Pictured is my little church fam. The lovely, and amazingly strong woman who brought me into this community and her lovely daughter; both who I love beyond words.
I'm feeling extra gooey on the insides today and then I remembered, I have this forum to be able to express that info a more cohesive manner. Let's start with I just feel so grateful for this path I'm on, not just recovery, but also my faith path. I have been blessed with getting to know people not only in my local community but all over the US, and even some in Europe. People I connect with, chat with, send funny gifs to, get inspired by, motivate me, share with me, help me grow and learn, and love me unconditionally. Have I also had the trying and down parts on this path of choosing to cut negative behaviors, activities, and even some people out of my life? Absolutely. But the benefits of all the good have truly helped cushion the pain. If you asked me five years ago where I thought I would be, I don't know what my answer would have been, but it surely wouldn't be what I'm currently experiencing... and I couldn't be happier about it. I'm right where I need to be. My new life goal is to just be the best where I am, and go where I feel led, and then be the best there. In the past, I feel as if I've forced a direction upon myself. I attribute that to feeling lost and numbing out the pain, instead of facing all the challenges of getting to know myself and why I felt incomplete. I can't tell you how silly I feel looking back and trying to force happiness from destructive relationships. Ah, the joy of codependency. (That should be the title to my memoirs. HA) But the journey of loving myself with the assistance of therapy and coaching sessions as well as really immersing myself in my church and relationship with God has truly made me feel whole. Today at our worship service, the pastor had mentioned how there seems to be an underlying bad taste in society's mouth for Christianity and the church. My heart immediately sank, because I was one of those people for so long. I blamed religion for being the problem instead of the solution; but that was only based upon my own negative experience with a hate/fear based religion and not actually building a true relationship with God. And then I thought about a recent Facebook conversation I had been involved in where the person was saying that all Christians need to take responsibility for allowing hate to flourish while they remained masked in love. I responded at the time with the best response I could, noting that not all Christians pose the threat to society that she suggested, but also that her statement was just another judgemental stereotype that feeds off and hate and shouldn't be tolerated. But after listening to today's sermon, I would adjust my statement saying that TRUE Christians are not the threat. Because as the good Samaritan parable explains, God just wants us to love him, ourselves, and each other. And I truly believe and see people walking that path every day. It's a simple, yet difficult task. Show mercy to others, even when they don't expect you to. Be kind. Even if no one else around you is. So this is why I go to church. This is why I'm volunteering with youth group and trying to build a bigger social media reach. This is how I'm doing the best I can with what I've been given. I feel called to be part of the solution. I want to share with others my understanding of grace and how it has impacted my life immensely. I want to be the good Samaritan. I want to show others mercy, forgive freely, and be kind even when it hurts. This is why I call myself a Christian and attend church on Sundays. This is why I'm free of drugs and alcohol so I can have a clear head to help myself and others love more fully. Because as a reminder, the opposite of addiction is connection. So how can we grow in becoming closer to others?