Thursday, March 27, 2014

Praising God . . . She's 2 Years Sober

It just doesn't get any better than this, my friends!  Today I am celebrating a client's two years of sobriety! 
I thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, and other supportive communities
who journey with the broken who yearn for freedom and healing.  

One thing I know for sure.  Breaking free from the chains of any kind of addiction can only be done with God's help and in community with other sojourners.  There's no two ways about it.
 
This is just a glimpse of the heart of a woman deeply in love with her Redeemer. 
I share these joyful words of gratitude with her permission.

 
 


 
Today was the anniversary celebration and I received my two year coin.  I looked out into a room of familiar faces ... and it felt like a wonderful homecoming.  Warmth and support permeated the room.  It is always so encouraging to hear other testimonies of growth and change.

I received my coin from my new sponsor, who has given me such encouragement in the few months I have worked with her.  (I told her now she has permission to kick my butt to get me moving.)  After my share, I received many hugs and well wishes.  The comment that resonated with me throughout the day, perhaps in part because it came from an unexpected source, was, "I love hearing what you share because you are so real!"

 I like being REAL ...

I especially like being free to be REAL in the rooms {AA meetings}.  The first thing I shared was my gratefulness to God for His mercy and grace and for His presence with me in this journey.  I have at times been intimidated to share so openly in a setting where most speak of a Higher Power, but I am excited with new boldness empowered by the Holy Spirit.

I continued by sharing the blessings of the past year as well as the painful struggles, including the death of two dear friends.  In the past I would drink to enhance the good times and drink to numb the pain of the bad times, but I was able to "suit up and show up" and embrace each situation with acceptance and strength.  I am so grateful!

Last October God used a silly fall from a bike to get my attention.  Unknowingly, I had started taking control of the steering wheel back, and God used a broken wrist to slow me down.  And if that wasn't enough my cell phone died and my computer crashed.  I kept hearing "Cease Striving," and I began to listen.  It has changed my world ...

It has been a long journey to get to this place.  I am learning contentment.

It is also a wonderful blessing to be REAL outside the rooms.  I shared my testimony/recovery story in church last November.  In preparing for that, I was overwhelmed by God's faithfulness to me through many years of wilderness wandering.  I no longer have to hide from my church family and friends.  In fact, in the past two years I have reconnected with many friends that I had little or no contact with for a decade or more.  It has been thrilling for me to share what God has done in my life.  The restoration of family relationships continues to bring me abundant joy! 

Sober living is fantastic.  With a thankful heart I move forward in recovery ... with gratitude and joy.

14 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story. Her journey is the proof that you can turn a challenge into something beautiful when you ask for God's help. Very inspiring - thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Yuko! There's more of these stories out there than we know ... I love this client's courage in getting real!

      So good to meet you today ...

      ;-}

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  2. Warms my heart to read this sweet story---God and HIS faithfulness!

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    1. I'm so grateful that He is so faithful. Never changes like shifting shadows. The same yesterday, today, forever.

      All those truths? Lifelines, pure and simple!

      Thanks for coming by today, Lulu. It's always good to see you!

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  3. This is good, good, good! Congrats to your friend! That's a big accomplishment and even though I don't know her personally, I'm proud of her too. I have friends who would love to get to a two-year mark but haven't yet. But by the grace of God, they can too.

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    1. Yes, this is why we share our stories! To let others know that they are not alone, that they, too, can be healed and whole. We join hearts and hands and cheer each other on, pray fervently, and don't get weary as we walk alongside.

      May you see many 2 year goals reached, dear Lisa, for you have been present for so many of the wounded. I know that HE, and you, love them so ...

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  4. "Breaking free"...from the bondage of unhealthy habits that weigh heavily with shame. With "God's help" to overcome and endure...and a "community of other sojourners" for accountability and moral support...

    Thank you for sharing these inspiring words. They resonate, no matter what the battle may be.

    ~HBHW

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    1. Oh yes! We will each encounter seasons of battle and seasons of victory. It's just part of the human condition. But no matter what chapter of our story we're residing in at this moment, we need to be in community. We were never meant to walk this path alone.

      I love that you've dropped in this evening, HBHW! I look forward to connecting with you again ...

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  5. Linda,
    Congrats on your friend's 2 years...and for encouraging others with her story...What a huge achievement...Thanks for sharing her story :)

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    1. To know that my clients are moving ahead and writing, speaking, creating, ministering, teaching, relating well? There's just no greater joy in this work we do together. This client's specific prayer in sharing her story? 'May He use it to lead another into freedom.' And I do believe that her words are going to be a catalyst to bring encouragement and a healing touch to someone, somewhere.

      I truly do.

      Praise God!

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  6. How very inspirational and wonderful to read how our Lord has changed her life completely - these are situations that we seldom hear about.

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    1. Our pews are filled with broken souls longing for the church to be a safe haven, a community free of condemnation, a grace-filled place where they could feel safe to share their stories and find support and encouraging relationships that would lead them on the healing path.

      Please God. Please.

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  7. What a great story to read ...thanks for sharing it, Linda...I especially liked this line: "I was able to "suit up and show up" and embrace each situation with acceptance and strength. " It must be so rewarding for you to be a part of her transformation :-)

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    1. I love when readers wander through the archives and pull out the best of the best to re-read. I'll be passing your kind words on to my client!

      You're going to bless her, Dolly. Promise.

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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