“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall exalt you.” James 4:10
Success in recovery is eminent when we recognize our need for God’s help to live clean and sober lives; including abstinence from addictive behaviours like disordered eating, gratuitous sex, reckless gambling, and compulsive smoking, retail therapy and/or technology addiction. Because addicts find the best sport in high risk stakes, and have little sympathy for how our habits affect the lives of others, our need for complete dependence upon God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, is greater than for non-addicts.
We may be long past the time when anything about our destructive behaviour is fun, and the affect we have upon our friends, family and employers causes us deep pain and embarrassment. We barely remember the relief we used to feel from our addiction, and now find ourselves desperately longing for a way out.
Surrender, and an admission of defeat swings wide the door to new possibilities. This is as true for the alcoholic desperate for their first sober breath, as it is for the man or woman with many years of recovery looking for a way out of some other manifestation of obsession and compulsion.When the pain of not doing something, becomes greater than the pain of change, we are ready to take action.
The moment of our readiness is a great mystery. If we’re on an elevator going down, we can get off anytime we want to, we don’t have to take it all the way to the bottom. Even with partial readiness we can make a beginning. A 180 degree turn can be made by 180 one degree turns, consistently over time. Our willingness to surrender can deepen with practice.
When we finally see our addiction as a lousy movie in which we have cast ourselves as the major player, we can stop hitting the ‘repeat’ button to watch it again and again. Whether it’s our first admission of powerlessness or our twentieth, a turn for the better always follows complete surrender, asking for help from God, and other trustworthy recovery support friends..
“Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ The chains fell from his wrists.” Acts 12:7
Like the angel who broke Peter’s chains and released him from prison, God will break our chains when we believe, and act on that faith. We tend to give over the parts of ourselves which we think will be pleasing to God, when what He really wants is the 10% we haven’t given him yet. Admitting complete defeat, and sincerely offering up our fear, pain, and denial sets us on our feet to begin anew. Surender means moving over to the winning side.
“For you have been called to freedom….” Galatians 5:13
Imagine! We have been called to freedom! Praise Jesus! The years of self-loathing, self-destruction, and causing a train wreck every time we give in to our compulsions can end here and now! We are given the power to change by God. We are saved from further destruction because He calls us to freedom.
When we set our compulsions ahead of our reliance on the Lord, we place the reins of our lives into the hands of the adversary. Step away from the problem. It’s that simple.
When we sincerely ask, and listen for God’s answer, He will direct us to partners in faith, and others who can help us. However much we want to do it alone, we cannot recover alone. Isolation is a symptom of addiction. When we become willing to pursue our recovery the way we pursued our addiction, all will be well. We have transferrable skills like commitment, determinism, willingness, and single minded focus, that canbe used to our advantage, under God’s direction. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6