing clouded my judgement. I was surrounded by this fog that I couldn’t see but the fog, I ran past stop signs and warning signs. But I was living the best I could at THAT time. 

When he said I love you like no other, was he really saying that he was so desperate and he needed me to stay because no one would love him? Maybe. Did he really even love me? Probably not. 

Takers love a giver. And he was a taker. It was the perfect storm for codependency.  

I forgive myself for who I WAS at that time. I was doing the best I knew to do. 

Being in THAT place, was the best thing that ever happened to me. Had I not been here, I wouldn’t be here in THIS place. 

I could be resentful but who does that benefit? How would serve me in my life today, it wouldn’t. My ex boyfriend was also broken and coping with life the only way he knew how. 

Today I have a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. I have always believed in Jesus. I grew up going to Church but was going through the motions. TODAY, I seek God out. I read and meditate on His word. Today I TRUST His plan for me. Today I RELY on Him for strength and understanding. 

Today I have meaningful deep relationships with others in recovery. 

Today I can look back and be grateful for the lessons learned and for that time in my life with how painful is was, because of the changes that have happened since. 

It is only by the grace of God that I found the Celebrate Recovery program, I found a sponsor, i am working the program and I can say this and mean it to my core. 

My journey to serenity continues…

Trust God 

My sister in law passed away on June 1st, at her celebration of life the Celebrant shared this poem with us. 

Jenny’s poem. 

Trust God’s wisdom to guide
Trust his goodness to provide
Trust his saving love and power
Trust him every day and hour
Trust him as the only light
Trust him in the darkest night
Trust in sickness
Trust in health
Trust in poverty and in wealth
Trust him living – dying too
Trust him all the journey through


Struggling with codependency, letting go and trusting God is hard. And shows up in places that I sometimes don’t expect. 

With the loss of a dear friend and father figure. I need to let go and trust God. 

What does the Bible say about Trusting God… Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)

Finding recovery in unexpected places. 

My journey to serenity continues…..

Standing in Solidarity

As you may recall, I attend Celebrate Recovery which is a blended issue group. Anyone with any hurt habit or hang-up that separates you from God and want to change is welcomed with support, grace and love. 

Those who struggle with food, alcohol, drugs, codependency, anxiety, pornography and the like are all represented in the room. From every walk of life. And in every stage of recovery. We support one another in what we struggle with with much love, encouragement and grace. 

About 10 days ago, one of my fellow CR attendees lost her battle with her addiction. She struggled and was a fighter. She loved the Lord and trusted Him and His plan for her life. She touched many of our lives and I am grateful for the times her and I chatted before a meeting. 

Last night we honored her in only the we could. We had our meeting. The first 30 minutes we have a band play song and last night was no different. Songs filled with hope and trusting God plan for each of us. We laughed and cried and shared stories of our relationships with her and how she touched our lives. 

We stood in solidarity with her and with each other. 

According to Webster’s Dictionary, solidarity is defined as…

sol·i·dar·i·ty noun

unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group

synonyms: unanimity, unity, like-mindedness, agreement, accord, harmony, consensus, concurrence, cooperation, cohesion, fraternity, mutual support; 

“our solidarity is what gives us the credibility and power to make changes”


My recovery family means so much to me. I would not be in this place in my life without their support, grace and love. They have taught me what friendship looks like, in the room and outside the room too. 

To my recovery sister – I know like I know like I know that you are free from your pain and struggle. You are with the angels, rejoicing in our victories and saving me seat in the most amazing meeting that I cannot even imagine filled with support, grace and love. 

My journey to serenity continues….

Thank you google images for the pic used in this post. 

my life is telling a story…

My life is telling a story. The story is based on every decision I’ve made. Good decisions and bad ones too. 

My story tells the story about a girl who learned to cope with life by being codependent. This served her well for a while until it didn’t. As she lost herself trying to fix someone else and trying to fix the person before him and the one before him too. 

She was about to give up when she found her life to be wreck. Like a 100 car train wreck. Parts smashed and broken beyond repair. Off the track as far as the eye can see in all directions. Everything is just a mess. 

But then she made a different decision. She found a Christian based recovery group and she was reminded that God is in control and she didn’t have to try to control everything around her. 


Because of wanting and being willing to understand and let go, she no longer had to feel responsible for so many things that were out of her control in the first place. And she started to heal the parts of her heart that had hurt for so long that those parts were numb to the pain. 

She made new decisions everyday. Everyday committing to let God guide her footsteps. 

Today her life is telling a different story. This girl is seeking and listening and finding her way to the living the life my soul intended. 

 I have no idea why but this quote from Henry David Thoreau came to mind tonight. But it did so have to go with it. ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”? 

There is no more quiet desperation for me and I am singing loud and proud of this amazing story of grace and love that God is giving to me. 

Me…..this girl…..derailed and broken beyond repair…..or so I thought. Praise God for his love and kindness that is waiting for all of us. 

Continue on this journey with me, the best is yet to be. 

This girls journey to serenity continues. 
I took the picture used in this post while writing at my favorite local coffee shop. 

12 Things I’ve Learned 12 Stepping 

I didn’t know anything about 12 step programs before 2015. Maybe a few jokes here and there. Maybe how it was depicted on a sitcom. 

I was a Seinfeld fan and there was an episode about Step 9. And how George was looking for an apology from someone who was in AA. So my concept of 12 step programs was from a sarcastic place and that all anyone talked about who was in a program was the program. 

Now look at me 16 months of working a 12 step program. And yeah I do talk about the program a lot. 

The thing is, my life has changed and I am continuing to grow closer to my Higher Power, HP or who I believe is Jesus Christ. I am continuing to understand and let go. I am continuing to be that much closer to my authentic self and who God wants me to be. 

So in no particular order, 12 things I have learned from my 12 step program.

1. Working a program is just that, work. You can’t just show up to meetings and do nothing else and things get better. So I….Got a sponsor. I have surround myself with  a sober community. I read recovery materials. Celebrate Recovery has a step study which are workbooks that ask some hard questions on each step that you answer and share with a small group, so I joined that group. I read the Bible. Putting all these things into action is working a program. Doing all of those things, you can’t help but change. 

2. What you struggle with does not define you. The 12 step program I attend is for anyone with  hurts, hang ups or habits that separates us from God and that you want to change. I love that when we introduce ourselves we say ‘I struggle with’ not I am. Mistakes of my past doesn’t mean that is who I am. 

3. Forgiveness is not for the other person but for yourself. I will never contact my ex boyfriend again but I have forgiven him. The freedom of owning my part and understanding his and forgiving him is life changing. I no longer carry the guilt and shame of my actions. 

4. Forgiving myself has been the hardest thing.  My actions hurt other people, I knew it and then I isolated, shut down and hind because of my shame and guilt. Forgiving myself took me the longest to do but then a friend in program reminded me that God had already forgiven me and I should too. 

5. Worry does not change ourcome. If fact worry is a form of not trusting God. God is in control and already knows what is going to happen and knows the mistakes I will make in the future. He has a plan in place to help me through these times. So worry only takes energy from the now and prevents you from being present. 

6. Understanding codependency. I learned to cope with life by being codependent. When I thought I was helping, it actually caused damage. I made excuses, lied to cover up for and took care of things that were not my responsibility. And it turned out that I prevented the other person from growing from the experience of managing his own problems. 

7. I’ve learned about setting boundaries. Boundaries not only keeps me in a safe space, it also allows me to communicate in a healthy way what I need and what I am willing to do. I don’t always have to tell others my boundaries, me knowing in some cases is enough. This has not only helped me with my relationships but also with work. 
8. It’s hard to complain when you are grateful. Gratitude reminds me of the things in your life. Often addictive behaviors starts from lacking something and it’s a way to escape. It’s so hard to bitch about life when you start to become aware of all the little things to be grateful for everyday. I am grateful for all the little things, the good things and the trials too. 

9. Feelings are hard and that’s ok. No one likes to feel unappreciated or hurt or singled out or not heard. Addictive behaviors are often to avoid those feelings. Feelings of not being enough. Feelings of being disappointed or disappointing someone else. But there are also feelings of love and acceptance and joy that by avoiding those negative feelings you also miss out on the good ones too. So sometimes you have to sit and feel those feelings that you don’t want to and then move on. 

10. You are exactly where God wants you to be. In number five, I said that God has a plan in place for my future mistakes but He also has a plan for the good times too. I am in the right place…..right now. Maybe there is a lesson that has yet to be learned. Maybe there is someone else that you will cross paths with for you but what if it was actually for them. Isn’t that a cool thought. Don’t worry about where you are right now, just be there and enjoy every second. And before you know it, you will be in another place with new challenges and new good times and then that is where you are supposed to be. 

11. Being in program taught me how to listen. Being in dysfunctional relationships, I often felt that I was not heard. During the share time, each person is given 5 minutes to share whatever they want. No one can interrupt them. No one can ask questions. No one tell you how to fix it. No one can tell you that you are wrong. It’s only 5 minutes but it’s the only 5 minutes that are like that in my week. I’ve learned to listen. And I don’t judge or think less of them because I know they don’t think less of me. It’s how this works. During the week I may check in with them or next time I see them, we’ll talk about how whatever went or ended up. 

12. Recovery doesn’t end, it’s a lifestyle. I hate to be the one to tell you, but working a program is not a one and done thing. You have to work and embrace the steps everyday, every single day. And when you do, you change, you become aware. You feel things that you don’t want to but you cope with it in a new way. You learn to recognize and own your part and you set better boundaries for next time. And you share your experience, strength and hope with others. And why do we do that? We share our story for His glory and to show others what God has done in our lives.
I want to add a 13th thing I’ve learned because people joke about the 13th step. The 13th step is that someone in program hits one newer member of the group. 

But this is my experience of other people in the group…..

13.  Sponsors, accountability partners and friendships born from recovery are amazing. People in the program are full of wisdom and grace. And this combination is incredible. They have worked the program. Your sponsor will push you in a loving way. You accountability partner will ask you questions that will make you think and maybe give you reason to pause. And the fellowship you share with other members of the group is like no other friendships you can ever have. I have learned how to give grace because others have given grace to me. 

Stay on this journey with me, the best is yet to be.

My journey to serenity continues…