A big part of continued recovery is surrounding ourselves with positive, Godly influences that encourage our growth. A huge part of this is continuing to attend Celebrate Recovery meetings, but for me it also means outside sources.
I "follow" many pastors and other encouragers on the social networking site Twitter. One of my favorites is a major part of the national CR ministry, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California (@RickWarren).
He recently shared a thought that I found very profound and encouraging ... then it smacked me right between the eyes.
"God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don't run after them," is what Rick said.
My first thought was about a couple of relationships I had before going into recovery. I was incredibly close to these individuals and considered them to be family. As I started to heal, I realized how self destructive the relationships were and I pulled away. I couldn't be around people who were destroying their own life when I was trying to let God rebuild mine. I knew the initial decision was correct, but I'd been struggling with thoughts of trying to reconnect with some of the people involved-especially after they started their own recovery.
I realized though that wouldn't be a good idea and it may never be a good idea. I briefly thanked God for the wisdom to remove myself from the situation and reread the statement to cement it in my mind.
"God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don't run after them," I read.
That's when it hit me. I had been focusing on the fact that I shouldn't be returning to a potentially unhealthy situation and was thankful (and probably prideful) that I had removed myself from it even though it was painful.
But what about what I was doing to these people? To their lives? If you read the statement exactly, it talks about people who have left our lives. I left their lives, not the other way around-not really, anyways.
Ouch. I couldn't be in denial any more. While it was true that their self destructive behavior was bad for me, I had to fully admit to myself that my self destructive behavior was bad for them. God removed me from their lives for their protection, just as he had removed them from mine. Our lost friendship wasn't just for my well being, it was for theirs too. Deep down I think I had kept hoping they would heal and run back to me. Somehow that just doesn't seem to be the wisest thing.
When we're in recovery, it's easier (at least for me) to think of those who have hurt us. But what about those we've hurt? Do we fully grasp the ways we've hurt them? I knew I had hurt these individuals, but I told myself it was because of my judgmental attitude ... which in turn I told myself was at least somewhat justified. But I realized I had to make amends for being just as self destructive and being someone around whom they felt comfortable being equally self destructive.
As you look at your own inventory, is there someone to whom you owe an unexpected amends? What does the statement "God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don't run after them" mean to you?
To learn more about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney 479-659-3679 or firstname.lastname@example.org