My Truth

that I matter to Him

If you have followed my blog for a while you would know that I attend Celebrate Recovery (CR) and have for four years now.

Along with the 12 steps and the biblical comparisons, CR also has 8 principles. These principles are based on the beatitudes. While all the steps and the principles are amazing on their own and how they work together, principle 2 sticks with me.

Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him and that He has the power to help me recover. (Step 2)
“Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

The first part is easy for me. Earnestly believe that God exists. I know that God exists and that He is working in my life every day. I trust His plan for my life and know that all things work together for my greater good.

The next part is my favorite part of this principle, that I matter to Him. There have been many times in my life that I didn’t feel like I mattered. That I was not heard. That I wasn’t enough. That my opinion didn’t matter.

That I matter to God….is a little overwhelming to even think. That God sent His son to die for my sins. That God works all things for my greater good. That God wants a relationship with me. That God has prepared a place for me. That I matter to Him. God has never turned away from me, I was the one who turned away. He was right there all along. Waiting for me to turn back. He met me where I was because He was there waiting for me because I matter to Him.

The last part of this principle is and that He has the power to help me recover. In principles 1, 2 and 3 and steps 1, 2 and 3, is all about I can’t, He can and I need to let Him.

I am powerless. I have control over very little. Really I only have control over my own actions and reactions. There have been times that I didn’t make good decisions. Not based on my greater good.

God has the power to help me recover and I need to let Him.

That I matter to Him. He hears me. He knows I am enough. My opinion matters to Him.

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Stability…

At work today I was listening to YouTube (as usual) and a TD Jakes clip played…

You didn’t get to pick what shaped your world. But you do get to pick what stabilizes it’

This to me is so timely and powerful. I have been looking for stability in my life for a long time. I’ve felt like I was white knuckling life got the last 20 plus years. All day. Everyday. Trying to control everything.

And what brought me the stability that I’ve been looking for? A little 12 Step Christ centered program called Celebrate Recovery.

I’ve found a new stride. My new normal. It’s a pretty happy place. Not without challenges. Not without struggles. Not without upset. That’s just called life. And because of that I’ve learned 12 stepping, living the 12 steps daily and by God’s Grace, I can cope in a new way.

Finding stability when life is always changing. Finding stability when the unexpected happens. Finding stability in an uncertain world.

No longer do I need to live in secret, silence or shame. No longer do I worry about what someone may think of my situation or of me. As a mother, sister or friend.

This stability that I thought was so far out of reach, wasn’t. And as I continue to let go of control and trust God and His plan for

my life, the more stable I have become.

And the more stable I become, the more I need to be stable.

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

My journey continues…

Ps I painted the pic used in this post.

My Truth

A fork in the road

I taught the lesson on Grace last night at my Celebrate Recovery meeting. I heard this story on a podcast for the same lesson and adapted it for the group. And I’d like to share it with you. 

There is this girl that went on a journey. She goes walking on a path, trying her best to be a good person. Life was hard sometimes but over all life is good.

And then she comes to a fork in the road. And she had to make a choice.

One way is clear and easily passable.


The other road seems to be less traveled and on the surface looks hard. She has to decide which way to go.

There is a sign that says This Way to Please God and the other sign says This Way to Trust God. Hmmm, she thinks, well I want to make God happy so I’m going to continue on the path to please God.
 

 She starts walking down that road, and she comes a house with a sign on the door that says ‘striving to be all that God wants me to be’ YES!, I made it. That sounds pretty good. So she goes inside. And all the people there were happy and welcome her and say ‘it’s go good to see you’. And then they go off to do other things. ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure how this works so I’ll just watch what they are doing.’

After the first how are you doing, they are not really engaging with her. Some disappeared for a little while and then came back. She notices the happy exterior, smiling when looked at but when no one is looking, they were not smiling. She looks a little closer and then she notices that everyone has masks on. What she is seeing isn’t really who they are but the idea that they have to do to please God.

So many times I have followed that thinking and I strive to be everything that God wants me to be.

I have gotten caught up because my basic belief system is that I am not loveable and that I am not enough. So I must perform for people to love me and I must perform for God to love me. And so I do. I try to please people and make people like me. And I try to please God.

We live in space where everything has rules and checking off boxes. I try to live by the do’s and don’ts. But I find myself falling short.

I had rules at home growing up. Like, you have to be home when the Church bells ring. Or Did anyone else have Hewho for dinner? Well Hewho in my house was he who is hungry fixes it themselves and cleans up after. And there unspoken rules too. Like not talking about certain things. 

Rules at school. As someone who had learning disabilities, I learned to keep up by cheating. And I was good at it because I never got caught. But I was falling short.

Rules at work. I have always worked in places that I help create processes and create rules on how to handle situations. But I make mistakes and I fall short.

Rules with friendships. Helping to fix problems. Trying to meet everyone’s needs and pleasing them. I have fallen short there too by getting overly involved.

And then there is God’s rules, of going to church and following the 10 commandments. Maybe if I prayed enough, God would be pleased. Maybe if I checking off boxes of His law, God will be pleased. But all of these things come down to me performing well enough, how good I could be as a person. Me striving to be all that God wants me to be.

I check off the boxes and following the rules. I try to live by the do’s and don’ts in all parts of my life. But I find myself falling short.

No matter how well I preformed, I was standing in a room of good intentions. I was standing in a room that I would always let God down. I would let others down and I would let myself down. Because I cannot live up to perfection. I’m tired of failing and I just can’t keep this mask on.

Hmmmmm, what did the sign say back at the fork in the road? Oh yeah, This Way to Trust God. So I’m going back to the fork in the road and take that road. I’m don’t really know what this means but I am going to go down this path of trusting God.

I start going down this new path. It’s less traveled and there are roots to trip on and overgrown brush in the way but i continue. And I start to feel like I don’t have to white knuckle life anymore because I am just trusting God and trusting His word that all things work together for my greater good.

I travel down the road and come to clearing and I find a new house. The sign on the door that reads “Living out who God says I am.” WOW. So I go in that house. And I am again greeted with people. They are not hiding. Some are smiling and some aren’t. But you can see there is genuine joy in their heart. Even in their sorrow, or pain or current trial, their heart is full of love and joy.

And then she realizes she is in the room of GRACE. They didn’t care if I followed the rule or checked off all the boxes. They cared that I just trusted God on my journey. It didn’t matter how good or bad I was.

This journey takes humility. The humility of taking off that mask. To show the world who we really are. 

That is what it takes to get into this room of grace. We have already 

  • stepped out of denial
  • realizing we have a mask on
  • we have surrendered
  •  made a fearless inventory 
  • we confess that inventory 
  • we made a list of persons we harmed 
  • we made a list of those to forgiven who have harmed us.

And now we are in the room of grace.

Now let’s look at the word GRACE.

G is for God’s Gift. Grace is Gods freely given gift. You can’t buy it, and you don’t get it by check off boxes.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9

We do this every time we introduce ourselves. Hi I’m Mary grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with codependency. I gladly now boast about my weaknesses.

In the past I preformed for God to love me and today I have a relationship with Him. He gave me strength to make amends and offer forgiveness.

The R in grace is for Received by faith.

No matter how hard we work, we cannot earn our way into heaven. Only by professing our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can we experience His grace and have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not for yourselves, it is a gift of God not by works so that no one can boast.

Romans 5:2 Through whom we have gained access by faith into the grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope for the glory of God.

 I kinda love that word boast. So the bible is pretty clear on those couple of passages. Don’t boast about what you are doing but rather boast about our weakness and hope.

The A in grace is for: We are Accepted by God’s love. God loved you and me while we were still sinning.

Romans 5:8 God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:5 reminds us that though we are spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.

I don’t know about you but I know that there have been times that I didn’t feel that  I deserve God’s love But here is the good news, HE accepts me in spite of myself. He sees all my failures and loves me anyway. And the same is for you as well.

The C in grace is Christ paid the price.

Jesus died on the cross so that all our sins are forgiven. He paid the price. Over 2000 year ago, He died for me. For sins that had not even made yet but He knew I would. He sacrificed Himself for us so that we may be with Him forever. Jesus paid the price and separated us from our sins as far as the east is from the west.

When we accept Jesus dying on the cross we are made a new creation. We can rely on Gods strength and power to enable us to forgive those who have hurt us. We can set aside our selfishness and speak the truth in love. We focus only on our part in making aments or offering our forgiveness.

Ephesians 1:7 In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace.

The final letter in grace is E. God’s grace is an Everlasting gift.

Once you accept that Jesus Christ is your lord and savior, God’s grace is forever.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father encourage you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. God loved us and through his grace he gave us a good hope and encouragement that continues forever.

 I’d like to close with some final thoughts. That no matter what step you are on. No matter where you are tonight. Know that God loves you. Choose the path of Trusting God that leads you to “Living out who God says you are” and know that you are standing in the room of grace. That you do not have to check off boxes or perform for his love. Just trust him. Know that in your weakness, He is strong.

Thank you for letting me share. 

My journey to serenity continues…

My Truth

Keep your spoon in your own bowl! 

I heard ‘keep your spoon in your own bowl’ a while ago a podcast about codependency. I just love that visual. 

It’s about not getting involved in others problems. Or help them fix them. To not give your opinion about what’s going on. Or solve it for them. Often times we just need others to listen and allow us to figure it out ourselves. 

There is a thing happening in our world today that for some reason everyone thinks they have to share their opinion even when it wasn’t asked for. And especially if it’s an opposing opinion. Everyone has a solution for every problem because they think they know the answer. 

But it occurred to me today that there is another side to this that I learned about through recovery. 


That is, to be careful who you invite to put their spoon in your bowl. 

Inviting unhealthy people into my problems, it’s actually a terrible idea. Inviting highly opinionated people into my bowl just may change what’s in my bowl. And suddenly I am not trusting my program or even trusting God but seeking others approval or wanting to just rehash the same story over and over and over with no solutions. 

That reminds me when I was a kid, I’d stir and stir and stir my icecream and my dad would say ‘can you please eat the icecream otherwise you are making icecream soup.’

Stirring and stirring and stirring problems just makes problem soup. Stirring problems with the wrong person ends up with just a big mess with spills and arguments and spoons getting in the way. 

I get to choose who and what I share. It’s called boundaries. I know which friends I can share with, and thinking about that they are my recovery friends. Because they get the sharing without offering solutions until I ask for them. 

And they get that often I just need to process what’s going on and they allow me time. 

And they get the thing about trusting God and really We don’t need every detail, all we need to know is that we are heading in the right direction and all we need to do is trust God. And things fall into place. 

And finally, they know to keep their spoon in their own bowl. 

My journey to serenity continues…
And I took the picture of that spoon after I had some icecream =] 

My Truth

ever felt like you are in a personal prison???

Ever felt like you are in a personal prison? I have. Ever heard that expression that you are a slave to your addiction? 

Did you know it’s even in the Bible? 2 Peter 2:19

They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.

The addict is all consumed and control by the next fix. It’s all about the next hit and who that impacts and what is going on around them is completely irrelevant. 

And the codependent is all consumed with the addict and trying to control what is going on. We each were in our own personal prison. 

Being with a binge drinking alcoholic, I have witnessed this craziness of control that alcohol had over people in my life. That it makes no sense looking in that he would go buy the $3 small bottle of whatever and then have to go get more later. Why not buy a bigger bottle? Because he couldn’t. He thought that this time he would the last one and only need this much. It turned out, it was not enough and he was right back at the store getting more.  

And then my crazy behavior trying to make it easier for him. Looking in that it makes no sense that I would pay to turn the lights back on or buying bottled water when the water was cut off. 

This prison we were both in. 

Once we hit our true bottom, and we are ready. And here’s the thing that no one tells you or you are just unable to see until you are in your bottom and you know your life is out of control and you know you are a mess and can’t do this alone……

The prison you were in. 

The door you have been staring at for so long. 

Feeling trapped. 

Feeling like you have no choice. 

Feeling like this is how my life is going to be and as good as it gets.  

The door has been unlocked the entire time and you are free to leave! 


My journey to serenity continues

My Truth

Promises…

Why does addiction start? Is it running from something? Is it escaping feelings? Is it trying to mask who they really are? 

Addiction in this sick way makes promises to the addict. Whispering promises like:

  • You Belong
  • You are in control
  • You are strong 
  • You can trust 
  • You have hope
  • You are confident
  • You are brave
  • You are full of joy
  • Your life is full 
  • You are worthy
  • You are not judged

And at first it works. The addict feels strong and in control and that they belong and that they can  use this mask to cover up what’s really going on inside them. 

After those feelings the addict is hit with guilt and shame and sadness that this illusion didn’t last long enough so they use again and again again to escape themselves and this internal prison. 

Here’s the truth…… RECOVERY DELIVERS EVERYTHING ADDICTION PROMISES and more. 

It is only by the power of recovery that you are able to:

  1. Admit you can’t 
  2. Know that God can
  3. Let God
  4. Look within
  5. Admit wrongs
  6. Get ready to change
  7. Seek Gods help
  8. Become willing 
  9. Make amends
  10. Do a daily inventory
  11. Pray and meditate
  12. Give it away


And just like how Recovery delivers addictions broken promises. These are Gods promises too. God has promised us:

  • we are forgiven
  • we are free
  • there is hope
  • we each have purpose
  • we each are gifted
  • that we are valued 
  • and that we are blessed! 

My journey to serenity continues….

I took the picture used in this post and used Font Candy to add the text.

My Truth

C’s of Recovery…

Pretty sure it was an Alanon meeting that I heard the C’s of recovery…

I didn’t cause it
I can’t change it
I can’t control it
but I don’t have to contribute to it

These are powerful statements. They are powerful to someone who struggles with codependency. 

I know there were times that I felt I was responsible for someone else to turn to their enter the addiction of choice here because of something I may have said, expectations I may have had they they could never meet or something I did. But this doesn’t give the addict permission to be abusive or to shift the blame or even use. People say stuff that is hurtful, people have expectations and people do stuff I don’t like too. 

I now know while I felt overly responsible to change or fix it, I really shouldn’t have. And it’s was never my position to do so. Struggling with codependency, I felt that it was my job. It was part of the dynamics of loving that person.

 I have said many times in other posts that the worst part for me to realize is that I prevented the other person from growing from and being responsible for their actions because the act of fixing was from a loving place. For example: Cleaning up a glass they broke so they don’t get hurt…but what if I let them clean it up and they might cut themselves. Or calling to change an appointment for them because they were still passed out or drunk….but what if they had to figured out how to reschedule or even have to pay for a missed appointment. 

These are consequences are part of life. I’ve cut myself cleaning up glass or missed an appointment. Why was it ok for me to have to deal with the consequences but not the addict. 


Trying to control everything is EXHAUSTING. Controling the addict……walking on egg shells. Controling what others think of the addict or me…..painting a different picture of what is going on or lying about it. Trying to control the future. Trying to control the world around me and worrying about every little aspect. 

And you don’t have to contribute to it….not any more you don’t. When the music starts, the merry go round starts to turn, when the addict chooses to use, you have a choice. Do you start the dance too? Do you jump on or off the merry go round? You don’t have to. You can choose to take care of you. To surround yourself with people and things you love. No one said you had to dance or even get on the merry go round that you don’t even like. 
 
Looking out the fence of my backyard, wondering what was on the other side. Thinking this is what I deserved and what my life was just going to be. I didn’t cause it, I couldn’t change it. I couldn’t control it. And I stopped contributing to it!!!

My journey continues…

I painted the picture used in this post and used Font Candy to add the text